Damaraland extends from Swakopmund along the coastline, extending north into the Hoanib River valley. Open grasslands, rugged mountain ranges, and hidden river valleys make up this region’s dramatic scenery, where fascinating Bushman rock paintings and captivating species of wildlife are found. The natural cycle of rainfall dictates seasonal movements of the region’s wildlife, including desert-adapted elephants, lions, leopards, and herds of herbivores.
Activities in Damaraland are focused on this unique natural environment and the local communities that surround it. Its wealth of wildlife and scenery creates exciting nature drives, walks, and picnics. You can track desert-adapted black rhinos on foot with the Save the Rhino Trust, or visit Damaraland’s communities to learn about their beautiful culture. Damaraland’s conservancies and local communities have partnered to create a successful ecotourism destination, where people and wildlife coexist and mutually benefit from one another.
Starting in April, the temperatures in the region fall as Damaraland transitions into winter. Days are sunny and comfortable, with cold and crisp nights. The coldest winter months are June and July, when temperatures can dip into the 30s at night. Be sure to pack warm clothes and wear layers on early morning and afternoon adventures. Typically by October, temperatures rise as the region transitions into summer. Average daytime temperatures are in the mid-80s, and December and January tend to be the warmest months. The first rains fall in January as short late-afternoon showers. Typically lasting into March, the rains bring much-needed relief to the dry, desert landscape.
Damaraland’s landscape is formidable and unforgiving, as water, food, and even shade are scarce. The existence of its specialized wildlife depends on their ability to efficiently find and conserve water. While the overall density of wildlife may not equal that of other regions of Africa, Damaraland’s unique inhabitants make its outdoor adventures exceptional. Major predators move through the region, including desert lions and cheetahs. Springboks and oryxes can be seen in wide-open plains, kudus and giraffes browse along the twisting riverbeds, and desert-adapted elephants saunter through the region. The success of Damaraland’s endangered desert-adapted black rhinos can be attributed to the conservation initiatives carried out by the area’s lodges and communities. Damaraland is also an excellent birding site home to endemic species such as the Monteiro’s hornbill and Carp’s tit.