Brukkaros - A Crater caused by an Explosion - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

Namibia with Heart and Soul: Take our hand and let us introduce you to this awe-inspiring country. Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.


Where the Namib Desert stretches languidly from the Atlantic Ocean and wild land extends into infinity, dreams become real. At this place where fantasy meets reality, you'll find the Gondwana Collection safely positioned.

Take our outstretched hand and let us introduce you to our extraordinary country, Namibia. From the massive chasms of the Fish River Canyon, the fossilised dunes of the Namib Desert and the red sands of the Kalahari Desert to the waterways of the Kavango and Zambezi, there are countless marvels to behold. Explore this awe-inspiring wilderness from the warmth of our lodges, created with conservation cognizance and ample character. And return to relax after an exciting day of discovery.

This is the Gondwana feeling: Namibia with heart and soul.

Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.

About us

Namibia Road Map 2018/19

Anyone touring Namibia should definitely take our road map along. It is available from Gondwana free of charge, or as pdf download. This map features fascinating experiences plus recommended accommodation. At the same time it is an ordinary road map with all the essential information of the official Namibia road map by Prof. Uwe Jäschke and the Roads Authority of Namibia.

Join the Gondwana Holiday Bonanza!

Stand the chance to receive a full refund for your accommodation booking, as well as an exclusive weekend away at The Desert Grace! Holiday season is fast approaching and we at Gondwana want you to enjoy it as much as possible! Here’s how it works: Book your accommodation now via the Gondwana website for October 2018 through to 31 March 2019 and use your valid online order number to participate in the Gondwana Holiday Bonanza. Terms & Conditions apply. 

Namibia2Go Car Rental

Namibia 2 Go

Experience Africa like never before. Explore Namibia your way with our well-maintained and fully inclusive rental vehicles.

Easy. Hassle free. Unforgettable.

Go Big

Discover Namibia’s main attractions.

This package offers a four-wheel drive vehicle and a thirteen day trip through the beautiful Namibian landscapes. Starting from Windhoek you will head south, into the Kalahari where your first night will be spent enjoying the sunset at the Kalahari Anib Lodge.


                         More Info & Availability

Go Epic

Experience Namibia's famed locations.

Take eleven days to discover Namibia in an Epic way. This self drive safari - which includes a four-wheel drive vehicle - will take you to the famous Namibian locations that will make you long for the vast open spaces long after you return home. Starting in Windhoek you will head south to the Kalahari Desert.


                           More Info & Availability

Go Wild

Track Namibia's awesome wildlife.

This 12 day self drive safari includes a four-wheel drive vehicle and stopovers at all major wildlife-viewing sites. Starting from Windhoek you will head towards the famous Etosha National Park, where 3 nights will be enjoyed at the unique Etosha Safari Camp.


                           More Info & Availability

Car Rental

Enjoy an active Namibian adventure.

We offer a comprehensive travel service including car rental, accommodation, safaris and self-drive itineraries and day trips. Interested? For detailed information and vehicle specifications of our Renault Dusters SUV 4WD and Toyota Hilux Double Cabs 4x4, please click below.


                           More Info & Availability

Gondwana's Newsroom

Brukkaros - A Crater caused by an Explosion

Avatar of inke inke - 19. August 2016 - Discover Namibia

Brukkaros: Not an extinct volcano.

Many believe that the enormous crater of Brukkaros west of the national road between Mariental and Keetmanshoop is an extinct volcano. Geologists initially shared this opinion because of the mountain’s external shape. It is 1,603 metres high, rising 600 metres above the plain, the diameter at its base is 10 kilometres, the diameter of the crater is 3 kilometres and the shape of the slope is typical of a volcano. But the rock types that are usually found in the vicinity of fire-spitting mountains are absent around Brukkaros. Only when geologists studied the rocks in and around the crater thoroughly was the secret of the formation of Brukkaros finally unravelled.

The crater mountain formed some 80 million years ago, at the time when the breakup of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana was in its final stages and South America drifted away from Africa. The site where Brukkaros rises today was then below the surface of the earth. Liquid magma intruded into the earth’s crust from great depths but did not make it to the surface, as would have happened in a volcanic eruption. Instead, the upper layers of rock in the earth’s crust were lifted. The pressure from below was so enormous that a mountain with a rounded dome bulged up on the surface.

The bulging stretching surface caused fissures and cracks to form in the rock layers. The hot magma shot through these into a layer of rock containing ground water. The water was immediately superheated turning to steam. This resulted in a buildup of enormous pressure that triggered an explosion of tremendous proportions. Part of the domed surface was blasted away and the cavity under the bulge collapsed, in the process forming what is now the Brukkaros caldera.

Brukkaros differs from a volcano in that while a volcano gradually builds up on the surface as lava continuously pushes up from inside and is hurled out, Brukkaros was formed through an explosion. Water later on accumulated in the caldera. Erosion of the inner walls over time led to the lake being filled up with sediments. The magma below was still liquid and caused the formation of hot springs around the lake. The springs brought chemical solutions to the surface that eventually cemented the rubble on the crater’s floor. This type of rock, called breccia, is still found on the floor of Brukkaros.

In the course of millions of years a deep gorge was dug by water draining off the southern slope of the crater. The floor and the rim of the crater can be accessed through this gorge. This feature probably also inspired the local Nama people to call the mountain Geitsi Gubib, which means “large leather loincloth”. This traditional piece of clothing that women tied around their hips apparently had the same shape as the enormous mountain. The present name can perhaps be explained this way: broek, pronounced “brook”, is the Afrikaans word for pants, while karos is the Nama word for loincloth. 

These days a hiking trail leads through the gorge into the crater, snaking its way along the southern slope right up to the rim. The trail passes some dilapidated buildings, remnants of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society of the USA observatory manned from 1926 until 1931. Daily measurements were taken to collect data on fluctuations in the sun’s energy because it was assumed that these influenced the weather. To enable such readings to be taken a site was needed where the loss of radiation through the atmosphere was low, where the position of the sun was high in winter and where days were predominantly cloudless throughout the seasons. The station existed from October 1926 until December 1931 and was abandoned because a connection between solar radiation and weather patterns could not be proven.

Nothing is left, however, of the heliograph station installed during German colonial times on the eastern rim of Brukkaros. The Schutztruppe (German colonial forces) established a chain of heliograph stations on mountain tops from Lüderitz via Keetmanshoop to Windhoek to send signals using mirrors or lights. A transmitter mast now stands on the crater’s northern rim.

Comments are disabled for this post.


Explore the Gondwana Blog

Subscribe to our blog and receive email notifications of all our latest articles & stories.

View the Blog

Canyon Klipspringer Trail

Hiking in almost pristine nature, this slack packing trail only runs from April to September.

Read more

Stay up-to-date with our monthly 'Gondwana Tracks' Newsletter Sign up Today