Most visitors to the Brandberg only venture as far as the “White Lady”, the area’s most famous rock painting, which is tucked away beneath a rock overhang an easy 45-minute hike up the Tsisab Ravine on the northwestern side of the massif. The painting got its name from the mainly white central figure in a frieze that seems to depict some kind of procession, whom renowned rock art authority Henri Breuil, back in the 1940s, concluded was a woman. Later scholars have decided the figure is not a woman at all, but probably a young man, possibly undergoing some initiation ritual, or alternatively a traditional healer. Whatever the interpretation, the painting is worth a visit, even if it doesn’t compare to some of the art secreted higher up the mountain.
Half the pleasure is the walk itself, past Brandberg acacias, mustard and ironwood trees. Keen birdwatchers should aim for an early morning start, when you may be rewarded with a display of colour in the form of bee-eaters, rosy-cheeked lovebirds, Rüppel’s parrots and bokmakieries.