The Brandberg Mountain Range – or the Brandberg – covers 760 km² of the Erongo region in the west of Namibia. Reaching 2,600 metres above sea level, and towering above the surrounding desert plains, Brandberg is the tallest peak in Namibia. Brandberg is also an important spiritual site for the San people who live in the area and is known for its incredible rock art such as the White Lady. The name Brandberg means ‘Mountain on Fire’ due to the illusion of flames when the sun’s ray hit these paintings. Beyond its cultural importance, and the spectacular scenery, Brandberg is also home to some unique desert wildlife, including a whole host of alien-like plants that have adapted to life in the desert. However, its most famous wildlife inhabitants are the desert elephants which are drawn to the nearby Ugab river.
Average rating: 5.0 (very good)
Average cost: there are several campsites and lodges in and around the mountain where you can stay. Camping typically costs around $10 while a room can cost up to $50.
Best time to visit: if you want to see elephants head to Brandberg between June and December – although they are not guaranteed to be there. The presence of the elephants is seasonal and depends on rainfall patterns. They typically roam the Ugab River between June/July to Nov/Dec. However, if there is good rainfall in the north-west of the country, they tend to stay further north.
How to get there: Brandberg is located around 30 km north-west of the small town of Uis, which is halfway between Hentiesbaai and Khorixas on the C35 road. For directions see here.
Typical activities: 4×4 safari, camping, wildlife watching
Number of reports: 1
WILDLIFE IN Brandberg
According to reports submitted to WildSide, the most popular species that can be seen here are:
African elephant – 100% OF WILDSIDE USERS (1/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS
Namibia’s desert elephants are a group of African bush elephants that have adapted to life in the hot, dusty plains of Namibia’s deserts. There are around 150 of these unique elephants that can be found in the Ugab, Huab, Hoarusib, Hoanib, and Uniab river beds. Desert elephants can survive without drinking water for several days by eating the moisture-rich vegetation that grows in dry riverbeds. When this isn’t available, they have to travel long distances to reach a water source. These journeys are some of the longest recorded for any elephants. With one bull elephant having a home range of 10,700 km²!
In Brandberg, desert elephants can be found in and around the nearby Ugab river. The Ugab herd is highly threatened as the elephants are often perceived as ‘problem animals’. This is due to their habit of damaging crops and infrastructure. Sadly, since 2016 the Ugab elephant population has decreased by 32%. If you want to see these amazing creatures check out the Brandberg White Lady Lodge where they wander freely through the grounds. They also offer a dedicated desert elephant drive to help find the herd when they are located further away.
Photo credit: kolibri5 under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay