Exploring Damaraland

Activities in Damaraland, Namibia, range from climbing the Brandberg Massiv, walking along Spitzkoppe and stopping for a photo at the Tropic of Capricorn.

Visit Bushman rock art sites at Twyfelfontein and the Brandberg Massif

©Pre-historic rock engravings at Twyfelfontein
Twyfelfontein in Damaraland, Namibia, is a World Heritage Site and has a wonderful collection of rock art engravings which are best viewed in the late afternoon on a guided walk. Some of the etchings are estimated to be about 6 000 years old.

Brandberg Massif (the site of the highest mountain in Namibia) has many caves and overhangs where thousands of rock art paintings can be seen, the most famous is known as the "White Lady".

Explore Spitzkoppe or take pictures from far away

En route from the coastal town of Swakopmund to the Himba tribes or Etosha National Park in northern Namibia, Spitzkoppe rises out of the dry and dusty Namib Desert. The Spitzkoppe, also referred to as "Matterhorn of Namibia" or Spitzkop, is the most well-know mountain in the country. This rugged rock formation reaches a height of 1784m and is a very impressive sight and popular photo motive.

The granite peaks of Spitzkoppe are part of the Erongo Mountains, Damaraland, and more than 700 million years old. The area around the mountain is a conservancy and fenced off. Day visitors can go on beautiful walks and have a look at the stunning surroundings and the ancient San rock art by Namibian bushmen. Nature lovers will enjoy the Yellow Butter Trees and Poison Trees (the San used its white juice to poison the arrows).

The more active ones can do some easy climbs between bizarre rock formations. It is very difficult to go up to the summit of Spitzkoppe and definitely not advisable for tourists. Only experienced climbers and mountaineers will make it up to the top - but also not in the summer months as the rock gets very hot.

Enjoy guided animal tracking safaris in Damaraland

Follow the Desert Dwelling Elephant and Black Rhino as they search for water and food in this amazing landscape. These animals travel great distances between feeding grounds and scattered waterholes which sustain them in the dry season. Other animals that live in this area include Desert dwelling Giraffe, Lion, Zebra, Gemsbok (Oryx) and Springbok.

See the Petrified Forest or marvel at the Organ Pipes and Vingerklip

The Petrified Forest in Damaraland, Namibia, is a National Monument and showcases 300 million year old tree trunks, they are very well preserved and the tree rings can even be seen.

Visit the Organ Pipes, fantastic ancient rock formations in Damaraland. Some of the organ pipes stand 5 metres tall and the views from the base of the tall finger of stone called Vingerklip, are reminiscent of Arizona's Monument Valley.

Enjoy adventurous activities and aerial flights over Damaraland

You can discover the beauty of Damaraland in Namibia on a variety of special adventures including 4x4 trails, horse riding, caving, plant and animal safaris and wonderful hiking and climbing. A truly superb way to gain perspective on the dramatic landscapes and dry riverbeds is from the air.

You can enjoy a flight over Damaraland or feel the wind on your face and see it all from a hot air balloon. This magical experience leaves early morning so you can observe the fabulous colours of the rocks and boulders as you drift serenely along.

Photo-stop at the Tropic of Capricorn

On the way from Sossusvlei in the Namib Naukluft National Park to Swakopmund on the Atlantic cost in Namibia, lies the Tropic of Capricorn - the place where the sun is in zenith in the Southern Hemisphere - and then turns back north until it reaches the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere. Get out of your car and jump onto the dusty desert road - for a photo stop at the Tropic of Capricorn.

The geographical region of the tropics is limited by the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere (Latitude: 23:26S) and the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere (Latitude: 23:26 N). The Tropic of Capricorn (or Southern Tropic) marks the most southerly latitude at which the sun is in zenith, its highest point. The sun can appear directly overhead around noon.

This event occurs on the 21st December (December solstice) each year. A stick put up in the dusty desert earth in Namibia wouldn't throw any shadow at all as the sun is right above it. Then the sun makes its way back to the Northern Hemisphere until it reaches the Tropic of Cancer on 21st June each year.

Countries and regions the tropic of Capricorn runs through

  • Southern Africa:
    Namibia, Botswana, South Africa (Kruger National Park region), Mozambique, Madagascar, the Indian Ocean Australia and the Pacific Ocean
  • South America:
    Chile, northern Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and the southern Atlantic Ocean

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