Damaraland


Namibia is by far the most fascinating land of great contrasts and Damaraland demonstrates this with stark plains, petrified forests and ancient valleys leading to rocky outcrops and the soaring peaks of the Brandberg Massive Mountains. Desert elephants and the rare free-ranging black rhino along with the roaming Damara goat and cattle herders eke out a living out of barely anything.

The Brandberg (Burnt Mountain) massif, emerges mysteriously from the surrounding flat arid scrubland as if God bent down one day and just pulled it up from the harsh lands. These mountains at 8,362 feet (2,573m) high are the highest in Namibia and form just part of this range.

The world famous ‘White Lady’ of Brandberg is a rock painting named by the surveyor who discovered her 1917.

The land is harsh and unforgiving and natural law concerning food and water supply dictates the movement and cycles of life in this arid area. As such there is no guarantee of seeing any of the animals that inhabit Damaraland and whatever you may see is to be a treasured moment. The rare and endangered desert elephant have adapted like all the other animals here to exist on limited fodder and scant water. Desert-adapted black rhino range in and out of communal farming areas across a large area and are one of the few populations to survive on land that has no formal conservation status. Even lion and cheetah move in and out of the area when antelopes such as oryx, kudu and springbok are around.

May to December are the best months to visit this region. Summer is from November to April and is hot with an average mid-summer daytime temperature around 95°F (35°C) especially in the river valleys. Winter is the cooler months of May to September and is pleasant with an average temperature during the day of 79°F (26°C). Nights can be very cold averaging 43°F (6°C) with a frost not uncommon in June, July and August. The variable annual rainfall is between 1.18inches (30mm) and 4 inches (100mm) per year starting in January and reaching a peak in March. Rain usually comes as heavy late-afternoon thunderstorms.

Facts

This is a remote area and many visitors fly in to their camp or lodge although overland travel is possible.

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