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