Namibia :: Damaraland
:: Brandberg Area
Category: Places :: Travel Region
THIS IS A SEMI-DESERT AREA EAST OF the Skeleton Coast and south of Kaokoland that offers a great deal in terms of natural beauty and interesting attractions. Travellers can enjoy striking rock formations, geological and cultural sites, as well as some of Namibia’s most famous landmarks, including Mount Brandberg and Twyfelfontein.
Taking in the sunset on the western face of Mount Brandberg is an unforgettable experience. This Massif is also well known for the ‘White Lady’ bushman painting and wonderful wilderness hiking opportunities.
The mountains in the Twyfelfontein area are extraordinary. The Mowani Mountains are also called the Red Mountains because of their flame colour. Himba and Herero women in traditional garb sell stones and crafts on the road between Twyfelfontein and Uis.
One cannot go to Damaraland without exploring the Messum Crater where one of the oldest plant species (Welwitschia mirabilis) flourishes. If you travel by off-road vehicle you should spend a day enjoying the Doros Crater and the interesting landscape just north of it.
If you camp close to the Huab or Aba-Huab Rivers, chances are good that you will encounter desert elephant or black rhino. The desert elephants are not as used to humans as the elephants in Etosha and they don’t like being disturbed. They have a comfort zone of at least 500m. As the dry riverbeds belong to them, you are advised to rather stay out of there. An elephant encounter requires patience more than skill, because these lords of the desert may take a long time to make way - and sometimes they don’t! Be very cautious, elephants have killed people in Namibia’s riverbeds.
Be careful when driving in Damaraland in the rainy season. Because of seasonal flooding, the roads can be very submerged. Many vehicles had to be rescued from rivers like the Aba-Huab, so always enquire about road conditions during the rainy season. Because of the possibility of flash floods you should not camp in the dry riverbeds during the rainy season.
Please stay on existing tracks or roads when driving on the pebble desert plains in Damaraland. New roads are the worst example of ‘vehicle track pollution’ as a new track will be visible for up to 600 years before the desert winds can wipe it out.
Damaraland is mainly communal land divided into conservancies. The conservancies are managed by the local communities who own the land rights and are responsible for the wild game. Money spent at community camps stays in the communities, being used for education, medical treatment, and other improvements.
Unfortunately some visitors see the area as a 4x4 playground where anything goes. As this attitude can cause resentment, we urge you to respect the people and what is, in effect, their backyard. When you drive past a village, keep your speed down so as not to cover them in your dust and always give them a polite wave. Remember to dispose of your own litter in a proper way and respect the local people and their cultures.
If you want to enjoy the off-road driving opportunities that this vast and remote region has to offer, do one of the popular eco-trails like the Upper-Huab Trail or the Ruspoort Trail.
The Living museum of the Damara is a cultural village open to visitors;
The fascinating White Lady Bushman painting was discovered on Mount Brandberg in 1918;
Desolation Valley is a harsh and remote valley along the Huab River with remarkable rock formations;
With at least 2 500 individual open-air rock engravings, Twyfelfontein is one of the largest and most important concentrations of rock art in Africa. Twyfelfontein was proclaimed as Namibia’s first World Heritage Site in 2007;
Close to Twyfelfontein you can visit the Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain (not the same as Brandberg) and the Petrified Forest;
The 35m high pillar of rock called Vingerklip/Rock Finger is situated between Outjo and Khorixas.
|Address :||Damaraland, Namibia|
|Cellphone Reception :||Good||Main Cellular Network :||MTC. LEO|
|Police Station :||Yes||Police Telephone :||+264(0)64 504 007|
|Petrol :||Yes||Petrol Type :||LRP/ULP|
|Towing Service :||Yes||Towing Service Telephone :||+264(0)81 129 7490|
|Facilities :||Gas Refill, General Dealer, ATM, Tour Services, Lodging, Camping, Liquor, Restaurant, Airstrip|
|Game Viewing, Game Drives, Quad Bikes, 4WD Trails, Tours and Excursions, Hiking Trails, Guided Walks, Horse Trails, Donkey Cart Drives, Fishing, Swimming, Boat Trips, Bird Watching, Hot-air Balloon Flights, Stargazing, Photography|
The main roads in Damaraland are ok. The 'D-roads' in Namibia are in general in very good condition. Take not that Namibia road numbers do not necessarily translate to road classification/condition, therefore they may not always be navigable along their entire length by a sedan vehicle. Tracks4Africa tries to indicate road conditions on their maps where the information is available. There are no 'D-roads' around Doros Crater, so plan carefully.
In some parts of Namibia there isn't a lot of traffic on the roads, and places are far apart. It should be fine to travel alone, but if you have a breakdown, you may have a long wait before someone possibly comes past to assist.
Travellers are advised to have some sort of satellite comms for emergency purposes. There are still large areas without cell reception. Always travel with sufficient water, food and first aid supplies.
The track between Twyfelfontein and the 'Ugab Save the Rhino Trust Camp' is very remote. It is not completely deserted, as tourers are using it everyday, so in the case of a breakdown help will come soon, but just make sure you have sufficient water. Do not go astray and explore side tracks. Use a good GPS with a track on it. (Nov-14).
The tow-in is located in Okahandja. There is a clinic +264(0)64 504 011. The Brandberg Supermarket sells fresh meat and bread and is well-stocked. (Jun-12). (Feb-2014): Take note: Garage or Petrol cards will no longer be accepted as a legal tender for purchase of fuel, spares or repairs in Namibia.
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