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The Brandberg is Namibia's highest mountain. It is situated in the Erongo region of Namibia.

Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

About halfway between Hentiesbaai and Khorixas on the C35 lies the small settlement of Uis, the gateway to the Brandberg. Turn westwards onto the D2342 to reach the southern and western Brandberg, or onto the D2359 to reach the location of the White Lady rock painting and eastern Brandberg.

Get around[edit]

Map of Brandberg

See[edit]

  • 1 The White Lady The White Lady (Namibia) on Wikipedia, a famous rock painting of at least 2,000 years ago

Do[edit]

  • The Brandberg is great for hiking and rock climbing. You need a permit from the National Heritage Council; the prices are somewhat steep: 2,500 N$ for the three-day climb to the Königstein, the highest point, and 300 N$ for any other gorge. If you need a guide-the Königstein is serious climbing-then that fee comes extra. You can book both at the Brandberg Rest Camp.
  • There are several off-roading opportunities near the Brandberg:
    • One track leads completely around it. It is scenic, easy to drive and easy to navigate—just stay at the foot of the massif—but don't underestimate the distance. Once around the Brandberg is about 125 km, and at 10-15 km/h... you do the math. Part of the track goes through the Ugab River and might not be passable, as there are many water ponds, but there is always an alternative track outside the river bed. You may camp along the track but not in the gorges of the mountain. Apart from the Ugab River bed there are no narrow passages, so all-terrain trucks can attempt it, too.
    • D 2303 This district road leads from the old mine at Brandberg West to Twyfelfontein. Travel by sedan is not possible, even though the northern part of the 75-km track does not look very challenging. There are sandy patches, the Aba Huab River is to be crossed, and closer to the mine the track becomes steep and rocky. GPS is essential, as there are almost no signs and many crossing paths. Medium difficulty. Suitable for trucks.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Uis features a petrol station and a supermarket. There are no other amenities in the area.
  • All roads around the Brandberg have stalls for semi-precious stones, collected from informal mines in the area. If you buy such souvenirs anyway then buy them here where you directly support the miners.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Brandberg White Lady Lodge (Drive north from Uis towards Khorixas, then turn left where the White Lady is signposted. After about 10 km the place is signposted to the right). Well-maintained and scenic camp on the bank the Ugab River with a nice view of the Brandberg. Chalets and the very spacious campsite are situated under old trees that give a lot of shade. Hot and cold water, the reception has a bar and a pool. No electricity at the camp site but the receptionist has no problem with hoards of people charging their electronic equipment there. Very friendly and accommodating staff. At night, a Khoekhoe cultural group sings and dances for guests (also on the camp site) in exchange for a tip. Access is possible, albeit challenging, in a sedan; all further driving requires a 4x4. The Ugab is home to desert elephants which occasionally pass by closely. Camping 150 N$ pppn plus 40 N$ once-off for the car. Children free. Wi-Fi 50 N$ for 300 MB. Light lunch 30-85 N$. Dinner per request. Guided self-drive 4x4 tours in Polaris all-terrain vehicles, 2.100 N$ per car.
  • 2 Brandberg Rest Camp (In the centre of Uis). The building is the former casino of the mine and does exhibit some colonial charm. Rooms and campsite, bar, restaurant, pool billiard and table tennis. The huge pool alone is a reason to stop over (day visitors allowed) but it is closed for renovation (Dec 2018). The campsite has trees but very little shade. Ice-cold beer from tap 25 N$.
  • 3 Ugab Base Camp (Situated right off the D 2303. Only accessible by 4x4). Very basic camp site with long-drop toilets, hot and cold shower, and firewood for sale, all else needs to be brought along. Only two or three of the camping spots are really nice, but the spot is very remote and inaccessible and therefore rarely crowded. Not for the faint-hearted, as you can hear predators howling at night, and the Ugab River elephants, if they pass the spot, walk right through the camp site. Camping is available for free; the camp is run and sponsored by the Save-The-Rhino-Trust. However, guests are required to report to the reception where a donation to the Trust is solicited. Maybe more of a tax trick than generosity? Anyway, you pay what you wish.

Connect[edit]

Except in Uis you will not have cell phone connection. Guides to the Brandberg will carry a satellite phone for emergencies, and so should you if you do not hire a guide.

Stay safe[edit]

The Ugab riverbed north of the massif is inhabited by desert elephants. If you are driving through it, remember that the area is theirs, not yours. They certainly know it. Don't drive too close towards a herd of elephants. 10-15 m is close enough for good holiday pictures and will normally not put your party in danger. Otherwise, the younger ones might play with your car, the older ones might get angry, either way your car might end upside down. You'll know that an elephant is angry when it shakes its head. In this case, stay in the car, switch off the engine, and avoid all unnatural noise (cell phone, camera, such things). They will eventually walk away; wait for this to happen instead of trying a daring escape.

Go next[edit]

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