Turning off south down the D2743, 52km east of Khorixas, takes you into the spectacular scenery of the Ugab Terraces. This broad, flat-bottomed valley, flanked by plateaus rising 160m either side, holds a collection of buttes and mesas – striking, steep-sided, flat-topped pillars of rock, reminiscent of Monument Valley in Arizona; so much so that you half expect John Wayne to appear on horseback at any moment. These harder sandstone conglomerate protrusions have been formed over the last 20 million years or so as the surrounding softer sedimentary deposits of the Ugab River floodplain have gradually been eroded away. While the Vingerklip is as far as most people venture along this valley, it’s worth completing the 68km semicircular detour along the D2743, which wends its way through picturesque mopane woodland.


The best known of the Ugab Terraces is the 35m-high phallus known as the Vingerklip (Finger Rock), whose dramatic presence is enhanced by its location, perched precariously on top of a knoll. The rings on this butte, which has a 44m circumference, tell a geological tale of rising and falling sea levels and the changing force of the Ugab River’s flow that helped carve this natural sculpture.

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