Namib Desert Guide to Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppe in Damaraland, Namibia.
Everything you need to know about the hikers and rock climber's paradise known as Spitzkoppe, one of Namibia's most recognisable landmarks.

Access

Spitzkoppe is located approximately 180 kilometres (111.8 miles) from Swakopmund and 280 kilometres (173.9 miles) from Windhoek. To get there one will need to travel along the B2 highway passing Usakos. Continue for another 24 kilometres (14.9 miles) and then take the D1918 gravel road to Henties Bay. Drive for a further 18 kilometres (11.2 miles) until you see a turn off to D3716, this is the road to Spitzkoppe.

The B2 highway is tarred and the other roads are all well maintained gravel that is accessible by ordinary sedan vehicles. The closest airport to Spitzkoppe is Windhoek's Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport which is located 280 kilometres (173.9 miles) away.

Highlights

Striking boulder formations at Spitzkoppe.Rising an impressive 1 728 metres above the ground, Spitzkoppe is a striking landmark on the Namibian landscape. A lesser known attraction, many self-drive visitors have been known to drive straight past these peaks, unaware of the beauty that awaits there.

Best seen when camping overnight as this is when you will have ample opportunity to capture the contrasting light and shadowy patterns as the sun rises and sets, visitors on more of a tight time schedule should try to budget at least 4 hours in the area.The Spitzkoppe mountain range's granite is dated at more than 700 million years old. The mountain's distinctive shape has earned it the nickname the Matterhorn of Namibia. Made up of a number of large distinctive peaks that jut up in different areas on the landscape, the main peak is known as Gross Spitzkoppe. The other peaks are Klein Spitzkoppe, Pondok Mountain and the Inselbergs or 'island mountains'.

All of the mountains are grouped with the Brandberg Mountains located in the north and are ancient volcanoes formed when Gondwanaland split apart over 500 - 750 million years ago.

Activities

Hiking around Spitzkoppe in Damaraland.The area is a hikers' and rock climbers' paradise and the view from the top is an incredible reward for the effort of scaling the rock to get there. For those visitors that are interested in history, organised guided walks are available where a friendly guide will take you to view some of the numerous rock art sites, explaining the stories captured in the ancient drawings.

The area also has a restaurant and bar where an ice cold-beer awaits you after a walk or hike. More that anything else - there is always ice-cold beer in Namibia.

Accommodation Options

Accommodation near Spitzkoppe in Damaraland.Located at the foot of the sprawling granite formation one will find a beautifully maintained campsite where you can pitch a tent and stay for the night. The camp site consists of several secluded camping sites all of which have braai facilities.

Nearby accommodation options include Erongo Wilderness Lodge which offers excellent accommodation, food and guided walks.

The Experience

Spitzkoppe boulder.Located in the Namib Desert, a visit to Spikzkoppe offers incredible hiking and rock climbing prospects, magnificent panoramic views, wonderful photographic opportunities and the chance to immerse yourself in the stillness and beauty of the desert.

Sleep under the stars as the large granite rock looms over you, spend sunrise sitting tranquilly watching the colours of the rocks change from bright red to orange to yellow as the shadows shift and morph around you. Or test your skills scaling up one of the multitude of different peaks before returning to the camp to ease your tired muscles and enjoy a refreshing sundowner.The area has a long history of habitation and the caves and rocks have numerous well preserved examples of bushmen rock art to view.

Useful Information

Visitors can pay the small entrance fee or camping fee that the community run reception area at the entrance to the mountains. Camp sites are not allocated allowing you to set up camp wherever you choose.

For safety reasons is it recommended that one or more people should always remain at the camp, close to the vehicle or tent. There are no telephones in the area however there should be mobile phone reception. While the closest hospital is located at Usakos visitors are advised that it is usually better to go to the more modern hospital in Swakopmund, should there be an injury.

by Katie Edge

Africa Safari Holidays Specialists
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