Is not a town, but the name of a
place. There are no fuel facilities or shops. It's quite remote, so be sure
to be well supplied before setting off on your journey there. On route to
the site you will pass by some impressive rock
formations that are of the Damara Granites - some 560 million years
old. After you cross the Aba-Huab River you will notice the shape and
color of the mountains change to having flat tops and deep red
color. These rocks are of a much younger age being about 180 million years
old, from a time when
this area was covered with layers of sand and sediments to a great
depth. The later dry period brought desert conditions. The red
cliffs are petrified sand. Ongoing erosion over the millions of years has caused
great blocks to
break away from the main body of rock and tumble down the face. Many of these fractured along the
natural fissures revealing an almost perfectly flat surface that
provided an ideal working surface for the busmen artist that once
made this their dwelling place.
Map of Namibia
Map & Direction
A National Heritage Site
Section of the sand-stone rock-face
View from the sand-stone shelf
It is on the sandstone rocks behind this abandoned
farm house where the Twyfelfontein etchings and paintings can be seen. Reinhardt Maack, The discoverer of the White Lady Of Brandberg painting, visited
this area in 1921 and reported having seen Rock Engravings, but the
discovery is accredited to Mr. D. Levin who purchased this area for
farming in 1947. Levin also re-discovered the natural water spring
that he named the Twyfelfontein (Afrikaans) meaning 'doubtful spring'.
The farm was abandoned in the 1967. The spring and Levin's water pump
can still be seen.
The archeological digs have
uncovered a variety of stone tools etc and plenty of Dassie (rock
hyrax) bones. The Bushmen who once lived in this cave on the rock
shelf had an excellent panoramic view over the valley. They would
have spotted game and any potential visitors afar.
My guide Johannes
The Doubtful Fountain
Farmer Levin's pump
A cave with a view
Access to the engravings and painting has recently been
improved by the building of steps up the rock face and the addition
of raised steel viewing platforms. It's now much easier to get good
photographs if the sun glare off the rock faces is not too bright.
Timing is important if you want good photographs. In the morning
many of the engravings are in shadow, but good and detailed photos
can be taken. In the afternoon the sun reflects from some of the
engravings and contrasts are difficult.
Mid-day temperatures in the Twyfelfontein area, especially in summer months can be quiet
uncomfortable. Wear sun-block and carry some water with you. It's a
On your tour you should take notice of some of the
impressive rock formations that have been formed by wind erosion and
temperature weathering. The below right photo shows
that over thousands of years the surface wind blown sands have eroded away the base
giving it the name ' The Mushroom '.
Some of the shapes challenge the
mind as to how many years, and how many tons of wind blown sand were
involved in the natural etching of the wave rock and some of the other
larger formations at Twyfelfontein.
There are places where you can see
how the desert winds have blasted holes through the sandstone
blocks. On others deep grooves
have been cut along the sides of the blocks. Further erosion of this
nature has caused them to break away from the cliff face and tumble
down. Their flat, smooth surfaces providing an ideal workface for
the ancient Bushmen artists.
Acknowledgements and further reading: GV1, GV4, H12, R6, R7, P1,
Twfelfontein 2 - The
The site is operated under the supervision of the
National Heritage Council of Namibia and trained
local guides will take you around the site also showing you the points