If you drive along the roads of northern Namibia and suddenly see a man-shaped stone sculpture in a certain position, it means that you have seen one of the mysterious Stone Men in the Kaokoland. , a remote and inhospitable area of northern Namibia.
The Stone Men are an unanswered riddle in this wild region of Namibia, only suitable for adventurous travelers in a deserted paradise of mysteries and wonders. These stone sculptures, also known as The Lone Men of Kaokoland and made of rock from the Cunene area, are characterized by the human figure of a man representing various personalities. Each figure is in a different position: sitting, standing, kneeling, crawling, hands up, holding on to a rock…
They are large sculptures that are surrounded in a circle by small stones, so they are quite noticeable to see in the arid and dry landscape that characterizes this region. In each sculpture, you will find an inscription indicating the number and a brief message indicating the title of his position and the direction in which this mysterious man is going.
The creator of these stone sculptures is completely unknown. No one knows the artist of these sculptures, who has gone unnoticed and built a gallery of outdoor sculptures in the forgotten landscape of Namibia’s Kaokoland. And here, surely, lies much of the mystery of these sculptures. Why in this position and in this place? Could the artist be placing new Stone Men in the Kaokoland region? Why doesn’t it come to light? Perhaps these puzzles are what make this place special and make the search for Stone Men a very entertaining activity to do during your days in northern Namibia. The mystery is still to be solved …
Below we will show the Stone Men we met during our 5 day tour of the Kaokoland region. They say there are over 30 stone men on the road! We weren’t able to see them all, so we hope you can add more to this list below:
– Stone Man nº??: Located on the D3707 road from Sesfontein to Orupembe, this stone man hangs from a rock and is known as “The Hanging Man”. It’s probably the most spectacular thing we’ve ever seen. You will find it about 30 kilometers past Sesfontein, heading towards Purros.
– Stone Man nº39: This is also located on the D3707 road, just eight miles before you reach Purros if you come from Sesfontein. He is a stone man perched on top of a rock, kneeling on the ground as if calling for help. The clear message: “Help, lost !!”.
– Stone Man nº10: This is between Purros and Orupembe, on the D3707. This is the 10th sculpture depicting a stone man sitting on the road. Its message is: “Just resting going to 1”. You will find it approximately 33 kilometers from Purros.
– Stone Man nº28: This sculpture is located in the desert, near the bone-shaped rock. He is a stone man who is crawling on the ground, advancing on the difficult path of the desert. To get there, you have to drive 15 kilometers in the middle of the desert after taking the turnoff that comes out of the D3707 and you will find about 42 kilometers south of the town of Orupembe. The message is “I will get there sometime.”
– Stone Man nº17: Located on Highway D3707, this sculpture is located about 8 miles south of Orupembe. Represents a stone man sitting on a rock with the following message: “Giving up waiting for 11”.
– Stone Man nº27: This stone man is right next to the riverbed from Orupembe to Marble Camp. It is located about 4 km east of Orupembe and is entitled “Heading for 1 big gathering”. Represents a man walking and carrying a bundle on his shoulder.
– Stone Man nº12: This was the first sculpture we saw during our Kaokoland tour. It is located on a hill, on the road from the D3703 junction (just before Etanga) to Orupembe, about 18 kilometers southeast of Marble Camp. He is a stonemason with the following message: “I’ve been battered and dismembered, but now I’ve pulled myself together and I’m going to the meeting.” The title of the sculpture is “Hoping to meet 27”.
These stone sculptures, known as The Lone Men of Kaokoland, are one of the main attractions of the Kaokoland region (if you want to know more about this area, you can click here). It is a mystery who is the artist of these stone men sculpted in different positions and who live in the middle of a remote and dry landscape, as if they were more neighbors in this area.