Surreal granite composition
Many photos depict the enormously impressing granite rock formations of Namibia. Especially in the Erongo Mountains, the ancient remains of a volcano, between Omaruru and Usakos one can find a large variety of these surreal appearing formations. Most famous is the Bull’s Party on farm Ameib.
Here the granite rocks formed by so-called spheroidal weathering are particularly impressive: a dream for photographers.
Formation of forms*
The formations of the Bull‘s Party are a result of millions of years of erosion processes, which formed the granite, a very hard but also very porous rock. Granite is a magma which cooled down under the earth surface and was formed by massive volcanic activity in this area about 110 – 130 million years ago. Erosion of the granite already appeared underneath the earth, fissures formed and the granite split into blocks by the so-called jointing.
When the blocks were finally exposed on the surface due to erosion of the earth’s surface they were further formed by the extreme fluctuation of night and day temperatures. Through this temperature weathering the outer layers of the numerous blocks chip off and over millions of years round off square blocks until virtually round boulders are formed, which might roll into the valley and form places such as the photogenic Bull’s Party.
Numerous other weathering processes (corrosion, desquamation, solution weathering) can be seen at the Bull’s Party. The temperature fluctuation in the Erongo is at times so extreme that for example a sudden rain shower on an extremely hot day can cause the boulders to split with a loud bang - the so-called radial crack.
* Nicole Grünert (1999): Namibias faszinierende Geologie. Ein Reisehandbuch. Klaus Hess Verlag, Windhoek / Göttingen.
A heaven for photographers amd geologists
Bull‘s Party is not only a heaven for photographers but also for geologists. A day visit to the Bull’s Party is well worth it. Nevertheless an overnight stay at Ameib is highly recommendable as the real magic of the place is only revealed once the last rays of setting sun touch the Elephant Head rock formation - a magic moment indeed.
Directions to the Bull’s Party can be received at Ameib’s reception. Another place of interest is the Philipp’s Cave.