Damaraland’s rocky desert can be found in the north of Namibia, its harsh landscape peppered with granite boulders and mountains that seem to hunker into the ground to escape the heat. Due to its setting, some 90 kilometres from the Skeleton Coast, morning mists are a frequent occurrence as the cold Atlantic waters meet the warm landmass of the desert; this brief but damp encroachment sustains the life that inhabits the area. Accommodation in Damaraland mainly consists of remote, sustainable camps, where game drives and walks through the desert show just how difficult daily life is for the animal population that calls the conservancies home.
Despite its inhospitable setting, Damaraland is home to two of Namibia’s most rewarding wildlife experiences. A highlight of any stay in the area is seeking out Namibia’s famous desert-adapted elephants, who have developed longer legs and larger feet to handle the shifting sands, and lower body masses that can cope for days without water. Namibia is also one of the top countries for rhino conservation, and in northern Damaraland’s 4,000 square kilometre Palmwag Reserve you’ll find Save The Rhino Trust’s study centre and mobile camp, affording rhino tracking excursions both driven and on foot, in the company of experienced trackers and conservationists. The reserve also supports giraffe, zebra and antelope, with predators never too far away: you may see leopard, lion, cheetah and hyena.
In addition to its richly fulfilling wildlife-viewing opportunities, Damaraland has many unusual geological features and historic cave paintings that are worth discovering. In Twyfelfontein, you’ll find cave paintings by bushmen and unusual rock formations such as Burnt Mountain and the basalt Organ Pipes. The Petrified Forest is home to a large accumulation of fossilised tree trunks dating back an estimated 280 million years, washed into Namibia by an enormous flood. The area is also a good place to spot the unusual Welwitschia Mirabilis plant, often described as a living fossil as it can live for over 1,500 years.
If our holidays to Damaraland have inspired you, call our Travel Specialist today for more information.