Spitzkoppe is a spectacular group of boulder granite peaks in Namibia’s Pondok Mountains. The granite is over 700 million years old and the highest outcrop rises about 1,784 meters above sea level. The peaks stand out in the surrounding flat plains and here you can see painted on the rock examples of Bushmen art work. Bushmen are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa where they lived for at least 20,000 years.
It’s often described as the ‘Matterhorn’ of Namibia because of its shape, and the highest peak is about 700m above the desert floor below. Spitzkoppe is a wonderful natural feature that highlights Namibia’s diversity and uniqueness. The mountains are brilliantly colored and rise abruptly out of the surrounding plains and is visible from great distances away. It is considered to be an ‘’island mountain’’. Sunsets are spectacular, the rocks change color on a spectrum from gold to purple, but overnighting at Spitzkoppe is breathtaking because it is one of the country’s finest stargazing locations.
The dry winter months are particularly good, this is primarily because there are no clouds and the crisp winter air makes for clear viewing. Some of the star constellations that can be seen in the Southern African night skies during the winter months are Southern cross, Scorpio, Orion, Leo and Great square of Pegasus. Camping at Spitzkoppe, breathing the peace and tranquility of this place with the peaks as backdrop, is something unforgettable. The typical Spitzkoppe activity is hiking and rock climbing. There is a wide range of hiking trails which vary in length and duration, depending on how much time you have. All the routes need to be done with a guide that can be booked at the reception next to the gate upon arrival. There are also trails for experienced climbers.
The easiest and most practiced by daily visitors (the same we did) are small bushman paradise and bushman paradise.
Small bushman paradise
It is a cave with one of the finest collections of ancient rock art in Namibia, reachable in only few minutes walk. Here you can see some artworks painted centuries ago including a giraffe, hippos, rhinos and even human figures.
Main Bushman Paradise
The main Bushman Paradise cave is a bit more difficult to reach, there’s a chain handhold and the ground is smooth and slippery, but climbing up is really exciting. It takes you only 10 minutes to get to the top using first the chain and then walk on the flat path to reach the artworks.
If you spend the nigh here, we suggest you to see the sunset climbing the ‘’natural bridge‘’, a big rock arch close to the campsites.
Camping in Spitzkoppe
There are 31 campsites available with a dry toilet (no water), the bathrooms and the showers are only next to the reception near to the main gate. At the reception you can also book a horse ride (N$350 x 1 hour) and buy the woods if you have the BBQ (we bought the meet in Swakopmund). Only 5 minutes drive from campsites, you’ll find the Boma bar and restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner (you should book your meal in advance).
If you are looking for a more comfortable accommodation, there is the Spitztkoppen Lodge that offers chalets and a swimming pool, located inside the park and 15 minutes drive from the gate. They also arrange all the activities for visitors.
Reservations (campsite, lodge and activities)
- Spitzkoppe campsites and activities: click here;
- Spitzkoppe Lodge: click here.
Our itinerary and activities: Leaving Swakopmund around 13.30 (before we visited Walvis Bay and climbed up the Dune 7) , we got to Spitzkoppe gate at 15.30. We set the tent and prepared the stuff for the ”braai”, then we had a nice walk towards the natural rock arch to see the sunset (it doesn’t need a guide). The next day, around 8 am we met the guide ( booked the day before at the entrance gate) to visit the small Bushman Paradise and climb up the main Bushman Paradise. It took us around 1 hour and half to complete the whole visit.