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One of the key attractions of central and northern Namibia, Damaraland covers vast swathes of largely uninhabited, spectacular landscapes with utterly unique wildlife phenomena. Nature documentary lovers will be familiar with the rugged mountains, cascading kopjes and dry river beds, home to desert adapted elephant and rhino, still hardily living out their lifelong struggle against scarce water and limited food sources. Self-driving this area is remarkable, with mile upon mile of empty roads framed by incredible scenery that can quickly change from lunar to desert to mountainous. There are healthy populations of giraffe, zebra, kudu, leopard and even a small number of lions, particularly as you get closer to Etosha. And there is also human interest, from the ancient rock art in Southern Damaraland to the beginning of the indigenous Himba communities as you head further north.

With such variety of scenery, wildlife and experiences, it is often advisable to spend time in two different areas of Damaraland. The south promises rugged, kopje strewn landscapes, game drives to search for desert elephant and the ancient rock art site at Twyfelfontein. Further north, you can track black rhino in the Palmwag Concession or hike in the Etendeka Mountains, a remote haven for nature lovers and scenery chewers. There are some outstanding accommodation options at each end of the price spectrum, and first class guides to shed further light on this incomparable area. Nowhere is more instantly recognisable as Namibia, and we would recommend that no visitor should miss Damaraland.

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