Rhino Rock Art – Spitzkoppe Namibia

Rhino Rock Art – The ways of the ancient bushman of Spitzkoppe Namibia

Over time, the African continent has seen many changes in its fauna and flora, the evolution of who we are today as people, and of course our relationship with our wild animals.

Over the millennia, the depiction of these wild animals in the form of rock art has held many spiritual references and incredibly more than that, actual practical uses.

As we are faced with an incredible scourge of rhino poaching, I wanted to share with you a unique story, about the these amazing animals as they in fact form a large part of the rock art we find around southern Africa, Rhino Rock Art – Spitzkoppe rhino and the ancients

Rock art is one of the most evocative of all the pieces of the heritage left to us by our ancient ancestors, but something that is being lost at an incredible rate with human development and climate change.

By looking into its symbolism, we can look into the minds of people who lived thousands of years ago. The art was made from various mineral and plants found in a specific area where the people were a resident. Many were nomadic and each site has subtle differences.

One of the places I have visited in Namibia is the Spitzkoppe “Granite Outcrops”. These are estimated to be more than 120 million years old. The highest peak reaches nearly 1800 m in height. The peaks stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains and are a magnificent sight. The Spitzkoppe, German for the word “pointed dome” . It is also referred to as Spitzkop, Groot Spitzkop, or the Matterhorn of Namibia. This is a group of bald granite peaks or bornhardts It is located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the arid Namib Desert

The highest peak is about 700 m (2,300 ft) above the floor of the desert below. Other prominences stretch out into a range known as the Pontok Mountains.

Many examples of Bushmen artwork can be seen painted on the rock in the Spitzkoppe area. One, in particular, is called “Rhino Rock”. Here is an image from the eastern side of the complex with the rock in the distance.

When traveling to destinations for the obvious magic of the photographic value, it pays to also look for more history and interest in it. This area is well known for magical landscapes and a natural rock arch. One of these secrets was, in fact, the incredible rhino rock art we managed to view along a long granite overhang.

It represented a powerful and majestic beast that the local people had seen in this specific area. Most likely a resident and common visitor. Not only did they draw it as a symbol, but more importantly this was used as a directional indicator of water.

This drawing faces south-east and not more than a kilometre away up on the granite outcrops are natural indentations in the rock that fill up with water and provides a seasonal supply of this life-giving fluid.

I find it very fascinating to learn more about the animals and what they meant to the accounts in the time before the civilized man took over and developed it. I hope you enjoyed this small piece of history and a hidden secret of the “Rhino Rock Art – Spitzkoppe Namibia”

If you take the time and visit this destination, please do yourself a favour and hire a local hop on tour guide from the office and take some time to explore the many other secret and amazing sights of this incredible iconic destination in Namibia.

Feel free to contact me for any travel or photography enquiries for Namibia

Thank you for your interest – Andrew

Andrews Website

Photo Safaris and Travel

SAFREA Chronicle

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


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