Spitzkoppe: The Matterhorn of Africa

Spitzkoppe, Namibia, is a beautiful park of large rock formations in the middle of a long empty desert, named for the incredible mountain that dominates it. As we made our way south from Etosha National Park, this place was a must for us. It was hard to miss, as we could see it from over a hundred kilometers away. Known as the Matterhorn of Africa, it stands at 670 m (2,200 ft) above the desert floor at an altitude of 1,728 m (5,669 ft) above sea level. We camped there for one night and were able to explore most of the park. It felt like we were in another world.

Spitzkoppe Namibia Boulders


The early morning stars and sunrise were remarkable to witness. Illuminated by moonlight with very few people around, it was peaceful having it all to ourselves. The night sky in Namibia is one of the best in the world with little light pollution. One more reason to visit this country.

Spitzkoppe Namibia Moonscape

The Hike

Getting up to this lookout spot was relatively easy and worth the climb. Although Aaron was a little uneasy on some of the boulders, he still managed to get up for this photo. Spitzkoppe is a popular destination for “real” rock climbers. We just take pretty pictures. This spot was magnificent.

Spitzkoppe Namibia Climb
Spitzkoppe Near Death
No Aarons were harmed in the making of this photo

The Arch

One lonely arch occupied the area of Spitzkoppe. While it certainly doesn’t rival anything in Utah, it was special in its own way. It made for a great window to what was beyond. Make sure to get there early to avoid people. They tend to hang out inside the arch making it difficult to photograph. It took a lot of patience to get this photo.

Arch at Spitzkoppe Daylight
Sun Star at Spitzkoppe Arch

The Video

Have a taste of what Spitzkoppe is all about in our video. Discovering this place was awesome, and unforgettable. It felt like we were walking around on Mars.

Did you know that Spitzkoppe was used in 2001: A Space Odyssey? It was in the Dawn of Man scene. How cool is that? Check it out!

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Getting There

The trip there is easy, as it is pretty central to Namibia and only required one day to explore. Spitzkoppe is about a two-hour drive from Swakopmund and the roads are fairly decent for most of the way. The anticipation builds as you continue to wonder if you will ever get there. It seems so close even when it is far away.

Spitzkoppe Arch window view

Final Thoughts

These were some of the most amazing landscapes we had ever seen in our lifetime. We would definitely visit this place again on our next trip and recommend you visit it too. It is a refreshing place to get lost and find yourself. Namibia rocks, literally!

Cracked boulder at Spitzkoppe

What was the most otherworldly place you have visited?

Psst… do you love exploring desert landscapes?  You might also enjoy these:

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