Is the Brukkaros Crater in Namibia a dormant volcano?

A daunting 650 metres above the surrounding landscape, between Mariental and Keetmanshoop, travellers will find the Brukkaros Mountains.

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Brukkaros located on the Namibian map – Rights for freakytracks

What makes this site particularly unique is that the shape is distinctly circular and rimmed. Visible from the B1, the question has often been raised… is this strange looking mountain an extinct volcano?

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Rights to Pinterest

Before we get to the juicy details, a bit of interesting information… Where does the name ‘Brukkaros’ come from? Following true Namlish culture, the name combines the Afrikaans word for trousers (broek) with the Nama word karos (leather apron). This links to a traditional article of clothing worn by Nama women.

According to scientific theory, Brukkaros formed about 80 million years ago. A magma pipe, molten rock and a mixture of mineral and organic matter, came into contact with ground water.

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Rights to Wikimedia Commons

This whole process took place about a thousand metres below the earth’s surface. This contact led the water to heat to the point where it turned into vapor and expanded. Which in turn caused the surface to swell about ten kilometres across and five hundred metres high.

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Rights to wikimedia commons

Magma continued to invade the space and caused a reaction that led to various explosions.

This whole endeavour was followed by a series of materials being deposited along the rim of the crater and then being eroded over millions of years to leave the 350 metres deep hole.

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Rights to Cardboard Box Travel Shop

Visitors can follow a three-and-a-half-kilometre trail, accessible by 4×4, to enter the crater form the south. They can expect to see crystal formations in the rock. Once inside, visitors can explore the quiver trees and crystal fields along the crater floor.

Brukkaros Bird's eye view - Rights to fr.alltravels.com

Brukkaros Bird’s eye view – Rights to fr.alltravels.com

Alternatively, they can follow a route sharply left, and visit a research station along the rim of the crater. When visiting this site, be sure to take enough water to keep hydrated during your adventure.

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Rights to slm safaris

And here comes the game changer. Was the Brukkaros Crater an actual volcano once? Most scientific theories say no. While magma did have a hand in the creation of this natural site, a volcanic eruption did not.

As mentioned above, it was the magma coming into contact with the ground water that created the explosion and development of this crater. So, while it may not be an extinct volcano, it is still a very interesting site.

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Rights to Southern Africa

And a great place to stop and explore while traveling between the Gondwana Canyon Collection and Windhoek.

If you have any interesting stories about the Brukkaros Crater, 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.

Jescey Visagie

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Have you found the Namibian Organ Pipes yet?

No, I have not completely lost my mind. And no, there are not actual organ pipes hidden somewhere in the Namibian country side…well, not exactly.

If you ever find yourself in the Brandberg-Twyfelfontein area, do not miss out on this natural phenomenon.

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“Namibian Organ Pipes” Rights to Pinterest

Tucked away inside a valley, visitors will find a unique sight… a collection of Dolerite Dykes that look like a massive organ’s pipes pushing up towards the clear, blue sky.

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Rights to Namibia

How did they develop?  Once again, the origins are linked to the ancient super continent of Gondwana. As the continent was beginning to break apart, molten rock pushed to the surface. And led to the formation of these strange and wonderful columns.

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Rights to Jim Zuckerman Photography

Due to the years of weather exposure, these columns have a warm rusty colour to them and are any photographer’s dream.

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Rights to Pinterest

A similar dolerite display can be found at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, but rumour has it the Namibian site is in a much better and more appealing condition.

"Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland" Rights to http://surrealplaces.net

“Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland” Rights to http://surrealplaces.net

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“Namibian Organ Pipes” Rights to http://wild-wings-safaris.com

How can you get there? Drive towards Brandberg from Khorixas, but keep your eyes peeled! The entrance to the Organ Pipes is not well marked.

Just before you reach the mountain, on the left-hand side you will see a stone with ‘OrrelPype’ written onto it, that means Organ Pipes in Afrikaans. Turn in there and follow the ‘yellow brick road’ to the magical organ pipe valley.

“Organ pipes” located on the Namibian map

A great place to use as a base while exploring the majestic Organ Pipes, is the Damara Mopane Lodge just outside of Khorixas. We suggest visiting the valley in the mornings to get the best lighting for photographs.

Damara Mopane Lodge

Damara Mopane Lodge

Remember there are always do’s and don’ts at these kinds of natural sights…

  • Do not litter
  • Do not remove anything from the valley
  • Do not damage anything in the park
  • Do respect nature
  • Do take lots of pictures
  • Do have fun
  • Do enjoy the scenery

When you visit, try to listen to the massive organ as the wind dances along the pipes.

If you have visited the Organ Pipes before or have information regarding this site, we invite you to share it 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.

Jescey Visagie

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How to sound like a Namibian – Namlish made easy

Namibia is often referred to as the gem of Africa, and quite justly so. But this beautiful country is a gem in more ways than one…one of these ‘ways’ is the interesting aspect of language. Namibia has a variety of indigenous languages and when combined with English, these create interesting vernaculars that are referred to as Namlish. Namlish is used daily, to communicate in Namibia and each region has a slightly different version of it, because of the prominent language in the area. Somehow the locals still understand each other, despite the strange words that foreigners just cannot place.

One such example would be the idea surrounding ‘buy a donkey’. With Dave Carroll visiting our great country, he couldn’t quite wrap his head around the idea that people consistently tell him to ‘buy a donkey’… Once he finally couldn’t contain his curiosity anymore, he asked what the strange expression meant. Turns out people weren’t asking him to buy donkeys, but were thanking him in Afrikaans, ‘baie dankie’.

These kinds of miscommunications take place all the time! And often may lead to great stories to tell once you return home. However,in an attempt to save you from being lost in translation, we have compiled a short list of the words that you will most likely come into contact with while visiting Namibia.

Table 1

Biltong - Image: Wikipedia

Biltong – Image: Wikipedia

Cherries - Image: Food network

Cherries – Image: Food network

Table 2

Sosaties - Image: Dinner with Julie

Sosaties – Image: Dinner with Julie

Table 3

Table 4

Whether you ask for directions and hear that you should “’risten” nicely and turn “light” and not left’ – as some indigenous groups switch the letters and “r” and “l” – or are addressed in unusual manners such as ‘Meme’ or ‘Tate’ – which are terms of respect… you will hear a language uniquely Namibian and the more time you spend around the locals, the easier it will become to understand the strange terms. Once you arrive in our lovely little corner of the world, keep these terms in mind, and you may just find yourself talking like a local.

Would you like to take your Namlish skills to the next level? Follow this link and find a step by step guide to becoming a Namlish Pro with EES.

If there are words you feel are worth adding to the list please feel free to mention them in the comments!

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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