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Damaraland

Damaraland is a sprawling arid, mountainous region located in between Skeleton Coast and Etosha National Parks. This Namibian region has adopted an unique conservancy model. Neither a national park nor private reserve, it's instead an "unfenced” area, permitting local livestock and wildlife to graze.

It is a region that is geologically, biologically and historically fascinating. Geologically, this region’s rugged façade is the result of millions of years of tectonic and volcanic activity. Such remnants include Brandberg Mountain, meaning “Burning Mountain” in the local Damara language. During sunrises, the mountain's granite façade is covered in a palette of brilliant oranges and reds.Another result is the broken, petrified tree trunks of the stunning Petrified Forest. The region’s geological dynamism was also responsible for the dome-like sandstone formations of Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These formations provided canvases for over 2000 years of ancient petroglyphs (rock engravings). They provide an extensive and high-quality record of the ritual practices of the San Bushmen and their shared fascination of their milieu.

Damaraland’s geological past is also responsible for the migratory behavior of its wildlife, which moves along the paths of the river valleys in search of water. Notable wildlife includes desert-adapted elephants, oryx, springbok, ostrich, black rhino, brown hyena and lion. Birdlife includes Ludwig’s bustard, Ruppell’s korhaan, and rosy-faced lovebird.

As seen in...