Damaraland is a wild and vast tract of land stretching from the Skeleton Coast to Etosha. It is home to rare desert-adapted species, including elephant and the world’s last free-roaming black rhino as well as the tongue-clicking Damara tribe. These unique desert highlands are also an area of dramatic natural beauty that are home to rock formations and San artwork that are well worth a visit.
Damaraland is an area of desolate wilderness that on first encounter gives the impression of being an inhospitable habitat where little could survive other than the small population of Damara people who are native to the region. In fact Damaraland supports rare desert-adapted wildlife that roams freely over this extensive area and provides sightings that are rarely seen outside of national parks.
It is the opportunity to track desert-adapted black rhino and elephant that draws many to the region, with conservation projects run by Save the Rhino Trust offering particularly interesting encounters. The area is also home to Hartmann’s mountain zebra – identifiable by their narrower stripes, Damara dik-dik and brown hyena. The best time for observing the wildlife is during the dry season from June-December when they congregate around limited water sources.
Damaraland is an area of great geological interest too with spectacular rock formations at Spitzkoppe – known as the Matterhorn of Namibia thanks to its pointed summit which is home to impressive San paintings, the most well-known being found at Bushman’s Paradise. An extensive gallery of bushman paintings and rare engravings of the area’s wildlife are found at The White Lady at Brandberg Massif and Twyfelfontein – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other highlights in the area include the Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain as well as fossilised tree trunks at the Petrified Forest, which are thought to be between 200 and 300 million years old and became a national monument in 1950.