Did you know that the Phillips Cave in Namibia is home to a white elephant?

Truth be told, the title may be a bit misleading… but there is a white elephant in that cave ! Phillips Cave, is a cavern that was discovered on the farm, Ameib. Consequently, the cave was named after the owner at the time, E. Phillip. Located between Swakopmund and Usakos, the cave is about a 45 minute walk from the farm.

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In 1951, this site was dubbed a National Monument. This is due to the various rock paintings left by the nomadic San People. And this is where the white elephant comes in. A painting of a white elephant (drawn over some kind of antelope) is the most prominent piece in the cave. Amongst various paintings, archaeological inspection also uncovered stone tools.

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The cave is only fifteen metres deep, but thirty-five metres wide and seven metres high. Various animals are depicted on the walls of the cave. However, a few paintings of women and hunters can also be found.

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Day hikers can access the site via the Ameib Farm. There is also a popular picnic spot backing stacks of boulders. Including the Bull’s Party, a collection of boulders that resemble a group of bovines.

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This is a great stop on your way to Swakopmund and the Gondwana Collection’s The Delight Hotel.

If you have any stories or information about the Phillips Cave, we invite you to share them in the comment section below.

Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.

 

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Did you know the Black-footed Cat in Namibia is threatened by extinction?

If you haven’t heard about this wild cat before, the Black-footed Cat is the smallest wildcat species in Africa. And while most conservation programmes focus on big cats, this little guy is under just as much threat.

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It may look like an adorable house cat, but rest assured this little beast can take care of itself. The Felisnigripes only stands about 20cm tall and weighs around 1-2.5kg. They have soft dark-goldish fur with a spotted pattern across their bodies. Usually they have two dark streaks across their cheeks and dark striping across their legs.

These little creatures have adapted to the desert lifestyle. Their broad skull and large ears allow them enhanced hearing to find prey in a scarce region. And they have hair on the soles of their paws to protect them from the heat of the sand.

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Found mostly in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, the Black-footed cat prefers grass plains, sand plains, and scrub desert, including the Kalahari and Karoo Deserts. Legends have claimed that these little cats can bring down a giraffe. Obviously it is not true, but it does reflect the great determination of these felines.

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While the cats are usually solitary animals, females and dependent kittens do stay together for a while. Kittens stick with their mothers for up to four months and stick to their mom’s vicinity for quite some time thereafter.

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The major threat to these little cats includes overgrazing livestock. This reduces their availability of prey. Poison in carcasses, as these creatures scavenge like jackals. The public is also encouraged not to keep these cats as pets. They are wild animals after all.

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When visiting the Kalahari Anib Lodge, keep an eye out for these awesome creatures.

If you have any information or stories on the Black-footed Cat, we invite you to share them in the comment section below.

Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.

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The nurturing Namib Desert

The title may seem slightly odd. The harsh, hot, dry desert… and we want to call it nurturing? It may seem crazy, but we have not lost our minds.

Some may have read the book “Wennes Krieg gibt, gehenwir in die Wüste” or seen the film adaptation, The Sheltering Desert. For those of you who haven’t, here is a quick pro quo.

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In the early 1900’s, with the outbreak of the Second World War, two geologists ventured into the Namib Desert. Henno Martin and Hermann Korn avoided arrest in, then South West Africa, by fleeing into the unknown desert landscape. Enabling their passive position on the war.

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These two men and their pooch, Otto, lived in the Namib for two-and-a-half-years. While both men were familiar with the desert world, living in it would be very different to studying it. Hunting game for sustenance and spending the evenings listening to a radio. Said radio would become their only connection to the world at war. These men faced dire circumstances both physically and mentally. Yet they survived.

Their experience in the desert allows for awe of the Khoi-San, who lived nomadically by nature. Finding ways to survive no matter where they were.

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Unfortunately Martin and Korn’s story does not maintain nomadic effect. When they finally emerged from the desert, they were taken into custody for draft evasion.

While these men did find it difficult to survive at times. And while the emotional and mental drain that joined their physical hardships was unavoidable… many lessons can be learned from their story.

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A harsh desert does not need to be hostile. And when you know where to look, you will always find nourishment.

Experience the Namib Desert in its true form at the Gondwana Namib Desert Lodge. See the true nature of the desert world.

If you have any information on the Sheltering Desert or personal experiences, we invite you to share them in the comment section below.

Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.

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