Swakopmund to Damaraland
Today, you will continue with the safari by taking the road to the north and then east to the magnificent area of Damaraland. On the way you will see the Brandberg, which at 2,573m altitude, is the tallest mountain in Namibia. There are also numerous wild animals and vast but impressive scenery on the way. Color, rock formations, superb flat topped mountains and weird-looking vegetation - this is the best way to describe Damaraland. Erosion by water, wind and geological forces has resulted in a landscape replete with gravel plains, rolling hills, dunes and dated river terraces. You will fbe astaunded by the vastness, scenic splendor and variety of this area to the extent of comprehending what the term ‘wilderness’ really means.
You may also be taken by your guide to sample geological sites attractions in the vicinity, specifically the famous Twyfelfontein rock engravings, if there will be surplus time. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain can also be visited although we may save this for the next day.
Twyfelfontein: Named by the first European farmer in the area, the name refers to the failings of a perennial spring which wells up near the base of the valley and the name simply means ‘doubtful spring’. Strewn over a hillside amongst flat-topped mountains of red sandstone, Twyfelfontein’s boulders and slabs of red sandstone hold some 2,500 prehistoric engravings that depict wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petroglyphs in Africa. The engravings show animals such as elephant, giraffe, kudu, lion, rhinoceros, springbok, zebra and ostrich that once used to drink from a fountain at the bottom of the hill. In some cases footprints were engraved instead of hooves or paws. The abstract motifs feature mainly circles. Stone tools and other artifacts found at Twyfelfontein suggest that hunter-gatherers occupied the site over a period of perhaps 7,000 years. These days a local guide accompanies visitors to showcase the rock art. The engravings lie along two circular routes, one an hour’s climb and the other 40 minutes longer. Twyfelfontein is one of Namibia’s key National Monuments and has recently become a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Burnt Mountain: The largest mountian in Namibia, itt has a circular shape and is found just a few miles from Organ Pipes and Twyfelfontein. The mountain appears to catch fire at both sunset and sunrise. This phenomenon results in multifarious colors at dusk and dawn and is attributed to chemical activity which occurred about 125 million years ago. It is believed that molten lava went through organic limestone and shale deposits thus leading to metamorphism at contact. Ordinarily, the mountain is dull black in color. Blackened debris is found on one side like residue from a fire.
Organ Pipes: They also create geological curiosity in the area. There are masses of vertical dolerite pillars which penetrated other rocks in the vicinity about 125 million years ago, and since then, lie exposed in a gorge because of erosion by rivers.