Petrified Forest

About 100 km south of Palmwag, on the C39, lies Bloukrans Farm with a beautiful area of petrified trees. The sun is burning hot and is actually still too high to take photos. Nevertheless, we want to save some time as we have to be out of Namibia before mid-August – our residence permit expires then. A young Damara mother-to-be guides us through the grounds. She not only exercises patience, but also carries the tripod at times.

The fossilized trees are a primeval coniferous forest, Araucaria. The trunks are arranged in a jumbled arrangement. Perhaps the coniferous forest was washed up here by a primeval current?

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Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings

On the way to the rock engravings is Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes basalt columns. We just want to go and see if the trip there is worthwhile – and then we’re caught in the fee trap again. We pay the fee only to find that it is not worth it. You can see this more gigantic and free of charge elsewhere. Nevertheless, a few pictures of the burning mountain, because we are already here and to justify the entrance fee.

Twyfelfontein – source of doubt. The name comes from the fact that the spring does not always provide a reliable supply of water. Twyfelfontein is not a village, but a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the rock arena, the Bushmen, the San, have carved their hunting successes into the sandstone with quartz stones. The extraordinary number of engravings can be found scattered all over the site. As often not only the animals to be hunted but also their footprints are engraved, the drawings resemble an ancient “animal guide”.

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Damara Living Museum

The Damara Living Museum is not a living museum to be taken seriously, but it is very charming, which is why we would visit it again in a heartbeat. The museum’s “actors and actresses” are particularly worth mentioning. They fervently try to introduce us to their Damara culture.

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Beautiful singing and a lovely dance performance.

After we were able to break away from the tour group, we had our own private guide. We ask her to show us her original click language – she gets a little embarrassed and gets her colleague. From now on, two guides look after us. One narrates in the Damara language, which is like honey for the ears, the other translates into English. We are thrilled with the two of them – so much dignity and so much cheerfulness.

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The gravel road from Twyfelfontein to the Brandberg is terrible, but the landscape is all the more fantastic!

The Brandberg massif rises with the peak of the Königstein (2574m), the highest mountain in Namibia. At sunrise, the Brandberg literally glows and lives up to its name.

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Brandberg – White Lady

Today we visit the famous rock painting of the “White Lady”. The hike with an obligatory guide – in our case a female guide – takes two hours there and back. Of course, it is questionable whether it is worth the effort for just one rock painting – we think so, because the Brandberg massif alone is worth a hike.

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Monika, our guide, is a model in her own right. Very emotional and impulsive. She was trained specifically for this task as a guide. Her dream, however, is to study tourism in England. She prays that she will be able to do this study … She would love to lead people through the whole of southern Africa … Monika, you’ll have to hurry – you’re already 30 years old!

After visiting the painting, Monika throws her hands up in the air and cries: “Oh God, I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to guide such nice people this morning! Yes, Monika’s cheerful and natural nature impressed and touched us. We would have loved to adopt her – but she doesn’t want to study in Switzerland, she wants to study in England.


Spitzkoppe – the famous rock towers in the middle of the barren, dry plains of southern Damara Land are a first-class tourist destination. Of course, there’s also a lot of photography going on here and there are always lovely people running into your picture.

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It is therefore a great advantage to spend several days here. The chances of good pictures increase by 100%. By the way, please forgive me if there are too many pictures here – it’s too beautiful here! A stony playground for photographers.

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Incidentally, the back of the Spitzkoppe also has its charm – you are usually all alone there.

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The Rock Arch has a special attraction – but many people don’t know that there are several such arches – only not all of them are as easily accessible as this one.

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And then there are the spectacular sunrises at the Spitzkoppe – for which the photographer was chased out of the warm vehicle in his or her pyjamas!
(For the sunsets, go “behind” the Spitzkoppe or north of it).

Hakos Farm

Hakos Farm is located south-west of Windhoek and is no longer part of Damara Land. Our last photographic destination before leaving for South Africa. Hakos is known for its star photography. Here you can rent your own small observatory. A group of Swiss and German astrophotographers are on the farm. At the campsite, however, we are more or less alone. Here we try our hand at photographing the starry sky.

With the tracking method, we try our hand at star photography for the first time with a slightly longer focal length lens. We purchased the MDK V5 tracking base and the polar finder from David Wemhöner in Germany.

The mount must be aligned with the south celestial pole using the polar finder. This is not so easy, or only approximately possible without other aids, because there is no star that you could aim at like in the northern hemisphere (Polaris). Instead, you have to measure 4.5 times the distance between two stars in the Southern Cross freehand.

Don’t ask us what the stars in the pictures are called… we don’t know either, but we like it just the same.

Thanks to “only” 70 mm focal length, the pictures here are quite alright. However, if you enlarge this to 100%, you can see that we have not quite hit the south celestial pole. The aim is to photograph with longer focal lengths later – but it’s quite a fiddly job and not easy. If you look closely, you can see different colors of stars from blue to magenta to red. The images are edited in Adobe Lightroom. The colors of the sky are not visible to the human eye. When the images come out of the camera, they also appear very flat. Only when the correct color temperature is selected do the different colors of the Milky Way appear.

Damaraland Video

Damara Living Museum, Twyfelfontein Engravings, Brandberg White Lady and Spitzkoppe.

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