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Kaokoland and Damaraland are now collectively called the Kunene Region. This wonderful semi-desert area is a unique landscape of red rock, twisting dry riverbeds and gnarled Mopani trees. It stretches from the gravel plains of the Namib Desert to the Kunene River (the border between Namibia and Angola).

Despite the low rainfall, this fascinating area is well-known for its wildlife. Spotting a desert elephant or a rhino could be a highlight of your trip through this region. Zebra, kudu, giraffe, jackal and various small antelope can be seen as well as rare sightings of lion. The shy brown hyena is also resident in the area.

There are also a number of unique heritage sites and natural phenomenon worth visiting while you are passing through the Kunene Region, so don't be in too much of a hurry. Among the many attractions west of Khorixas are the Petrified Forest and Twyfelfontein with its superb collection of over 2 400 rock engravings. Nearby is the Brandberg (“Burnt Mountain”) with its black, ashy appearance and the Organ Pipes (a series of angular columns of dolerite exposed in a dry river bed). The Brandberg can also be seen to the south, glowing red on the horizon in the late afternoon sun.

The Petrified Forest, not too far from Khorixas, provides a fascinating glimpse into the past. It is almost impossible to imagine that these huge petrified trees once stood in this barren world. Also of interest is the 80km long Ugab Terrace and the Vingerklip, a 35 m high pillar of conglomerate rock.

The roads in this region are chiefly gravel roads and are in a good condition; however, due to the nature of the gravel in the quarries in the area, there are a lot of loose, sharp-edged rock splinters. This means that a tyre could easily be punctured and it might be a good idea to take an extra spare tyre just in case.

Damaraland is to the west of Etosha and the Kaokoland is to the northwest. Parts of Kaokoland are only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle. It is a very remote, but interesting area. Be on the lookout for the endangered desert elephants and black rhino.

In the southern parts of Damaraland you might encounter the goat and damara-sheep farmers who eke out a living in harsh conditions. Both man and animal have learnt to survive under conditions that most people would run away from. In the north you can experience something of the unique culture of one of the remote tribes, the Himbas. These interesting people are adapted to living off the land and have many unique ways of coping with the harsh climate and lack of water.

The main town of Khorixas is situated centrally in this region and is a farming community. To the north lies Sesfontein and Ruacana, which both have interesting histories, from the colonial times as well as traces left from the more recent "bush war" that was fought on the borders of Namibia for many years.

If you decide to go all the way to the north, it is well worth visiting the Ruacana water scheme and the Epupa Falls both situated on the Kunene River.

The bird life in this area is of great interest as there are some species that are endemic to this semi-desert region such as the Barecheeked Babbler and the Herero Chat.