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Village Twyfelfontein Village

ID: w181245 View large map

Located in Namibia :: Damaraland  :: Twyfelfontein Area
Category: Places :: Village

Originally known as !Ui-!!Ais (Damara for the jumping waterhole), the first European farmer in the region, David Levin,
named this spot Twyfelfontein (doubtful fountain); he was unsure whether the fountain would supply enough water for
his livestock. In 1971 the area was given back the Damara farmers as communal land for their exclusive use.
The first reports of the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein were made in 1921 by the topographer, Reinhard Maack, who also
reported the White Lady painting in the Brandberg. Thorough investigation of the site was only done in 1950, when more
than 2 000 rock engravings, as well as a few rock paintings, were identified. This is one of the largest concentrations
of rock petroglyphs in Africa and was declared a national monument in 1952. Later, in 2007, it became Namibia’s first
World Heritage Site.

Traveller Description

Twyfelfontein is one of Namibia’s most popular tourist destinations, with more than 40 000 people visiting this open-air gallery annually. The visitor’s centre was designed to blend in with the red sandstone environment and is constructed from natural material which is completely removable and reusable. All visitors must be accompanied by a guide and have the option of following one of two routes, lasting between 45 and 90 minutes.

The Dancing Kudu route includes a detour to the original spring and features an unusual engraving of a female kudu with several geometric shapes. The return route passes the Zwei Schneider shelter where the only remaining rock paintings can be seen.

The Lion Man route is longer and rougher but has been upgraded with walking aids. This route with its steel bridges and stairs isn't recommended for people with restricted mobility. From viewing platforms visitors enjoy excellent views of the major engravings. The route includes the 'Lion Man', in which elements of a human and a lion are combined, indicating that this is an engraving of a 'shaman', a man who has transformed into a lion. The return route passes the ruins of the Levin farm house.
Other attractions nearby include the Living Museum of the Damara (a cultural village), the Organ Pipes (a rock formation resembling the pipes of a large church organ), and the blackish rock of the Burnt Mountain (not to be confused with Brandberg, 65km south of Twyfelfontein).

Address :  Damaraland, Namibia
Cellphone Reception :  Intermittent Main Cellular Network :  MTC

Destination Information
Lodging Camping Restaurant Airstrip Mechanical Repair Towing Service
Towing Service Telephone :  +264(0)62 500 132 / +267(0)81 129 7490

Game Viewing Hiking Trails Guided Walks

Travelling Information

Take note: Garage or Petrol cards will no longer be accepted as a legal tender for purchase of fuel, spares or repairs in Namibia. Cash, Debit and Credit cards are accepted at most fuel stops in the larger and touristy towns. Just always take extra cash with in case they only accept cash!

If you love wide open and desolate spaces, the drive through the Valley of Desolation south of Twyfelfontein is well-worth the effort. Be aware that the area is very remote and seldom traversed, especially in low season - help may not be at hand in case of a breakdown.

There are many dry riverbed crossings in the area so be aware of possible flash floods during the rainy season, and be prepared for deep sand driving during the dry season.

There are no shops in the Twyfelfontein area, but limited fuel and a mechanical workshop is available at the Twyfelfontein Country Lodge.

Twyfelfontein Country Lodge: +264(0)83 769 7021/ +264(0)61 374 750

 Travel Tip!

The late afternoon sun provides excellent light for photographing the engravings but this is also a common time for tour buses to arrive, so be sure to arrive early! Please refrain from touching or wetting the rock as this causes deterioration of the paintings and etchings. Keep an eye open for the Namibian desert elephants which frequent the Aba-Huab riverbed.

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