The outlines of men, women, zebra and oryxes are faintly visible on the famous ”White Lady” rock painting found on Brandenberg Mountain in Damaraland, Namibia. Although the true origins of the ”White Lady” have been debated by archaeologists, the general consensus is that the indigenous Bushmen likely painted  it more than 2,000 years ago.
Namibia - Been There

Namibia's "White Lady" is not white and not a lady

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Namibia - Been There Namibia's "White Lady" is not white and not a lady

After a long drive over Namibia’s dirt roads and a strenuous one-hour hike through the riverbed of the dry Tsisab river I finally make it to the Brandberg Mountain in Damaraland, the home of a thousand bushman paintings.

Daphne Huineman
Daphne Huineman Travel Writer

The Brandberg mountain is an impressive dome shaped granitic intrusion in the middle of the arid and harsh Namib desert. A better setting for these 2,000 year old works of art is hard to imagine. I am not surprised that the Bushmen have always thought of it as a holy site; it reminds me of Ayers Rock in Australia.

The center piece of the rock paintings is the famous ”White Lady” depicting a hunting scene. The outlines of men, zebra and oryxes are faintly visible, faded because tourists used to throw water on it to bring the colors out. It is a scene we recognize from rock paintings all over the world.

But my attention is quickly drawn to a tall and elegant figure, very distinctive from the rest. Striding along, as if on a mission. Then it strikes me he looks more like a shepherd gathering his flock, than a hunter, like the other figures in the painting. No idea why they decided to call him the White Lady. I am sure he would have objected being called that...

TRVL is breaking down the traditional barriers of the travel industry and putting you in control. Learn more now!

Other stories about Namibia