Eco Awards Namibia
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
The Twyfelfontein Country Lodge is located in the Huab valley in Namibia’s Kunene region (formerly known as Damaraland). The area, known as the Twyfelfontein Uibasen Conservancy, boasts various rock engravings and paintings. These are a silent testimony to the first hunter-gatherer and subsequent Khoi-San inhabitants of 6 000 years ago, who used the area as a place of worship and shaman rituals. There are 17 different sites of rock paintings, totalling 212 stone slabs.
The developers of the lodge used natural stone and thatch and chose paint hues to match that of the surrounding rocks and plains. Recently a visitor centre was erected and was also built and designed to blend into the red sandstone of the environment. Twyfelfontein welcomes as many as 40 000 visitors per year. For those puzzled by the name: a farmer that settled on the land in 1946 named it Twyfelfontein (Afrikaans for uncertain or doubtful spring) as he was unsure whether the spring called /Ui-//aes on the farm would provide enough water.
Twyfelfontein was proclaimed a national monument in 1952. It first came to the attention of the wider world when Reinhard Maack included the site in a report in 1921. He is thought to have been informed of the engravings in the area by a land surveyor. The imagery suggests it was part of the Khoi-San belief system, who lived in the area up to about 1 000 years ago when they were displaced by the Damara. No Khoi-San currently inhabit the area, but the beliefs of San 800 km away give insight to the meaning of the paintings and engravings. To preserve this unique history, Twyfelfontein became Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.