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Damaraland

Namibia

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    Damaraland, historical region of Namibia; the name is in part a misnomer, as it was originally applied to lands of north-central Namibia predominantly occupied by the Herero and Khoisan (Hottentot) people rather than the Bergdama (Damara), the latter having been displaced and subjugated by the other two when the Bergdama were first visited by a European in 1791. The territory encompassing historic Damaraland extends between the Namib and Kalahari deserts (west and east, respectively) and from Ovamboland (north) to Great Namaqualand (south), centring upon Windhoek. The region is predominantly grassland, with an annual rainfall of from 13 to 20 inches (330 to 500 mm), and is suited both to the nomadic hunting and pastoral life of its original inhabitants and to the cattle breeding of the Europeans who displaced the indigenous peoples and confiscated their herds beginning in the early 20th century. The breath-taking mountainous region of Damaraland is home to an assortment of desert-adapted wildlife such as elephant, rhino, zebra and lion, which eke out an existence in this near-barren landscape. A not-to-be-missed attraction is the picturesque Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, which is home to thousands of ancient rock paintings — most notably the White Lady. The rocky outcrops of Twyfelfontein feature exceptional Bushmen engravings, which are considered to be some of the best-preserved etchings on the continent. Visit the Petrified Forest, which dates back millions of years and offers a haunting landscape of gigantic fossilised trees.

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