Spitzkoppe is a magical place, it is rather obvious when you’re driving up to it on the long gravel roads of Namibia, with a very flat and seeming dull landscape till Spitzkoppe can be seen, then the mountain range transforms in front of you as you approach.
The name is German meaning pointed heads or pointed domes, this is due to its shape. The distinctive mountain range has been around for at least 120 million years witnessing many changes over time. Consisting of bushman paintings, some of which are pristine examples. I am still yet to see these for myself, but apparently there are drawings of rhinos, people and other interesting artwork dating back 2,000 – 4,000 years. Unfortunately, many of the paintings have been destroyed by people over the years, often due to lack of respect to these places after they have survived so long.
The mountain consists of bare granite rocks called inselbergs, rising 700 meters from the ground, but the magical part is when the rocks reflect the sun as it rises and sets. The granite glows bright burning orange and then suddenly darkness, being so remote this mountain range is a great place to stargaze with no light pollution.
This area was very remote, consisting of minimum bathroom facilities, but this is slowly improving at some campsites. Take care to be prepared, bringing enough water and other basic needs if staying in this area, and you definitely won’t regret staying as it’s known to be one of the most beautiful places in Namibia.
There is good walking to be had, and even though there’s a lot of bare rock and sand you will be pleasantly surprised with what it has to offer when you open your imagination. There’s a place called the rock bridge, a large natural granite rock that has been shaped over time into a giant bridge. There are many hidden caves accessible through small gaps, often doing tours through here there were 20+ of us that would make a large fire, have a braai or potjie and reminisce about our trip so far, with the comfort of the granite room keeping us warm and safe.
I spent many trips going up through Namibia as often as once a month. Spitzkoppe is a very dry remote site overlooking the dry desert, one unforgettable visit occurred after a heavy flood, I was shocked to see such a baron area turn into bright greens, beautiful flowers and loads of little tadpoles and froglets. I would have never thought about frogs, dragonflies and other water dependant creatures being this side of the world with no obvious signs of water throughout the year, but here they were in rock pools on top of these great granite rocks, nature never fails to impress no matter where it may be.
For the more adventurous ones, often people take their sleeping bags, prop themselves up on a rock and sleep there, and what a view it is when your woken up by the sunrise of a new day.