Damaraland boasts some exquisite landforms, many of which are easily accessible on horseback. The intricate patterns of this fascinating geology become apparent on images taken from outer space.
(Image above) The Messum Crater is a good example – it’s a caldera or collapsed volcano rather than an impact crater as no evidence of a meteorite impact has been found. (Image) The enormity of the surrounding landscape does not reveal that our lunch spot on the Damara Elephant Safari (day 9) is in the middle of an extinct volcano (image below)
Another feature of these extraordinary landscapes are these ridges
They seem to be the result of folding of what were once deep water sediments deposited some 600 million years ago and subsequently folded as the result of normal tectonic movement. It is thought that the landscapes were eroded by glaciers to its present level as some glacial deposits have been found in the shallow valleys between the ridges.
This image (left), taken at the Save the Rhino campsite in the Ugab river show the ridges clearly coming down over the hill behind camp.
The majesty of these timeless landscapes often leave us feeling that time really does not seem to matter much here. And the simplicity of “eat, sleep, ride, repeat” seems to relieve us of the burden of decisions - one is simply swept along in the process. There is a huge sense of freedom in this release – as many who have ridden with us can give testament to.
Sometimes, when we can let go completely, it is possible, for a moment, to become aware of something ineffable, an almost forgotten feeling, of belonging.
Is it the landscape? Or was it a momentary connection to something utterly changeless which is as much a part of the landscape as it is of what we are?