Ugap, Twyfelfontein & Petrified Forest
All three locations lie in Damaraland’s Khorixas Area and all are uniquely significant with exceptional landscape highlighted by rock formations and the Petrified Forest with tree trunks over 300 million years old!
If they take you to a place blindfolded and ask you to guess where you are, after opening your eyes you would see flat-top rock formations gigantically rising from a desert floor, you might be saying “Utah?..”. Yes, similar to Utah, but you are in Namib’s Ugap region. There are a few lodges nested on top of these rock formations where watching sunrise and sunset is breath-taking as the terrain with the vegetation turns into a game of shadows and tones.
Ugap is a valuable stop-over location when the route is diverted towards the inland of Damaraland from the Skeleton Coast of Namib rather than driving north, to deeper locations of Damaraland and Kunene regions towards the Angola Border.
Twyfelfontein meaning ‘Uncertain Spring’ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with largest concentrations of rock engravings and paintings on stone slabs dating back 6’000 years, made by the hunter-gatherers of Kunene region – The San People.
It is an open-air museum to discover an indigenous worship area enriched by the presence of a well-designed and maintained museum building. Another informative and resourceful stop-over location on route to Central Namibia or to Skeleton Coast.
350 million years ago in Southern Africa where Angola is today, following a sudden melting of ice that turned into floods with a massive force as it ripped out the entire vegetation and swept gigantic mahogany trees all the way downstream to Khorixas and Damaraland. Fully covered with soil and deprived of air these dead trees had not decayed but preserved their form over millions of years. During this mind-blowing period of time, erosions had swept the sand inches by inches away like archaeological brush strokes, visibly digging out fossilized mahogany trees.
At first sight, they all seem to be cylindrical unique rock formations, but the truth is that they are trees with all the circular grains!
The Petrified Forest is definitely a visit for a few hours to remember how small we are as humans with only 70-75 years of a lifetime within the history of our 12 billion year old Universe, and our 4.8 billion year old planet.