Namibia Travel Destination: Spitzkoppe
The Spitzkoppe is a group of rounded granite mountains situated northwest of Usakos, en route to Swakopmund. A favorite with climbers, the Spitzkoppe peak – affectionately known as Namibia’s Matterhorn because of its resemblance to the famous Swiss mountain – was first climbed in 1946.
The Spitzkoppe group peaks at 1728m above sea level. Seventy meters above the surrounding gravel plains are Sugarloaf Mountain and the Pondok Mountains (resembling the rounded Damara huts called “pondoks”). Raising 600m above the Kaokoland plains, the main inselberg (island mountain) of the Spitzkoppe is approximately 700 million years old.
After good summer rains, tall grass sways on the plains and small pools of water collect on the granite rocks of the mountain in the shallow hollows. The group also has a minor peak, Little Spitzkoppe, which extends into the Pondok mountains.
On the eastern side is Bushman’s Paradise, with a walk up the steep incline made possible by the use of a fixed steel cable. Remains of San paintings can be seen in the overhang. Unfortunately they, like most rock art in the Spitzkoppe area, have been vandalized. Other rock paintings can be seen at the Small Bushman’s Paradise and Golden Snake sites.