How can a forest in Namibia become petrified?

This question has a variety of answers. But first we need to ask another question, is the forest really petrified?

In this case, unfortunately, it is not. That does not make this site any less interesting though. Way back, in the 1940’s the forest was discovered by two farmers. And after just ten years, it was declared a national monument.

Petrified Forest Namibia - Rights to keyword-suggestions.com

Petrified Forest Namibia – Rights to keyword-suggestions.com

As I already mentioned above, this is unfortunately not a forest that eventually turned to stone. However, visitors will find a collection of enormous fossilized tree trucks that can be dated back 280 million years!

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Rights to africaorbital.wordpress.com

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Rights to southern-africa.arroukatchee.fr

This is about the time that the next questions pops to mind…where did the trees come from? Because scientist have found that the trunks in the area come from trees that no longer grow in Namibia.

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Rights to eduvideoafrica.com

Piece of petrified wood - Rights to www.info-namibia.com

Piece of petrified wood – Rights to www.info-namibia.com

Since then, it has been established that these tree trunks washed down a river in prehistoric times when one of the many Ice Ages ended on the Gondwana super continent. It is believed that it must have been a massive flood that carried the giant trees to where they lie today.

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Rights to bjornmoerman.blogspot.com

So, with all the flooding the trees were buried rather deeply. That is until erosion brought the trees back to the surface. Because of this, there are at least two trees that are fully exposed that measure up to 45m in length.

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rights to megalithic.co.uk

Unfortunately, these giant trunks broke into various smaller chunks of about two metres each. Scientist dove into study and found that the ancient remnants belong the Cordaites tree family.

This kind of tree used to grow in the region that is now known as Europe. And they were the ancestors of the tree that are, today, known as firs and spruces.

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Rights to www.info-namibia.com

Where can you find this fossilized forest? Just a short 50km outside of Khorixas in northwestern Namibia. Accommodation in the area is abundant, however, a great base to travel from is Damara Mopane Lodge.

To get into the National Park – in which the Petrified Forest can be found – a small entrance fee will need to be paid, but it is only around N$20 per person.

Another unique and interesting sight to add to your Namibian tour.

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Rights to www.nativenoise.co.za

A few do’s and do not’s when visiting the Petrified Forest:

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

If you have visited the Petrified Forest or have additional information, we invite you to share your thoughts 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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What is the Giant’s Playground in Namibia?

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a group of young giants frolicking amongst stone formations. Leaping from pedestal to pedestal and crouching behind the stones during a game of hide and seek…when I heard the term ‘Giant’s Playground’ this was the first image that came to mind.

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Rights to South Africa Travel Online

And it may not be too far fetched once you take a look at the place (and depending how vivid your imagination is).

So, for those among us who are not familiar with the term…what is Giant’s Playground?

Simply put, it is a geological phenomenon. And it is called this, because of the way the series of dolerite boulders have been packed as though a giant toddler was playing a really over-the-top version of Jenga.

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Rights to www.travellingforever.com

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Rights to dieschultners.de

The aftermath of said game, creating a series of formations and a rock maze just outside of Keetmanshoop. And apparently, it is rather easy to lose your bearings while walking through this maze.

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Rights to dreamtrip2012 .wordspress.com

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Rights to 3D photo production

On the other hand, wanderlust has never been a bad thing, so make the best of getting lost in an ancient, giant-built, rock maze!

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Rights to Southern Africa

Anyway, on a more serious and scientific front… The playground is said to have been formed about 180 million years ago.

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Rights to www.foto-genial.de

As mentioned in a previous post on Gondwana and the super continents, Pangea was starting to separate. Because of this massive natural disruption, the earth’s surface experienced some hectic disturbances.

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Rights to wilkinsonsworld

In the area surrounding these rock formations, molten magma pushed its way through the cracks of the surface rock. This led to an entirely different situation. After another couple of million years, the sedimentary rocks (that were pushed aside to make room for the dolerite) began to erode.

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Rights to commons.wikimedia.org

This in turn, exposed the harder rock that was hidden underneath. These little delights, are called dolerite dykes and are usually between 3-10 metres in width and can have varied and extreme lengths.

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Rights to www.worldtravelserver.com

Adding to the above, there were another few thousand years of water, wind and heat that polished and smoothed out these rock formations. So now it really does look like a group of giants that played around on the ancient landscape.

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Rights to rights to epod . usra .edu

If you would like to go visit the Giant’s Playground, you can start by heading north-east for about 14km from Keetmanshoop. It will cost you around N$50.00 per person for admissions for the day.

Keetmanshop in Namibia - www.namibiabookings.com

Keetmanshop in Namibia – Rights to www.namibiabookings.com

The best time to enjoy this sight is during the winter months when it is not as hot. The Gondwana Canyon properties are a fantastic base camp to use when viewing the surrounding areas.

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Rights to Forum Fur Naturfotografen

If you have any stories or information on the Giant’s Playground, we invite you to share it with us 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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How the Fish River Canyon should be experienced

The mighty Fish River Canyon…second largest canyon in the world. Not at all daunting when you think about this massive slice through the country’s soil. What moves this natural marvel from daunting to majestic are the secrets and raw natural beauty that hide within this massive landscape.

The Fish River Canyon - Image: www.host-namiba.com

The Fish River Canyon – Image: www.host-namiba.com

As some may know, the Gondwana Collection used to offer the Canyon Mule Trails. Well this year, we have decided to retire our mules. And since last we spoke, they are thoroughly enjoying retirement life.

Image: www.news24.com

Image: www.news24.com

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Rest assured though, that your opportunity to experience the Fish River Canyon is not lost. In fact, we here at the Gondwana Collection have created a brand-new canyon experience. Drum roll please… the Canyon Klipspringer Trail!

 

Fish-River-Canyon-02

“The Canyon Klipspringer Trail”

Image: tracks4africa.co.za

Image: tracks4africa.co.za

What makes this hike so unique? Simply put, you do not need to lug around all your own baggage. Using an ingenious design concept, the Gondwana Collection offers the use of lockable trunks to store all your goods in.

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Image: Judy & Scott Hurd

So when you head out into the canyon for your hike, you only need to pack the necessities (water, snacks, etc.). And all the other goodies, pots, pans and clothes, are ferried to the next evening’s campsite.

CANYON_TREKKING3

What I am actually getting at, is you pretty much get to enjoy a hike through the northern areas of the Fish River Canyon without any heavy loads. And then when you arrive at the camp in the evening, your cabin and all possessions await.

CANYON_TREKKING2

And the process repeats itself throughout the entire hike. Every morning someone comes to collect your trunk and you do not need to worry about the heavy weight holding you back.

So for all the adventurous souls looking to break away from the hustle and bustle of city life…here is your answer.

Image: www.getaway.co.za

Image: www.getaway.co.za

Go explore the natural magnificence of the Fish River Canyon in slack packing ease.

CANYON_TREKKING4

Check out what you need to pack for this hike by clicking here.

And if you have any of your own canyon stories to tell, we invite you to share them with us 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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