Damaraland is one of the most interesting and dramatic regions in Namibia. Referring primarily to a harsh stretch of burnt mountains and rugged semi-desert, the region is just inland from miles of wild, deserted beaches, littered with ghostly shipwrecks and where you are likely to see dolphins frolicking joyously in the surf.
The Skeleton Coast is a much-photographed desert coastline with rusty shipwrecks emerging eerily through the thick fog. Ancient seafarers had good reason to fear these waters – apart from the rough seas, being stranded in the Namib Desert was one of the most terrible fates that could befall a sailor. Heading inland was not much better: the barren Damaraland is very beautiful but arid and unforgiving.
It’s the home of the legendary desert elephants – adapted to life in a fragile environment with few resources – as well as black rhino and good birding.Thankfully there is great desert accommodation, which means you don’t have to rough it in Damaraland in the slightest.
Damaraland Camp is a luxurious tented camp that hasn’t forgotten its roots, laying claim to being one of Namibia’s best eco-toursism ventures, as well as delivering an amazing desert experience.
Desert Rhino Camp is a superior tented camp on a private game concession that could not be accused of false advertising: central to its existence is the sophisticated relationship the camp has with black rhino conservation.
Mowani Mountain Lodge is lucky enough to be located in an area of truly outstanding scenery where you can blend game viewing with rock art.
There is also the geologically fascinating Brandberg Nature Reserve, with highly significant San rock paintings. Further east in the region are towns like Khorixas, Omaruru and Kamanjab. Don’t miss out on the Petrified Forest, with its 250 million-year-old fossilised logs. Other interesting features are the Uis mine and Kalkfield.