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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Spitzkoppe

   

Spitzkoppe

The Spitzkoppe between Usakos and Swakopmund is also described as the "Matterhorn of Namibia". Rising to an altitude of about 1800 metres, the Spitzkoppe is by no means Namibia's highest mountain, however, due to its striking outlines, it is regarded as the most well-known mountain in the country. Situated in an endless, dry plain, the island of mountains can be seen from far away. The granite massif, which is part of the Erongo Mountains, was created by the collapse of a gigantic volcano more than 100 million years ago and the subsequent erosion, which exposed the volcanic rock, granite.

The landscape is stunning as you climb about between the bizarre rock formations. For those interested in flora, there is a lot to look at, like the yellow Butter Trees and the Poison Tree (euphorbia virosa), which leaks an extremely poisonous white juice; the Bushmen use this to poison their arrows. There is also an astounding array of fauna present.

San (Bushman) paintings can be found in various places, many in the "Bushman Paradise" under an overhanging rock wall.

Several rock-painting sites are scattered over the Spitzkoppe and Erongo Mountains. The most popular site is the Bushman's Paradise, which can be reached by following a track eastwards along the base of the Pondok Mountain. After using a chain handhold to climb up the steep smooth slope, the Bushman's Paradise is reached from where tourists have an excellent view of the surrounding arid plains. Although the site has been declared a national monument in 1954, vandals did extensive damage to the rock paintings.

   
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