Damaraland is one of the most scenic areas in Namibia, a huge, untamed, ruggedly beautiful region that offers an adventurous challenge. Here there are prehistoric water courses with open plains and grassland, massive granite koppies and deep gorges. Towards the west, the geography changes dramatically with endless sandy wastes that are incredibly able to sustain small, but wide-ranging, populations of desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, giraffe, ostrich and springbok. These animals have adapted their lifestyles to survive the harshness of the sun-blistered, almost waterless desert spaces. Elephant move through euphorbia bush country, and can travel up to 70km in a day in search of food and water and unusually, do not typically destroy trees in their quest for food. Desert-adapted black rhino with calves in tow are typical across the Damaraland ‘melkbos’ terrain. Damaraland also supports Gemsbok, kudu, Hartman’s mountain zebra, lion, cheetah, and spotted and brown hyaena. Birding is also excellent with over 240 species recorded.
Damaraland is the old name given to the region south of Kaokoland and north of the main road to Swakopmund. It extends 200 km inland from the desolate Skeleton Coast and 600 km southwards from Kaokoland. The name Damaraland is derived from the fact that the Damara people live in this area (they were relocated here as a result of the Odendaal Plan in the 1960’s). The name Damaraland is still commonly used in tourism circles, although the entire region has now been renamed; the southern section now lies in the Erongo region while the north forms part of the Kunene region. Together, Damaraland and Kaokoland are known as the Kaokoveld.
The Brandberg ‘the fire mountain’ is named after the effect created by the setting of the sun on its western face which causes the granite massif to seemingly glow a brilliant red. The Brandberg is a favorite place for climbers in Namibia, and contains a high density of San (Bushman) art. The main attraction at Twyfelfontein (doubtful spring) is its large gallery of rock art, one of the most extensive in Africa and not to be missed on a Namibian Safari. Glowing red and orange sands, an inexplicable endless view of fast, yet amazingly inhabited land and a history dating back to the beginning of man makes Damaraland a once in a lifetime African safari experience.
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