Damaraland and Waterberg

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Damaraland and Waterberg

Overview
Activities and Highlights
Seasons
Region Map

Description

"Enter a world of grand contrasts, mysterious and unsurpassed magnificence; a land that embodies nature’s unique splendour draped in the rustic tones of burnt browns, towering oranges and rocky reds; a land swept by ever-changing winds, carving ancient rock into peculiar formations that tickle the imagination of man; enter Damaraland and explore all that is scenic and majestic.

Damaraland’s vast panoramic plains are an inspiration to all that visit its land, a distinctive wildness where time dissolves and nature reigns supreme throughout the arid Namibian Eden.

Rising from vast plains of barren vistas is the rocky heights of Brandberg Mountain. This mountain range is Namibia’s highest and is most famously known for the mind baffling rock painting known as White Lady. If ancient rock art tickles your interests, then you’ll be happy to learn that Damaraland is home to the world’s largest open air collection of rock paintings and rock engravings situated at Twyfelfontein, a Cultural World Heritage Site according to UNESCO. Within the confines of Twyfelfontein, Burnt Mountains shimmers and borrows the tones of the suns fiery intensity as it fades into shades of glowing purples when rays of African sun reach the rocky outcrop as it sets beneath the horizon.

Close by you will find the Waterberg Plateau Park, a protected area that provides sanctuary to Namibia’s most endangered animals. Within the park, a huge reddish-brown cliff soars towards the African sky and plateaus after 300 metres. This is Waterberg Plateau, where leopards roam freely between the unique growth of flora and ancient rock art.

Access Details

Damaraland may be accessed either by road or air. The Waterberg is an easy 3 hour drive from the capital city. Flights may be chartered from Eros Airport outside the countries capital city, Windhoek.

Suggested Stay Details

To fully appreciate the stark contrasts and immense beauty of Damaraland, we suggest a 2 to 3 night stay in one of the safari lodges. On the other hand, if you plan on moving around and exploring the region, you will need 4 to 6 nights to truly enjoy the

Type of Experience

"Damaraland is famous for its Black Rhino tracking, majestic panoramic vistas, dazzling starry skies, game drives or walking safaris to find desert-adapted elephants, kudu and possibly lion, or hike up the 700 million year old granite outcrop of Spitzkop, an adventure recommnded only for experienced mountaineers and rock climbers.

The region has surreal 300 million year old petrified forests where thousand year old Welwitschia Marabalis plants miraculously survive the searing ranges of temperature; there are volcanic formations from antiquity, hauntingly powerful black mountains and some famous San bushman paintings such as the ""White Lady of Brandberg"" and the ""Twyfelfontein Etchings"". This ancient landscape has become one of the most popular destinations for travellers looking for unique regions with outstanding photographic opportunities.

ANCIENT ART: Both Damaraland and Waterberg Plateau Park houses a prolific display of ancient rock art and engravings. Most well known is the Cultural World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein.

The area is listed as Namibia’s only World Heritage Site according to UNESCO and has a record number of more than 5000 individual figures that date as far back as the Late Stone Age. Immerse you in ancient world of hunter-gathers who roamed the

Damaralands at least 2000 year ago. Depicting figures that relates to ritual and economic practices, the ancient rock is certainly an experience worth gaining when visiting Damaraland. "

Infrastructure

Damaraland is largely undeveloped, with a few roads linking the most visited areas, but still maintains its allure as a vast wilderness of untouched beauty. Waterberg Plateau Park is gaining popularity as a interest to travelers and as such, it has a few developed areas.

On the other hand, the accommodation offered in Damaraland offers a graceful appeal in the harsh semi-arid region. Safari lodges blend into the harsh surrounding but exudes luxury, comfort and eloquent beauty.

Geography

The topography of Damaraland ranges from open grasslands with giant granite hills and rocky cliffs to souring mountains. Waterberg Plateau is surrounded by savannah and broad-leafed woodlands.

History

When South Africa was granted permission to treat Namibia as one of its provinces after World War I, Damaraland became reserved as a Bantustan community.

During the time, Namibia faced injustice in the form of Apartheid and as a result, Damaraland was intended to be set aside for the Damara people and their self-governing homelands.

In 1980, a local government was established and in 1989, the homeland of Damaraland was abolished as the country moved towards independence.

Activities & Highlights

"PHOTOGRAPHY: The unique rock formations, stark plains and ancient ruins offer the budding photographer some rather special and interesting subjects to capture. Among the most well known are some hundreds of interesting angular rock formations which forms what is known as the Organ Pipes.

Dubbed Namibia’s Matterhorn, the mountainous iselberg is formally known as Spitzkoppe and leads to the formations of the Golden Snake and the Bridge, as well as the ancient paintings of Bushman’s Paradise. The Petrified Forest is home to about 50 old fossilized logs which date back to about 300 million year. Keep an eye out for the Welwitschia Marabalis plant, which is believed to live up to 1000 years.

HIKING: Damaraland’s mountains and the Waterberg Plateau offer many hiking trails. Explore Spitzkoppe, a 700 million year old granite outcrop, but be warned, these trails are not for the inexperience mountaineer. Hike to the top of Waterberg Plateau with a knowledgeable guide and discover the many interesting wildlife that hugs the sheer mountain elevation.

WILDLIFE: Waterberg Plateau Park is home to some of Namibia’s endangered species, like the black rhino. You may even get to see the desert elephant and rare antelope species, such as the roan and sable. Amongst other large mammals are lion, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, black-backed jackal and the brown hyena.

The park is home to 200 species of birds including the Namibia’s only breeding colony of Cape Vultures. Waterberg Plateau Park has about 500 species of plants, 20 types of bats and 13 species of frogs too."



Season Travel Details

Damaraland has a semi-arid climate with summer months ranging from November to April. During this time, day temperatures may reach highs of 35°C (95°F). Rainfalls mainly during the summer months an peaks round about in March. From May to September, expect pleasant temperatures of about 26°C (79°F) as winter sets in.

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