Thursday, December 11, 2014

Moon Landscape Swakopmund Namibia

The Moon Landscape:

 The stark, bare and inhospitable looking Moon Landscape has become a favorite with the film industry over recent years which regularly visits the area for location shoots. This group of Damara Granites pushed upwards through the earth's crust some 500 to 460 million years ago. This previously high mountain range has been eroded through time down to the foundation which over the past 2 million years have experienced further erosion through the actions of the Swakop River changing it into what is known as a Badlands. The view points are well situated, but take care - there are no safety barriers. A visit the Moon Landscape and Welwitschia Plains is well worth the effort if you are staying in one of the coastal towns. You should plan about four hours for the 140km round trip. If there's mist along the coast it should be burning off in the area of the Moon Landscape by 10h00.

Permit Required: The tour route lays within the Northern Namib Naukluft Park and a permit is required for driving on all roads except the C14, C28, D1982 and D1998. Permits are obtainable for a nominal fee at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Offices in Swakopmund, and you will supplied with a map indicating points of interest and overnight desert camping sites. Entry Fees Payable

Moon Landscape Getting There: Drive the B2 road from Swakopmund towards Windhoek. After 0.5km you will see the 'Martin Luther' Steam Engine on your right hand side. At 1.2km you will see the road sign 'Namib Park C28 Khomas Hochland'. The gravel roads are suitable for saloon cars. There are no fuel stations or shops on the route, so be prepared and take some refreshments and drinks. Turn onto the C28 gravel road.

To untrained eyes the surrounding desert may seem empty and barren, but if you look for signs of life you will see plenty of desert shrubs, many of which are several hundreds of years old, and in places lichens. The reference points on the map relate to stone numbered signs that are placed alongside the road at points of interest. Visitors are requested to stay on the road as the desert surface is considered an Eco sensitive area. Lichens grow less than 1mm per year.

Dollar Bush - referred to for it's coin shaped leaf. Named after a German geologist named Stapff who was prospecting the Kuiseb Valley in 1885-1886. You'll find plenty of Dollar Bushes on the gravel plains of the northern Namib Desert.

Old Wagon Wheel Tracks: Here you can see tracks left by the oxen-wagons that plied the Old Bay Road from the coast to the hinterland over 100years ago. It will take centuries before these tracks disappear.

Goanikontes Oasis: Take a detour for a couple of kilometers to the oasis at Goanikontes. It lays in the 'dry' Swakop River bed. There's plenty of Eucalyptus and Palm trees that offer shade for a roadside picnic. At the turn of the 19th century the farm used to provide Swakopmund with mush of its fresh produce requirements. You will find a pleasant Rest Camp bungalows and chalets for overnights and a restaurant where you can enjoy coffee and cake. Braai / picnic areas. Day Fee payable.

Scrap Metal: In 1915 the Union of South Africa troops camped at this point. The rusted remains of petrol cans and an early from of steel vehicle track ca be seen. Visitors are asked not to remove any of the parts. 

Dolerite-Dyke: During the time of the break-up of Gondwana, as Africa and South America began their drift apart, great stress cracks appeared in the nearby earth's crust. Molten magma forced its way into these cracks and solidified while still at a subsurface level. Over millions of years the surrounding 'softer' rocks eroded away leaving long ridges of rocky 'outcrops' haveing a dark, almost black 'backbone'. A good example of this can be seen while driving down the road towards the Swakop-River. You will pass through a man-made cut that exposes the dolerite dyke. It is an excellent example.

Camp Sites by the Swakop-River there are shaded with bbq area. No electricity, no water and dry field toilets. Tranquil and away from it all, a night or two out here under the stars with no light or noise pollution will make for a memorable experience.

The camp areas in the national park can be booked through the Swakopmund office of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Entry fees payable.

If you wish to find out more information on the Moon Landscape, please feel free to contact us at:
or browse our website for accommodations, car rental, packages, self-drive safaris etc.

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