One of our favourite areas in Namibia is the Erongo region and we’ve spent many happy hours exploring this amazing part of the country. It is here that one finds the majestic Spitzkoppe mountains rising out of the dry desert landscape. No two visits to this fabulous place are the same as we usually stay in different campsites each time. Most campsites have their local residents in the form of bird life and little animals, so it’s fun to move around and see what creatures Nature is going to manifests for us! Our last trip didn’t disappoint as lots of colourful Rosy-faced lovebirds were nesting in the rocks above our campsite. They are such bright little birds that they’re easy to spot in the dry brown grass as they forage for food.
Rob and I have twice been privileged to see special animals in the area – the elusive Black mongoose, which is a shy animal, seldom seen, that lives amongst the granite boulders; and two wild cheetahs standing on a small hill. It’s always a thrill to see cats in the wild and having a pair like this so close to Spitzkoppe was a real treat. They weren’t terribly enamored to see us and moved away as soon as we pointed a camera at them.
Hiking trails abound at Spitzkoppe and we walked for hours marveling at the breathtaking scenery. Even the trees and shrubs growing out of the boulders looked like works of art.
The beauty of going at a quiet time of the year is that one almost has the place to oneself. There are a number of caves in the rocks that are home to Rock Hyrax’s, bats and the odd snake or two, and a short climb up to one of these gave us lovely views over the grassy landscape.
The ancient San Bushmen used many of the boulders to tell stories with their rock paintings, and a guided tour is a must if one wants to understand the meaning behind the various pictures that time and the wind are busy erasing. Tours are a little pricey, but all the money is ploughed back into the coffers of the local community who at last are benefiting from tourism in the area. It is an excellent way for them to realize that by preserving their heritage they have a sustainable form of income for years to come.
The appealing thing about camping at Spitzkoppe is its lack of development. You won’t have the luxury of toilets and ablution facilities and the only thing that defines a campsite is a clearing and a pile of rocks around some burnt charcoal where the last camper had a barbeque. This lack of amenities doesn’t faze us at all – in fact we quite like getting back to basics and having a bush wash with a little basin of water. That’s when you really feel like you’re getting away from city life!
I have previously blogged about Spitzkoppe, so if you want more details and facts on this delightful spot, click here.