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Damaraland

Damaraland stretches in the north-west of Namibia south of the Kaokoveld between the Erongo and the Etosha Pan. The name Damaraland is now in general use, although it comes from the apartheid era with its homelands policy. Administratively Damaraland is part of the Kunene region.

The majority of the people living in Damaraland are still the Damara who are - together with the San (Bushmen) - the oldest inhabitants of Namibia. Their language is a Khoisan dialect and also related to the languages of the Namas and the San. The Damara are the poorest people in Namibia. Their economic base is goat breeding. Large parts of Damaraland are overgrazed.


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Damaraland all in all is a very scarcely populated, barren, arid and wild area. The drive through the area reveals to the visitor grandiose landscapes with rugged mountains and wide rocky plains. One hardly ever meets people or settlements. But, mainly in the western part, one can encounter rhinos and desert elephants in the wild.

The dusty district capital of Khorixas has a petrol station, some stores, a restcamp and a lodge. Some 100 kilometres west of the town lies the main attraction of Damaraland: the prehistoric rock engravings of Twyfelfontein. The site with its more than 2500 engravings which probably originate from San people, was  proclaimed a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Another highlight in Damaraland are the Ugab Terraces and the Vingerklip mountain on the way from Khorixas to Outjo.

Travel Information and Accommodation

Left: Damara woman. Top: Desert elephant near Palmwag.