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Published: January 24th 2016
After a 5 hour drive, we arrived in Camp Kipwe in the Damaraland, named after the Damara Tribe. The Camp was very unique, nestled amongst an oasis of boulders protruding out of the desert. The bathroom which was attached to our tented lodge was outdoors with running water and quite well "appointed". Meals were good, staff helpful and they had a beautiful area on top of the boulders where you could sit with a glass of wine and watch a gorgeous sunset. Very romantic!!!!
We did three tours while in the area:
- visited a living museum where members of the Damaraland tribe provided a tour and demonstration of a traditional Damaraland village and culture. This was somewhat "amateurish" but we did take away some good understanding of how these people lived (better described as survived) many years ago. One good example of survival is the Chief had 4 wives!!! Also, they showed us a game that the men played if someone wanted to challenge the Chief or take over the Village. The game required a fairly high level of mental aptitude and it was assumed the winner to be the smartest, therefore became the Chief. The challenger, if
he lost, had to give up his dowry received from one of his wives? This is an interesting process of selecting leaders as it appoints the smartest person, something Western democracies should consider adopting. It certainly saved a lot of bloodshed in more primitive times.
-- the rock etching tour at Twyfelfontein was quite fascinating as it showed artwork that is estimated to be over 6,000 years old depicting various animals of the area. Experts believe the style and subject matter are very similar to other cave etchings found in France and Australia which further supports the theory of significant migration from Africa (reputed to be the craddle of civilization) to distant places around the world.
-- On the way to our 2nd tour, we came across some barren, almost perfect circles(known as fairy circles), in the desert bordered by tall grass. There is no definitive explanation for this phenomenon, however, one theory is they are made by alien aircraft!! The more scientific theory is that sand termites eat a fungus that give off a poisonous gas and kills all vegetation in the circle. This theory is further supported by the fact animals won't eat the tall grass
surrounding the circle because it contains some of the poisonous gas! Science wins over mythology!
-- before leaving, we embarked on a quided tour in search a some desert Elephants. After some considerable time and 3 flat tires, we were successful in joining a small herd of apps 11-12. The desert elephant is considerably smaller than the Savanah species and has had to adapt to more arid climate and a different mineral diet. Their hoofs are considerably larger which is more conducive to travelling in sand. We got really up close and personal with a few and one young bull walked skimmed by our vehicle looking at Debra eyeball to eyeball.
Next stop Etosha National Game reserve
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