The arid Damaraland is an area of geological wonder, ancient rock art, epic rock climbing and beautiful landscapes. Situated between the coastal town of Swakopmund and Etosha the Darmaraland offers travellers strangely beautiful rock formations, geological and cultural sites that have withstood time as well as accommodation and camping in perfect locations.
Rock Art in Twyfelfontein and Brandberg
The more than 2000 rock engravings of Twyfelfontein are Namibia’s only World Heritage Site. The scenes of animals and hunters represent a spiritual world that shamans encounters in trance. The rock art of Twyfelfontein is estimated to be 6 000 years old and is one of the largest concentrations of rock art in all of Africa.
The famous rock painting ‘The White Lady’ can be found under an overhang on the Brandberg Mountain. There has been much controversy about the correct interpretation of this painting. The rock paintings of the Brandberg are estimated to be between 2 000 and 4 000 years old.
While Twyfelfontein and Brandberg are the most popular destinations for rock art, you will find painting and engravings throughout the Damaraland in places such as Spitzkoppe or the Erongo Mountains.
The Brandberg is not only home to famous rock paintings but also marks the highest point in Namibia. At 2 573 m the peak of Königstein is an impressive sight and a popular challenge to avid rock climbers.
The rounded granite mountains of Spitzkoppe lure the visitor in with playful shapes and a peak that resembles the Matterhorn. Other sites in the include the oddly isolated Finger Rock, the petrified forest near Khorixas, the Organ pipes close to Twyfelfontein and the Erongo Mountain Nature Conservancy.
The Damaraland is also an excellent place to see the Welwitschia mirabilis. The plant is indigenous to the Namib Desert and some specimens reach an age of up to 2 000 years.
Arts and Crafts
Though small in size, the town of Omaruru is well worth a visit for people interested in arts and culture. The Omuntu Garden is a permanently changing exhibition of sculptural arts, while masters of woodcarving display their skills at the Tikoloshe Afrika gallery. Grow Namibia creates innovative product out of recycling material and the Kashana Landhaus is a collection of arty small businesses on the banks of the Omaruru River.
The Damara are among the oldest inhabitants of Namibia. The Damara Living Museum close to Twyfelfontein introduces visitors to some of the Damara traditions, pre-colonial dress and age-old survival strategies.