Twyfelfontein tours & holiday packagesAncient valley lined with rock paintings and engravings
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Ranked among the richest rock-art sites in Africa, the rocky hillside of Twyfelfontein is also one of only two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Namibia.
An arid boulder-strewn valley in the heart of Damaraland, Twyfelfontein is possibly the most important of the impressive rock art sites in Namibia and was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007. It is best known for its engravings, of which at least 5,000 have been documented, along with hundreds of paintings, some thought to be more than 5,000 years old. A wide range of wildlife is depicted on the site, including black rhinoceros and elephant, presumably both forefathers of the desert-adapted herds that still frequent Damaraland today. There are also some fine geometric engravings, as well as depictions of people hunting and dancing.
I've visited most of sub-Saharan Africa’s best-known rock art sites, and Twyfelfontein is right up there with the best of them – indeed, the engravings are probably the finest I've seen anywhere in Africa.
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The area around Twyfelfontein is known for its unusual rock formations. Vingerklip (Finger Rock) is a spectacular limestone pinnacle that stands out dramatically from the surrounding flat-topped terraces. Equally striking is the Petrified Forest, a stand of around 50 fossilised logs estimated to be some 250 million years old.
The most celebrated individual rock painting in Damaraland actually lies about 80 kilometres southeast of Twyfelfontein. This is the so-called "White Lady" of the Brandberg (Fiery Mountain), a splendid 40-centimetre-tall figure that depicts a male hunter or shaman but, was once erroneously thought to have a Mediterranean origin due to its pigmentation.
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