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Spitzkoppe / Erongo

The Spitzkoppe between Usakos and Swakopmund is also described as the "Matterhorn of Namibia". Rising to a altitude of 1728 metres, the Spitzkoppe is not Namibia's highest mountain, however, due to its striking outlines, it is the most well-known mountain in the country. Situated in an endless, dry plain, the island of mountains can be seen from far away. The difference in altitude between the mountain peak and the surrounding plains measures 700 Meter. Next to the Spitzkoppe can be found the "Small Spitzkoppe" with a height of 1584 metres above sea level and next to it the Pontok Mountains.

The granite massif, which is part of the Erongo Mountains, was created by the collapse of a gigantic volcano more than 100 million years ago and the subsequent erosion, which exposed the volcanic rock, granite. Over millions of years the outer layer was carried off by wind erosion, until the granite intrusion was exposed.


Top: The mountain looks quite harmless. But many have tried in vain to climb it. Left: Interesting rock formations around the Spitzkoppe.

Despite the harmless appearance of the Spitzkoppe, it is quite difficult to climb the mountain, first conquered in 1946. Only experienced and well-prepared mountaineers with adequate equipment should take this mountain on. In summer, it is out of the question, because the rock gets so hot, you would burn your hands immediately.

One can go for beautiful walks in this stunnung landscape and climb about between the bizarre rock formations. For those interested in flora, there is a lot to look at, like the yellow Butter Trees and the Poison Tree (euphorbia virosa), which leaks an extremely poisonous white juice; the Bushmen use this to poison their arrows. San (Bushman) paintings can be found in various places, many in the "Bushman Paradise" under an overhanging rock wall.

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