Damaraland Quick Travel Tips

C. Fraser Claire

Travel Tips For Namibia Safari Destinations: Damaraland

Damaraland in Namibia is the definition of remoteness. Get quick travel tips for this great adventure destination.

Damaraland Links:
Damaraland Quick Travel Tips | What To Pack For A Safari To Damaraland in Namibia | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Hobatere to Palmwag, Damaraland | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Skeleton Coast To Twyfelfontein, Damaraland | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Twyfelfontein and the Khowarib Schlucht, Damaraland |

Namibia Safari Travel Advice For Damaraland by The Safari Store

Some people travel for cities, civilisation, and shopping. Others travel for silence. To me, there is no greater luxury than the luxury of space - and the feeling of being alone holds more opulence than any manmade marvel. Damaraland in Namibia is an extraordinary destination for desolate beauty, vast and uninhabited land, big scenery, and ancient attractions. Namibia's famous gravel tracks and blue mountain edging are best explored here in a land that's rugged and inhospitable - but so very easily makes one feel alone in the world. From tracking desert elephant and taking in Namibia's rock art to the simple pleasure of remarkable scenery, the answer to 'why visit Damaraland' is varied and rich for every African traveller.

In this story, we give some (very) quick travel tips on this expansive region of Namibia - and guide you on what to pack for the best experiences, with some destination inspiration from an overlanding trip around Namibia.

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Advice For Travellers: Damaraland and Desert Namibia

  • Why Visit Damaraland?: The remarkable landscapes and utter remoteness of Damaraland are easy attractions to this part of Namibia. However, there are plenty of things within the region for anyone eager to explore. The scenery provides exciting photographic opportunities. Be sure to keep a careful lookout for desert-adapted wildlife and endemic and near-endemic bird species on game drives and self drives. Major natural attractions include the endemic welwitschia plant, Messum Crater and Doros Crater, the Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain, and the Petrified Forest. The region also includes the World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein, with San rock art and engravings that are between 2 000 and 10 000 years old.

  • What Region is Damaraland In?: Damaraland is in north-central Namibia, roughly including the area between Brandberg and Sesfontein. It is the name ascribed to the location of the Damara people, but is more a tourist term than a strict geographic term. It is part of the Kunene region of Namibia spanning from Skeleton Coast to Etosha.

  • Is There Malaria In Damaraland?: If you are asking "Is Damaraland malaria free?" the answer is no. Damaraland is a low-risk malaria area, but it is advisable to take prophylactic precautions when visiting - especially over the wet season. The best approach is to avoid being bitten in the first place. Make sure you pack enough reliable, Australian-made Bushman Insect Repellent (or Mosi-guard Extra Natural Bug Spray if you prefer to go chemical-free). Cover up in ultra-lightweight BUGTech™ safari clothing with built-in insect defence (and other great features). Consult with your doctor before your departure if you are concerned about malaria.

  • Why Do They Call It The Skeleton Coast?: The Skeleton Coast originally got its name from the bones of whales and seals that once lined the shore of this section of the Namibian coastline when the whaling industry was still active. Today, whale bones are still visible on the beaches, together with many shipwrecks. The fog from the Benguela makes this a particularly treacherous coastline - and surviving shipwrecked sailors found themselves in an inhospitable land of wild animals, no fresh water, and desert-like conditions. Today, the Skeleton Coast National Park is a protected area, with permit-only access areas in the north that are especially remote.

  • Why Was Twyfelfontein Declared A World Heritage Site?: Twyfelfontein is home to around 2 500 petroglyphs or engravings and San rock art paintings. These are estimated to be up to 10 000 years old. When was Twyfelfontein declared as a heritage site? UNESCO declared it to be a heritage site in 2007 as the site of one of the highest concentrations of petroglyphs in Southern Africa. This art reflects a range of animals, human footprints and handprints, and the Lion Man, depicting shamanistic transformation.

  • What Animals Are In Damaraland? Most wildlife-loving visitors to Damaraland hope to find desert-adapted African wildlife species like rhino, elephant, and lion. The region is home to many beautiful and hardy species including gemsbok, kudu, wildebeest, giraffe, springbok, eland, and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra. Travellers may also spot hyena, cheetah. Birders should also be on the lookout for endemic species like the Herero chat, Damara and Monteiro's hornbill, rockrunner, and Ruppell's parrot, for example.

  • What Is The Climate In Damaraland? Damaraland has a semi-desert climate. The dry season runs from May to October and is characterised by dry, warm conditions. The wet season runs from November to April, with warm to extremely hot temperatures and the chance of rain and storms.

  • When Is The Best Time To Visit Damaraland? The dry season between May and October is arguably the best time of year to visit Damaraland. The dry conditions mean slightly more predictable wildlife behaviour, with the change of seeing animals at waterholes and other water sources. The weather is also a little more temperate. If you are looking to self drive - especially along seasonal riverbeds - visiting in the dry season reduces the risk of flash floods and loss of road visibility.

  • Where To Stay In Damaraland Damaraland has a range of accommodation options, from high luxury to wild camping with no amenities. Shipwreck Lodge, Damaraland Camp, Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, White Lady Lodge, Palmwag Lodge, and Damara Mopani Lodge are some of the more popular Damaraland lodges and camps. There are also a range of campsites - from wild and rustic to those with modern amenities - throughout the region for overlanders.

  • Overlanding and Self-Drive Tips for Damaraland. Namibia is an extremely popular self-drive safari destination. If you deviate from the well-trodden tourist routes and explore some of the wilder Namibian locations, it is worth exercising a little caution to ensure the success of your trip. A well-kitted out 4x4 is needed - and prepare to reduce tyre pressure for thick sand driving in places. Plan carefully so you know what you're in for before you leave. The internet is awash with bloggers' experiences and videos, which will help with this. Using map apps to guide you along dirt tracks is essential and, in some places, it is easy to get lost in the tangle of tracks like those we encountered between Ugab STR Camp and Twyfelfontein. In more remote areas, stock up on water, supplies, and take along some extra fuel... just in case. A satellite phone or GPS notification system like the Garmin In-Reach could be very useful in an emergency - especially for solo travellers. The timing of your travels matters - especially if you are driving and camping dry river beds. This is not advisable during the rainy season. Stick to the roads. In these arid areas, it can take an incredibly long time for your tracks to disappear from dunes and they are a true scar on the landscape. Finally, please be sensitive to the people and animals you view in these areas. Reduce speed through and past villages and view wildlife from sensitive distances and leave them undisturbed.
What To Wear On A Namibia Safari To Damaraland by The Safari Store

Dressing For The Damaraland:
What you wear makes a difference to your experiences. Shop for the best tested and trusted safari clothing and gear and ready yourself for Damaraland adventures with our must-have Namibia safari essentials. Read our Damaraland safari packing advice and shop the products.

Damaraland Namibia from Hobatere to Palmwag by The Safari Store

Destination Inspiration: Damaraland - from Hobatere to Palmwag:
Read about our Damaraland overlanding trip and get inspiration for your next safari adventure. It starts at Hobatere, on the outskirts of Etosha National Park. Read about lions roaring at night and moonlit camping between Hobatere and Palmwag.

Damaraland Namibia Safari from Skeleton Coast To Twyfelfontein by The Safari Store

Destination Inspiration: Damaraland - from Skeleton Coast to Twyfelfontein:
From there, we made our way to the whale bones and shipwrecks of Skeleton Coast to the rock art of ancient storytellers at Twyfelfontein.

Damaraland Namibia Safari From Twyfelfontein Along the Khowarib Schlucht by The Safari Store

Destination Inspiration: Damaraland - from Twyfelfontein Along The Khowarib Schlucht:
Finally, our Damaraland story ends with desert elephants as we take the road from Twyfelfontein back along the Khowarib Schluct.

Namibia Safari Links:
Damaraland Quick Travel Tips | What To Pack For A Safari To Damaraland in Namibia | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Hobatere to Palmwag, Damaraland | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Skeleton Coast To Twyfelfontein, Damaraland | Namibia Safari Destination Inspiration: Twyfelfontein and the Khowarib Schlucht, Damaraland | What To Pack For A Safari To Etosha National Park | Quick Travel Tips For A Safari To Etosha National Park | Safari Destination Inspiration: Etosha National Park | Safari Destination Inspiration: Jackalberry Lodge, Nkasa Rupara National Park | Safari Destination Inspiration: Nkasa Rupara National Park, Caprivi | Steve’s Off The Beaten Track Safaris: Skeleton Coast | Desert Namibia | Namib Naukluft National Park & Sossusvlei | Namib Desert and Namibrand | What To Pack For A Desert Namibia Safari | Quick Tips For The Namib Desert & a Desert Namibia Safari |

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