In western Erongo, flattish semi-desert savannah stretches northwards, the horizon interrupted by the distinctive domed peak of the Spitzkoppe, much favoured by rock climbers. Beyond is the vast massif of the Brandberg, home to the country’s finest collection of San rock paintings. This is the area known as Damaraland – a colonial and apartheid-era term that has seemingly stuck – which comprises some of the country’s most beguiling landscapes, and is still predominantly inhabited by the Damara people, after whom it’s named.

As you cross the ephemeral Ugab River – a linear oasis of luxuriant vegetation and a vital source of nourishment for elusive desert-adapted elephants – into southern Kunene, the undulating landscape becomes hauntingly beautiful. Expansive grasslands are interspersed with colourful escarpments of layered sediment and endless kopjies of burnished granite, embellished by the occasional dazzling white trunk of the five-lobed sterculia tree clinging onto a boulder. In the middle of all this is one of the continent’s largest collections of ancient rock engravings, at Twyfelfontein.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

The Namib desert is one of the world’s most extreme environments. Covering 81,000 square kilometres, its vastness can only truly be appreciated from above. He…

17 Jul 2017 • Lottie Gross local_activity Special feature
In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

From the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert to the serpentine chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the rugged mountains of the Great Escarpment to the acacia-stud…

05 Jul 2017 • Sara Humphreys camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook