Mountains of Namibia
North of Karibib and Usakos, is one of Namibia's most popular tourist drawcards, the volcanic Erongo mountain range, of which the western peaks rise 2,320m above sea level. This roughly circular massif, dominates the flat plains west of Omaruru and gives the Erongo region its name. The Erongo Mountains are flanked by the Namib Desert to the west and a mixed, woodland savannah to the east.
The mountain is an eroded relic of a volcano that was active some 140-150 million years ago. It collapsed in on its magma chamber, allowing the basin to fill with slow-cooling igneous material. The resulting hard granite-like core, that withstood the erosion, washed away the surrounding rock.
This rare confluence of ecosystems are home to a vast array of plant, reptile, mammal and bird species, some endemic to Namibia. Wildlife in the area includes leopard, cheetah, giraffe, elephant, rhino, blesbok, waterbuck, impala, warthog, wildebeest, kudu, oryx, eland, mountain zebra, springbok and steenbok. Amongst the nearly 200 varieties of bird species recorded here, include the yellow-billed hornbill, the colourful lilac breasted roller and crimson bou bou.
Apart from the fantastic scenery and flora and fauna, rock paintings are also a lure for visitors to the area. The most notable rock painting is the 'White Elephant' frieze in Phillip's Cave on the southern edge of the mountain. Situated on the farm Ameib, 30km from Usakos and 240km from Windhoek, this cave lies 3km off the road, and is a 45min walk each-way to view the painting, but the scenery along the way makes the ramble worthwhile. Superimposed on the elephant is a large humped-backed antelope – possibly an eland – with frolicking ostrich and giraffe completing the sketch.
It was the celebrated French archaeologist, anthropologist, ethnologist and geologist, Abbé Breuil, who bought this part of the continent to the world's attention in his book Phillips Cave. He was noted for his worldwide studies of cave art, especially in Southern Africa. Breuil, a competent draughtsman, painstakingly reproduced the cave paintings he came upon, and published many books on the subject.
Also an attraction here are the Elephant Head and the Bull's Party, a creation that resembles a circle of gossiping bovines. Another much-photographed formation resembles a Herero woman in traditional dress, standing with 2 children.
The Erongo Mountains is a perfect chill out zone and an ideal destination for hiking, 4x4 game drives, rock climbing, collecting minerals, mountain biking and game drives on horseback. (Not forgetting the odd sundowner drive either!)
Nestled in a conservation area in the majestic Erongo Mountains this property contains a wide selection of rock art
a 24 room lodge in the Erongo region of central Namibia
One of our favourite lodges in Namibia - excellent accommodation, food and beautiful surroundings make for an enjoyable and relaxing stay.
A variety of activities are on offer at this lodge near Karibib
Situated at the foot of the Hohenstein mountain, this lodge offers many hiking and climbing opportunities. It is also well situated to visit the Spitzkoppe Mountain.
Accommodation in the small town of Omaruru.
Specialising in family holidays and horse riding, Okomitundu offers plenty of activities
A self catering villa in the heart of the charming town of Omaruru