4×4 Routes

Ugab Menhir

Route Distance: 312 km

This route is particularly interesting because of the varying landscape – desert plains and interesting rock formations. You are likely to see game such as solitary gemsbok, ostrich or even Hartmann’s mountain zebra.

The route mostly follows dry watercourses, criss-crossing through turbidite ridges that look like they are lying on their sides, the result of many layers of mud deposited about 900 – 700 million years ago by large inland rivers into an early ocean. With the collision of the continents about 100 million years later, these deep-sea mud became folded and compressed and were eventually laid bare by erosion through the ages.

Pitted granite rock form toadstool- and hollow ghostlike structures, often serving as shelters and nests for birds like this very rare species of Spotted Eagle Owl, a reddish-brown owl with orange eyes that can easily be mistaken for the Cape Eagle Owl.

This route was named for a megalith curiously stands as a solitary rock in the stark desert landscape, about the height of a man, referred to as the “Menhir” (men meaning “stone” an hir meaning “long”).

On your way back along the coast turn off at Durissa Bay where you can see the remains of one of the few shipwrecks still to be seen along the coast, The Winston – a silent witness of the many hapless souls who lost the battle against the treacherous coastline of the Skeleton Coast. This photo was taken in 2000.

This track is now graded but please do not exceed 40 km/h as dust is extremely damaging to lichens and the Welwitschia plants.