Damaraland, Namibia

We stayed at Doro Nawas in southern Damaraland. You may well ask, Damaraland? Damaraland was a name given to the north-central part of what later became Namibia, inhabited by the Damaras. It was bounded roughly by Ovamboland in the north, the Namib Desert in the west, the Kalahari Desert in the east, and Windhoek in the south. In other words top left of Namibia.

Damaraland is one of the most scenic areas in Namibia, a huge, untamed, rugged region. Here there are prehistoric water courses with open plains and grassland, massive granite koppies and deep gorges. Towards the west, the geography changes to a sandy desert that sustains small populations of desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, giraffe, ostrich and springbok. These elephants move through euphorbia bush country, and can travel up to 70km in a day in search of food and water and, unusually, do not destroy trees in their quest for food. The desert elephants are worth coming to see.

We were not particularly impressed by the other attractions of the area which include:

We stayed at Doro Nawas, a safari lodge, perched on a rock overlooking the African bush, with 20 or so spacious, modern, individual, guest rondevals scattered round the base of the hill. The staff here were the friendliest we found in Namibia. Hugs and kisses all round when we left. The rooms themselves are spacious and modern under their thatch. The beds are on rollers in case you want to sleep outside. You may be tempted as there is no light pollution here and the milky way forms a glowing white arc across the night sky.

The game drive we took in search of the Desert Elephants was particularly exciting as our guide tracked the herd through the bush from the freshness of their tracks and their dung. It is quite amazing how a herd of elephants makes no noise at all, and are impossible to find in the bush.

We had a small issue when we got back to our room after the game drive: it was 15.30 and nobody had made up our room. Incredibly, but it is true, the hotel has no Master Key, so they cannot enter a room unless you leave your key. We were not told to do that, and hence nobody could enter the room to make it up. Anyway the staff were very good and smoothed over our ruffled feathers very well with a few glasses of wine.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to get a larger photo

Doro Nawas Lodge is not very scenic from afar, but very comfortable to stay at. We had dinner on the verandah and watched the sun go down and the stars come up.
The highlight here was tracking the desert elephants. For hours we found no trace of them. We even found lion tracks while looking, plus numerous smaller game, then ..
.. we found fresh tracks and fresh dung, and after patient tracking through the bush we finally found our desert elephants. The boys were very excited by the chase. The organ pipes in comparison were a bit of an anticlimax, and we never did get to see the cave paintings as the staff knocked off early
On the way out we stopped at the Petrified Forest, where in all honesty there was little to see, but an experience none the less. A local guide is there to supervise you.

 

On to Etosha

Namibia Holiday