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Visiting Damaraland and Spitzkoppe, Namibia

It was once the 30th day of my wonderful African journey and I couldn’t consider I were riding round this continent for a month now! After visiting such a lot of wonderful puts already, subsequent up was once visiting Damaraland and Spitzkoppe.

On nowadays, we left the impressive Etosha in the back of and travelled onward in the course of the desolate tract, to Damaraland and Spitzkoppe. As we departed Etosha we have been lucky sufficient to be greeted through a couple of extra animals, waving us off on our adventure. We noticed a male lion, with two extra a long way off within the distance (binoculars have been important at this level!), some ostriches, zebras and giraffes.

Visiting Damaraland and Spitzkoppe was once a part of the Serengeti, Falls & Cape The city Overland: Sunsets & Safaris excursion with G Adventures.

On route to Damaraland and Spitzkoppe in Namibia.
On route to Damaraland and Spitzkoppe in Namibia.

We even witnessed some springbok “spronking” (a comical four-legged bounce).

A springbok “spronking”.
Photograph discovered on Google as I didn’t set up to seize this hilarious second, however this can be a springbok “spronking”!

Beginning the adventure to Damaraland and Spitzkoppe

Our adventure was once a bumpy one, and with 70% of Namibian roads being dusty and asymmetric, we wouldn’t go back to paved roads till we reached South Africa. We stopped off to look some huge termite mounds, and even supposing they weren’t of a lot hobby to our Aussie trip pals as a result of they are able to be noticed in Australia too, I discovered them attention-grabbing.

There are 5 varieties of termites:

  • The “staff”, who construct the mounds. They’re sexually immature, blind, wingless and the smallest of the 3.
  • The “alates”, who’re winged and don’t have any function within the workforce. They just hatch and fly.
  • The “infantrymen”, who give protection to the mound, have sharp jaws and shield their colony.
  • The “queen”, who has the longest lifespan of any insect on this planet, with some queens reportedly dwelling as much as 30 to 50 years. They’re the one ones who lay the eggs and so the way forward for the mound is dependent upon them. If the queen does die despite the fact that, her daughter can take over.
  • The “king”, who friends with the queen for existence and fertilizes the eggs.

All termite mounds in Africa lean to the west on account of the solar and the wind, there are three,100 species of termites and thousands and thousands reside in each and every mound. Aardvarks and different animals assault termites for meals and the local community may even consume the alate and soldier termites, as they’re filled with protein and are scrumptious when fried, in keeping with our CEO and information Wellington. In addition to a meals supply, the locals use the soil from the mounds to construct properties.

Termite mounds in Namibia.
It’s wonderful to suppose that such tiny creatures can create this huge mound!

We additionally noticed the nationwide plant of Namibia, Welwitschia mirabilis. Endemic to the Namib Desolate tract, it could reside as much as 2,000 years and grows sideways.

The Welwitschia mirabilis - the national plant in Namibia
The Welwitschia mirabilis – the nationwide plant in Namibia

The general prevent sooner than attaining Damaraland

Our ultimate prevent sooner than attaining Damaraland was once a countrywide monument: Namibia’s Petrified Woodland.

Right here we have been taught a few phenomenon that started round 280 million years in the past, when the top of the Ice Age led to a huge flood. Bushes have been uprooted and ended up in Namibia, the place they have been buried underground and altered shape because of the penetration of minerals led to through drive. They’d turn into petrified, that means they have been now bushes fabricated from stone. On account of erosion, the bushes reached the earth’s floor and have been came upon through two farmers within the 1940s.

The Petrified Forest National Heritage Site in Namibia
The Petrified Woodland Nationwide Heritage Web site in Namibia
The Petrified Forest National Heritage Site in Namibia
The Petrified Woodland Nationwide Heritage Web site in Namibia

Finding out in regards to the Damara tradition in Damaraland

When we arrived into Damaraland, we took a excursion of the Residing Museum to be informed in regards to the misplaced tradition of the Damara other folks. Although they not reside within the conventional method, the excursion objectives to stay the tradition alive for long run generations. We watched making a song and dancing and the lads demonstrated their fireplace beginning talent, which we have been informed was once a talent they wanted initially, so as to provoke a lady into changing into their spouse. We additionally entered the ladies’s workshop, the place they have been growing jewellery and knickknacks out of fabrics reminiscent of ostrich egg shells, seeds and porcupine spikes.

We learnt in regards to the conventional drugs and the Damara peoples’ resourcefulness of their advent of equipment. For instance, they’d use springbok horns to make weaponry for searching that is also used for pipe smoking.

Their clothes was once comprised of goat leather-based and we noticed a sport they performed for hours and would take very severely (which I’d noticed performed in Zanzibar), referred to as Bao. This is able to be used to show their kids tips on how to rely within the Khoekhoe language. 

The Damara people in Namibia
Our pleasant information, Sharon
The Damara people in Namibia
The Damara other folks in Namibia
The Damara people in Namibia
The Damara other folks in Namibia
The Damara people in Namibia
The Damara other folks in Namibia
The Damara people in Namibia
The Damara other folks in Namibia

A excursion of Twyfelfontein

The next day to come started with a excursion of Namibia’s first UNESCO Global Heritage Web site, Twyfelfontein. Afrikaans for “in doubt fountain”, there’s a spring right here which seldom receives rainfall (therefore the identify), however it’s best identified for its multitude of prehistoric rock engravings.

Those have been made all the way through the early Stone Age and depict searching maps, footprints, waterholes and animals, together with giraffes, elephants, ostriches and rhinos. Probably the most artists should were nomads as a result of there have been even animals reminiscent of penguins and seals, which might’ve been discovered somewhere else.

The engravings have been made the use of quartz stones and have been came upon in 1921, nevertheless it was once by no means transparent precisely after they have been made, with historians predicting any place between two to 6 thousand years in the past. Concept to were the paintings of Bushmen or Nama artists, there are greater than 2,500 rock carvings and art work within the space.

Twyfelfontein - Namibia's first World Heritage Site
Twyfelfontein – Namibia’s first Global Heritage Web site
Rock engravings in Twyfelfontein - Namibia's first World Heritage Site
Rock engravings in Twyfelfontein – Namibia’s first Global Heritage Web site
Twyfelfontein - Namibia's first World Heritage Site
Twyfelfontein – Namibia’s first Global Heritage Web site
Twyfelfontein - Namibia's first World Heritage Site
Twyfelfontein – Namibia’s first Global Heritage Web site

From Damaraland to Spitzkoppe

It was once now time to depart Damaraland and trip south against Spitzkoppe. En course we made a couple of pit stops and the primary of which was once at a village populated through Herero other folks.

We have been inspired to discover their markets, as vacationers purchasing their hand-crafted wares was once their major supply of source of revenue. I purchased an attractive bag and we gave the kids water. Our CEOs informed us that it was once essential to not give them meals or chocolates, as we don’t wish to inspire a begging tradition, we can’t give them the similar the next day to come, and so they would possibly not have the ability to brush their enamel after consuming chocolates.

Wellington additionally referred to the announcing:

‘give a person a fish, and also you feed him for an afternoon. Educate a person to fish, and also you feed him for an entire life’.

This word stayed with me and is one thing that it kind of feels G Adventures really feel strongly about as a result of they strengthen such a lot of profitable enterprises which just do this.

Shopping in markets in Namibia
I purchased my bag from this girl’s stall. Her get dressed was once beautiful!
Shopping in markets in Namibia
Giving the kids water from our faucet behind the lando

We handed Brandberg Mountain, which at 2,573 metres, is Namibia’s tallest mountain. We additionally stopped to fulfill some Himba other folks, who’re indigenous and feature an estimated inhabitants of round 50,000 dwelling in northern Namibia.

Wellington informed us some details about this attention-grabbing workforce, whose ancestors will also be traced again to the early 16th century. They create out organized marriages from the age of 10 and their belief of wealth is mirrored within the selection of cows that they personal.

They put on particular contraptions round their ankles to give protection to them from snake bites and so they make their very own herbal hair extensions, solar cream and mosquito repellents. Girls aren’t allowed to make use of water for laundry, as historically there have been many nice droughts and simplest the lads have been accredited to make use of this scarce commodity.

Subsequently, the ladies used (and nonetheless use) smouldering charcoal which they’d combine with herbs and wash within the smoke produced. In a similar fashion, the lads have interaction in polygamy however the girls are forbidden from doing so.

Brandberg Mountain on the way to Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Brandberg Mountain
A Himba lady and her two sons
A Himba girl and her two sons

Arriving in Spitzkoppe

As we arrived into Spitzkoppe we spotted its many granite peaks in what gave the look of each path, as they stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains. It was once stunning to stroll round this almost-700-million-year-old space, and we spent the remainder of the day mountaineering and exploring the breathtaking landscapes within the Namib Desolate tract.

Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Spitzkoppe in Namibia

Simply sooner than the solar set, we clambered up one of the most peaks and watched from above, being attentive to the fowl tune and watching on the herbal good looks round us.

Sunset in Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Sundown in Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Touring Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Traveling Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Touring Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Traveling Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Touring Spitzkoppe in Namibia
Traveling Spitzkoppe in Namibia

Click on right here to view my 360° digital excursion of sundown on certainly one of Spitzkoppe’s peaks!

Within the night time, we loved each and every different’s corporate across the campfire, making a song and stargazing on the implausible night time’s sky.

Stars in Spitzkoppe
Stars in Spitzkoppe
Nighttime in Spitzkoppe
Middle of the night in Spitzkoppe
Nighttime in Spitzkoppe
Middle of the night in Spitzkoppe

Subsequent up, we ventured to Swakopmund, the place we might be exploring the Namib Desolate tract through board as an alternative of foot.

Serious about exploring Namibia? Take a look at the Namibia excursions introduced through G Adventures – many come with visiting each Damaraland and Spitzkoppe.

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