Desert Beauty, The Damaraland Namibia

 

Spectacular mix off lush and greens, Damaraland, Namibia

Spectacular mix off lush and greens, Damaraland, Namibia

Just south of the ‘Torra Conservative’ starts the ‘Damaraland’. The ‘Huab River’ appears to be the natural cut off point as scenery changes completely. The Damara tribe is a minority tribe in Namibia, that inhabits this desert beauty. Literally, driving around the corner from ‘Pillar the Rock’, this spectacular view came up.

Vast view, Damaraland, Namibia

Vast view, Damaraland, Namibia

Sparsely grassed, otherwise empty plains as far as the eye can see. A few sand covered rock formations lined the horizon.

Slate rock mountains, Damaraland, Namibia

Slate rock mountains, Damaraland, Namibia

This Mountain Range has a slightly different, sharper look to the previous one up north. Thin layer sheets run through the ranges, which are formed by the slate rock.

Inland view in eastern direction, Damaraland, Namibia

Inland view in an eastern direction, Damaraland, Namibia

As it is amazing to look at, slate rock comes with its own risks. The broken edges can be incredibly sharp. I have been warned by a few people to make sure that I have at least 2 spare wheels. These rocks have caused plenty of tyres being slashed open. I crossed a dry riverbed and noticed a few tyre tracks behind the riverbed. No rocks, no soft sand, just a lot of space.

Zimba parked in the distance, Damaraland, Namibia

Zimba parked in the distance, Damaraland, Namibia

As far as I could drive, I parked Zimba and climbed up a slate rock formation. There was an amazing view over the riverbed in the northern direction.

Riverbed highway, Damaraland, Namibia

Riverbed highway, Damaraland, Namibia

It seems that riverbeds are used as connecting roads in to and out of the desert. In southwestern direction, open plains and slate rock mountains as far as the eye can see. Some were half covered in red desert sands. Astonishing was the fact, that plants and scrubs seem to thrive up here.

Spine lone tree growing on rocks, Damaraland, Namibia

Spine lone tree growing on rocks, Damaraland, Namibia

Even a fair sized tree got a hold on these rocks. I was intrigued by the tracks in the dry riverbed, which appeared as a two-lane highway in the desert.

Following the river tracks, Damaraland, Namibia

Following the river tracks, Damaraland, Namibia

My exploring senses kicked in full swing as I drove along. Always cautious about soft sand, this river sand was fairly dense. Large green trees lined the riverbed and riverbanks. Even though this river is dried out on the surface, signs of water beneath the surface were obvious.

Last visible sign off water, Damaraland, Namibia

Last visible sign of water, Damaraland, Namibia

Not only by these dried out muddy mosaic patterns.  This was just amazing. Dry rocks and sand, yet large green leafed trees.

Movement behind the bush, Damaraland, Namibia

Movement behind the bush, Damaraland, Namibia

Was there some movement behind that tree? Yes, there was.

Ghostly appearance, Damaraland, Namibia

Ghostly appearance, Damaraland, Namibia

I walked around to have a better view and angle and there he was. A lone desert elephant bull. Just magnificent. I followed him around the river bend to a tree on the edge of the river.

Freshest greens are hard to come by, Damaraland, Namibia

Freshest greens are hard to come by, Damaraland, Namibia

Even though with plenty of greens around him, he was particularly fond of the higher branches.

Tasty twigs, Damaraland, Namibia

Tasty twigs, Damaraland, Namibia

He pulled a fair size branch down and stuffed it little by little into his mouth.

Enjoying his lunch, Damaraland, Namibia

Enjoying his lunch, Damaraland, Namibia

He did keep a good eye out on me but wasn’t bothered by me at all.

Stumpy in appearance, Damaraland, Namibia

Stumpy in appearance, Damaraland, Namibia

Not a single sign off aggression. I had a good look at him too.

Always an incredible sight, Damaraland, Namibia

Always an incredible sight, Damaraland, Namibia

Even though fully grown and of fair age, his tusks weren’t very long. He was also a smaller, stumpier build than other elephants I have seen before. Nevertheless, a gentle giant enjoying his lunch.

Last view on my favourite gentle giants, Damaraland, Namibia

Last view on my favourite gentle giants, Damaraland, Namibia

I couldn’t believe my luck to get to see a desert elephant at close range in this vast land. This could possibly be the last time I come across these, my favourite giants.

Sun sheltered view, Damaraland, Namibia

Sun sheltered view, Damaraland, Namibia

The real issue at this time off day was the scorching sun. Intrigued by what else I may find in this dry river, I followed the river tracks southwest. It was time for a good rest under a shady, but thorny Acacia Tree. I was still amazed by the beauty of this landscape. The sands, the rocks, the large leafy trees, all combined in different colours. The afternoon winds picked up enormous strength. The wind gusts were so strong, that it pushed sandstorms through this riverbed. I would have enjoyed exploring this seemingly dry oasis a bit more, but nature had other ideas.

Zimba in front off slate rock dunes, Damaraland, Namibia

Zimba in front off slate rock dunes, Damaraland, Namibia

Instead, I turned out off the riverbed on to another endless amount of sand space. Surprisingly, the sand was dense and easily driven on, whilst Zimba got his fair share of sandblasting.

A sand crater view, Damaraland, Namibia

A sand crater view, Damaraland, Namibia

A sand dune/slate rock combination appeared to be a lookout point, according to tyre tracks leading up the sand dune. As I made my way to the top, the winds seemed even more intense.

Sandstorm in the distance, Damaraland, Namibia

Sandstorm in the distance, Damaraland, Namibia

Leaning against the winds and quickly turning around to take a photo of the desert beauty. The sandstorms in the distance are clearly visible. It was a magical view despite the gusts.

Surreal and arid, Damaraland, Namibia

Surreal and arid, Damaraland, Namibia

The mountains I passed this morning lined the horizon before ending on an even and sandy area. Just a single tree was able to grow.

Plants grow where they can, Damaraland, Namibia

Plants grow where they can, Damaraland, Namibia

Looking in a western direction, the endless view continued with sand covered slate rock hills and mountains. How plants survive in these conditions is astonishing.

Desert view, Damaraland, Namibia

Desert view, Damaraland, Namibia

A tree line in the distance showed another dry riverbed.

Tall tree shade, Damaraland, Namibia

Tall tree shade, Damaraland, Namibia

This would be a fabulous camping spot, in between those tall green timbers, possibly attracting an elephant or two?

Tall tree shade, Damaraland, Namibia

Tall tree shade, Damaraland, Namibia

I found a perfect mushroom shaped, large tree, which gave enough shelter from sun and winds right off the riverbed express.

A lush and arid combination, Damaraland, Namibia

A lush and arid combination, Damaraland, Namibia

The combination of lush green and arid brown seems controversial, yet complimenting.

Water beneath the surface supports an unexpected garden Eden, Damaraland, Namibia

Water beneath the surface supports an unexpected garden Eden, Damaraland, Namibia

Impressive was the size of some of the trees standing here.

Fallen trees, Damaraland, Namibia

Fallen trees, Damaraland, Namibia

Not all were still standing though. Water or elephant force toppled a lot of these impressive tall timbers.

Camp next to riverbed express way, Damaraland, Namibia

Camp next to riverbed expressway, Damaraland, Namibia

Sand dunes and slate rocky outcrops lined the riverbed’s distance. This was another desert oasis camp spot, which I had all to myself. 

Impressive surroundings, Damaraland, Namibia

Impressive surroundings, Damaraland, Namibia

I was contemplating staying a few nights here, but I am slowly running out of time.

Sunlight slowly fading, Damaraland, Namibia

Sunlight slowly fading, Damaraland, Namibia

As I was collecting firewood, the sun was setting lower over the mountains out west.

No sign of wildlife, Damaraland, Namibia

No sign of wildlife, Damaraland, Namibia

I kept observing the area for possible wildlife to pass by. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Nevertheless, the surroundings were mesmerising.

Last fading ligh, Damaraland, Namibia

Last fading light, Damaraland, Namibia

The fire was lid by the time the last sun rays were fading over the mountains. The meanwhile chilly gusty winds burnt the fire rather quickly, good thing I didn’t run out of firewood.

2 thoughts on “Desert Beauty, The Damaraland Namibia

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