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.

Rights for freakytracks

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?

Rights to Pinterest

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.

Rights to Wikimedia Commons

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.

Rights to wikimedia commons

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.

Rights to Cardboard Box Travel Shop

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.

Rights to slm safaris

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.

Rights to Southern Africa

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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Windhoek or Swakopmund over NYE?

New Years Eve is coming soon and the question, as it is each year, is where to spend the festive evening? In Namibia the big question is probably to stay in Windhoek or go to Swakopmund?

Let‘s start with Windhoek. As most Namibians will leave the city and go to the coast, where the climate is much more enjoyable compared to the heat in the central areas over December. Therefore Windhoek will be mostly empty and quiet. The most spots close their doors but hey, that can also have something positive if you are in need of some relaxed days and a much more laid back NYE.

Windhoek city - Image: Why Namibia

Windhoek city – Image: Why Namibia

If you want to have a quiet, special culinary NYE I absolutely recommend reserving a table. Because the restaurants and bars, which are open, will be fully booked. Spots to have a nice dinner could be…

Hotel Heinitzburg, it has a great view of Windhoek and a fancy atmosphere, the menu and wines are awesome but lean more toward the expensive side.

Hotel Thule, more or less the same thing can be expect, just a little bit more cosy due to the more intimate setting.

Joe’s Beerhouse is more likely the Pub and Restaurant location. Nice meals, good meat and cold drinks are awaiting you. The prices are good and the atmosphere will definitely be more festive than in the two hotels mentioned above.

Joe's Beerhouse

Joe’s Beerhouse

You have a nice place with a much nicer Braai? Braaiïng is the term in Southern Africa for a nice, tasty (and mostly consisting of meat) Grill or Barbecue. Supermarkets and butcheries are open. Get some wood, because coals are not well approved amongst Namibians for a Braai, and invite some friends. Cold drinks shouldn’t be missed.

Image: Coffeeshack.co.za

Image: Coffeeshack.co.za

Now we take a look on a typical Swakopmund NYE! Ready? Okay…

As most Namibians will hang around in Swakopmund during NYE and the festive days, you better check the availability of accommodations before you enter Swakopmund. Some camping places are maybe the last chance to avoid sleeping in the car in a supermarket‘s parking lot. If you are lucky to find accommodation for your stay over NYE in Swakopmund, here is what you could do.

Swakopmund - Image: Where to stay

Swakopmund – Image: Where to stay

A dinner at the seaside in one of the marvelous restaurants in Swakopmund. There are just too many to list them all, but here is list where you will find a guaranteed warm, welcoming NYE evening. Even here, book a table as soon as possible. Swakopmund Brauhaus, Secret Garden Bistro, Erich’s Restaurant and Wurstbude.

Swakopmund Brauhaus - Image: Tripadvisor

Swakopmund Brauhaus – Image: Tripadvisor

Swakopmund is definitely the place to be in Namibia, to have a great NYE Party . At the club Naps you will have the Monser Energy New Year’s Eve with Grimehouse Party. This will definitely be the hottest spot for young party seekers.

You have some friends in Swakopmund? There are definitely a lot of house parties going on at NYE. Maybe you will find your way to one of the house parties.

At the Beach you can relax and enjoy some drinks or a little snack, also there might be some fireworks to see in Henties Bay and on Langestrand.

Langstrand - Image: Walvis Bay Pristine Properties

Langstrand – Image: Walvis Bay Pristine Properties

You feel like it’s hard to decide which place to go to? Come back next year to beautiful Namibia to see both cities with their specific (Nam) flavour during the festive days.

If you have any other suggestions on where to spend New Year’s Eve, we invite you to share them in the comment section below.

Author – Marco Scholsen

 

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Why you should be asking these questions before visiting Namibia

We have already explained how wonderfully unique Namibia is, so why not continue the journey and find out why you should be asking these questions before visiting Namibia?

As it goes people tend to ask all kinds of questions before visiting a new destination. Because of this we thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the questions and clarify some of the subjects.

The reason we say you should ask these questions before visiting Namibia is simple…we have heard one too many questions that should have been asked long before arriving in Namibia. And of course to help the poor misinformed individuals who hike up Independence Avenue in Windhoek with full safari gear. Herewith fifteen questions that could possibly arise while planning your trip to Namibia!

Where is Namibia?

Let’s start off with the basics. No, Namibia is not a town in Mexico. It’s actually a country along the south western coast of Africa.

Map of Africa. Image: Profile Safaris

Map of Africa. Image: Profile Safaris

But isn’t Africa a country?

Nope. Africa, as most people should know by now, is not a country. It is a very large continent filled with 54 delightfully interesting and unique countries.

Is Namibia a German Colony?

No again. It used to be, way back when it was still called South West Africa. But with the conclusion of the First World War, the country became a province to South Africa. Before you ask, Namibia is no longer part of South Africa. In 1990 the country was awarded its independence and became the Republic of Namibia.

How many people live in Namibia?

Namibia spans approximately 824,292 km2 of land and serves as the world’s 34th largest country. This being said, it’s interesting to note that the country only has the 142nd largest population in the world with 2,392,370 local citizens. This means that there are approximately 2.9 people per square kilometre within the country, which is the second lowest population density in the world, Mongolia is the lowest.

Is it safe to travel in Namibia?

It’s as safe as any other tourist destination. Namibia has a low crime rate and a very stable political system, this allows for the country to enjoy stability and safety. Obviously travellers need to be aware of themselves and their surroundings, as they would if they were traveling to Paris or Rome, but generally travellers can expect friendly faces and an inviting environment.

What is the landscape like?

It’s not all deserts or all jungle. The landscape varies depending on the areas you look at. The central parts of the country along with those to the south are dominated by the Central Plateau and mostly arable land. The coastal regions are filled with desert sands as the Namib Desert and the Great Escarpment lines the western regions of the country. And of course along the northern regions and the Angolan border you can find lots of bushveld.

Landscapes. Image: Safari Bookings

Landscapes. Image: Safari Bookings

 Are there airports in Namibia?

Yes. There are smaller airports all over the country. However the largest, and only international airport is the Hosea Kutako Airport located about 45km east of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.

Are the roads accessible with a sedan?

Namibia has a fantastic road network and you can easily drive from point A to point B. It is necessary to note, however, that despite most roads being accessible with a standard sedan there are areas that will not be as easily navigated. These areas usually include steep inclines and rough terrain that requires a 4×4 to be piloted successfully.

Will I be staying in a hut during my visit?

If you really want to, we’re sure it can be arranged…but it isn’t a standard form of accommodation in the country. Yes, some of the local cultures still include tribes that live in traditional ways of their ancestors but as a traveller you can expect lodges, hotels and decent beds. Namibia has fantastic accommodation options on offer that includes all kinds of lodges in the countryside and hotels within the cities. Breathe a sigh of relief – you won’t be entering deep, dark Africa.

Hut: Image: Pinterest

Hut: Image: Pinterest

What currency does Namibia use?

Namibia uses its own form of currency, called the Namibian Dollar (N$). It is linked to the South African Rand and matches it in strength. And both notes and coins are used.

Will I have mobile service in Namibia?

We can’t tell you if your current service provider will be able to offer signal in Namibia. However you can easily get a local sim card at any of the stores in the towns, that will give you access to the cell phone signals and internet connections you need to stay connected.

Mobile services. Image: Wikipedia

Mobile services. Image: Wikipedia

Are there shops in Namibia?

As we just mentioned stores in the previous answer we are sure you know the answer to this question. We also have malls and shopping centres that offer a variety of shops, some of which are internationally known, such as CottonOn or ForeverNew.

Do animals roam into towns?

Nope, well at least not generally. Independence Avenue is lion free and we don’t ride elephants to work, although that would be pretty cool. No, in that regard the country is rather normal. However during your travels you might come across a farmer or lodge that has hand reared an animal of some kind that now thinks it’s a lapdog. These include lions, cheetahs, zebra and the occasional rhino.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 4.05.41 PM

 What is the food like?

As in all countries, Namibia does have a few strange items on the menu. But fret not, those are not the only options available. Universal standards such as steak and burgers are available here too, sometimes they just go by different names. For example we call ‘french fries’ ‘chips’ or sometimes ‘slap chips’ (there are two names because ‘chips’ can also refer to potato crisps).

Do you know so-and-so?

Namibia is a large country and even though our population isn’t as large as many other places that does not mean we all know each other. We were born and raised in Namibia, that doesn’t necessarily imply that because I live in Windhoek that I know everyone else who lives in Windhoek too.

Namibia is a treasure trove of new experiences and we can guarantee you will experience something entirely new and different during you visit.

If you have any other questions about Namibia, feel free to ask 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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