Omaruru River 4x4 Trail, by Henties Bay Tourism
Henties Bay Tourism's booklet Omaruru River 4x4 Trail opens up with a description of Namibia's Spitzkoppe region, including geology, flora and fauna.
Along the route to the Spitzkoppe you will notice a number of dwarf shrubs, which are mainly Namib endemic species. Arthraerua leubnitziae is very common and is a low dark green bush, which normally traps wind-blown sand to form hummocks and grows only along the fog belt. Although it cannot absorb fog directly it uses the water that accumulates on the surface of the ground. Milkweed, Asclepia buchenaviana, has elongated branches that look like lengths of rope. Dollar bush, Zygophyllum stapffii, is also very common in this area. Keep your eyes open for the small creatures of the Namib. You might come across the Namaqua chameleon, which changes colour to regulate its body temperature and not to take on the colour of its background as is commonly believed. Any matching background is purely coincidental. It is fairly likely to spot springbuck along this route during the rainy season. If the rains have been good, rippling grassland will dominate the plains where many lark species might be present. The Spitzkoppe, an inselberg in the eastern part of the Namib, is probably the best known and most famous landmark in Namibia. It is situated 100 km from Henties Bay on the D1918 gravel road to Usakos. Known as the Matterhorn of Africa, the majestic form of the Spitzkoppe towers above the flat surrounding plains, 1,784 metres above sea level. Immediately to the east lies the dome shaped Pondok Mountain, pondok being an indigenous word for hut. About 10 km southwest lies the Kleine Spitzkoppe, 1,572 metres above sea level. The Spitzkoppe like some other inselbergs in the north-western part of Namibia such as the Brandberg, were volcanoes of the Etendeka period, about 133 million years ago. None of them look like volcanoes now due to erosion over many million years that exposed the granite cores as islands of rock in the plains. What you actually see at Spitzkoppe are the rocks that got stuck in the throat of the volcano. The Spitzkoppe is rather simple in composition and structure, being composed only of granite. The granite contains cavities in which well-formed crystals of various minerals grew. Those at the Kleine Spitzkoppe are the best developed by far. Mineral deposits are mined by small groups of local inhabitants, who make a very poor living. Their small stalls, from where they sell their specimens, can be seen along the road. There is also a kiosk where curios and semi-precious stones are sold. Specimens that can be bought from them are, amongst others, silver-topaz, quartz, rose quartz, smoked quartz, fluorspar (green), black tourmaline and garnet. The Spitzkoppe is a very popular challenge for local as well as foreign mountaineers and mountaineering equipment is needed for any attempt to get to the top. It was first climbed successfully in 1946 while the next successful attempt was made only about ten years later. The rock formations in these mountains are fascinating; in one place forming a dramatic natural arch while another resembles a shark s mouth. A cave in the Pondok Mountains, called Bushmen's Paradise, is famous for its rock paintings, although badly damaged by vandalism. It was declared a national monument in 1954. [...]
This is an excerpt from the book: Omaruru River 4x4 Trail, by Henties Bay Tourism.
Title: Omaruru River 4x4 Trail
Editor: Henties Bay Tourism
Genre: Region guide
Henties Bay, Namibia (no date)
Softcover, 15 x 21 cm, 16 pages, some colour photos, 1 map sketch
Henties Bay Tourism im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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