Leaving Swakapomund by car, we travel north and east over a featureless plain until, after some hours, the most mountainous region in Namibia slowly comes over the horizon. Hardly a car meets us and no one overtakes us. In the mountains we see more and more groups of the sleek Springbok antelope. Eventually small scattered huts appear and at the few intersections and villages young men come to the car window and offer us mineralized rocks for a small amount of Namibian money. At times women dressed from head to toe in calico, following the style of 19th century German colonists, and others topless, in Damara style, wave at our car hoping we will stop and buy their handicrafts.
Twyfelfontein (doubtful spring) is nestled in an ancient rock art site below an imposing Utah-like red rock canyon wall. This lodge is an inholding within the communal land of Namibia’s Damara tribe. The lodge employs many locals and many more work as guides, drivers, maintenance workers etc. The lodge supplies water to the local village as well. At independence, the new government bought out all the South African and German farmers. They then restored this region to the Damara who had been living there for several hundred years. Some 20,000 years ago the land was likely wetter and was populated by the San people whose descendants are the bushmen of the Kalahari. The San are the artists of the thousands of rock art sites in these dry mountains including the UNESCO World Heritage site right around the corner.