DAMARALAND - NAMIBIA
depth guide to the seasons, animals, birds and wildlife
habitats of Damaraland in Namibia
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is a 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
The brooding Erongo mountain range of the
Brandberg (Burnt Mountain) massif, emerges
mysteriously from the surrounding flat arid
scrubland. These mountains are magnificent
when viewed from any direction and the Konigstein
peak at 8,362 feet (2,573m) is the highest
in Namibia and forms just part of this range.
the ravines and caves of these mountains many
prehistoric rock paintings have been found and
none more famous than the ‘White Lady’
of the Brandberg. She was named by the surveyor
who discovered her 1917, but remained in obscurity
until 1948, when the painting was replicated
and brought to light. More recent investigations
into her stature suggest that she is no lady
This dry rocky conservancy is about 60 miles
(96km) north of the Brandeberg Mountains, on
the north bank of the Huab River. It is a conservation
partnership formed between the local community
and Wilderness Safaris, who operate a lodge
in the area. It is an area of endless vistas
across stark plains broken suddenly by ancient
valleys and soaring peaks, with the Brandberg
Mountains rising like a mirage on the far horizon.
Mists roll in from the Skeleton Coast some 56
miles (90km) to the west, and drift along the
river valley to provide sustenance to a variety
of life that depend on this daily moisture.
The Huab River only flows once or twice during
the short rainy season and seldom breaks through
the dunes to reach the ocean.
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. These rare pachyderms
roam around the more vegetated areas by dry
riverbeds and stand on their back feet and stretch
their trunks skywards trying to reach the very
last leaf on each tree. 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
as critically endangered by the IUCN, the black
rhinos of north-west Namibia have more than
doubled in number since 1985. 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
Summer: November to April are hot with an average
mid-summer daytime temperature around 95°F
(35°C) especially in the river valleys.
Winter: The cooler months of May to September
are 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.
Rainy Season: 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
· Star-gazing par excellence
· Desert elephants might
· Rare free-ranging
· Exceptional comfort
in desert loges
· Meeting the roaming
Damara goat and cattle herders
This is a remote area and many visitors fly
in to their camp or lodge although overland
travel is possible.
This is a low-risk malarial area.
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