CENTRAL NORTHERN NAMIBIA, encompassing large chunks of Otjozondjupa, Erongo and Kunene regions, contains some of the country’s most compelling natural landscapes and the finest examples of ancient rock art. Two hundred and fifty kilometres north of Windhoek, on the eastern limit of the Central Highlands, Namibia’s very own table mountain, the majestic sandstone Waterberg Plateau, presides above the plains; a beautifully scenic national park, it is a nurturing ground for rare animal species, such as black rhino and sable antelope, as well as being renowned for its wilderness trails. The surrounding savannah is also cheetah country, with the Cheetah Conservation Fund centre, just outside nearby Otjiwarongo, a compulsory detour if you’re interested in these majestic felines. Travelling northwest from Windhoek, the landscape becomes decidedly drier and harsher as you head into flat semi-desert savannah, out of which rise dramatic granite inselbergs produced through volcanic activity millions of years ago: the domed Erongo Mountains, the distinctive Spitzkoppe, and the vast, brooding Brandberg, which shelters thousands of stunning rock paintings and boasts impressive biodiversity and endemism. All three areas contain fascinating rock formations and superb hiking terrain. Moving further north into southern Kunene, you reach the globally significant collection of San rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, located in a hauntingly beautiful landscape.