Damaraland in the north-western part of Namibia is located between the Brandberg and the little village of Sesfontein. A rocky and dry rugged landscape of picturesque beauty, Damaraland an untamed land lies between the dunes of Sossusvlei and the wildlife sanctuary of Etosha National Park. The spectacular rock formations of Spitzkoppe, Erongo and tallest mountain of the country, Brandberg has some of the finest prehistoric rock paint and engravings.
Occupied by the Herero and Khoisan (Hottentot) people rather than the Bergdama (Damara), the region is named after the language spoken by the latter group.
Lying in the Kunene Region, the desolate region of the continent Damaraland is characterised by the dynamic landscape and vast arid planes of alien rock formations and rust coloured granite. A unique and harsh landscape, desert mountains strikes a spectacular view with the deep ravines, cliffs, dry river beds. Spitzkoppe, an ancient volcano is one of the formidable landmarks in the region. The desolate Twyfelfontein along with the spectacular Brandberg mountain range is home to some of the well preserved pre-historic rock arts and engravings. A petrified forest nearby, as well as palm-fringed, oasislike valleys makes the Damaraland a solitary gem in the Southern part of African Continent with its stunning desert landscape.
The flora and fauna of the Damaraland have adopted to harsh weather conditions and to the arid desert environment. This results in the sparse wildlife and wildlife in the region. However, several species of plants and animals have adopted to the desert conditions among which some are endemic to the region.
Desert-dwelling elephants who with elongated limbs and black rhinos are found in dry river beds walking in search of water several kilometres. In addition to it, gemsbok, greater kudu, Hartmann’s zebra, eland and springbok are also found along with the several sightings of desert lions. Southern giraffe, cheetah, and spotted and brown hyaena also live in the area. Birdlife with over 240 species recorded in the region.
Endemic desert plants such as Euphorbia Virosa and the ancient Welwitshia Mirabilis are found here.
Significant change in altitude across the region results in varying of temperatures from being in summer from November – March to cold nights from April to October. The summer temperature may go up to as high as 40°C/ 104°F with the annual rainfall relatively low or not at all at times. The sparse rain that the region receives fills up the river temporarily attracting wildlife.
Best time to visit
The dry arid dessert region of Damaraland offers interesting wildlife during dry winter season when the water is scares and animals concentrate around the waterholes. This is a great time as the weather is relatively mild compared to summer season. However, wet summer season offers a picturesque stunning landscape and few birdlife that attracts photographers and nature lovers in its rugged form.
The abundance of natural beauty in the form of unique and harsh landscape of Damaraland is hidden gem in the southern part of the continent strikes as a must see destination in the country.