How to get to Messum Crater by car?

Messum Crater is the remainder of a gigantic volcanic eruption located within the Dorob National Park, in Namibia. It’s one of Damaraland’s most remote natural attractions, which comprises two concentric circles of hills. Make sure you have enough equipment to handle basic breakdowns.

Messum Crater

Why is Messum Crater famous?

The Messum Crater, distinct from a meteorite or asteroid impact crater, is part of an igneous ring complex situated on a previously active volcano whose center collapsed. This geological structure comprises a broad, flat basin spanning 18 to 25 kilometers in diameter, encircled by a ring-shaped range of hills. The formation traces its origins back approximately 130 million years. Composed primarily of quartz-rich basalt, the Messum Crater offers insights into the dynamic geological processes that shaped its unique features. It was named after Captain W. Messum, who explored the coastal regions of Southern Africa from the ocean between 1846 and 1848. The Messum Crater is home to a variety of hyper-arid-adapted plant life.

How challenging is the drive to Messum Crater?

Tucked away in the Namibian Goboboseb Mountains, northeast of Henties Bay, the road to this highly mysterious-looking crater is entirely unpaved, sandy, and rocky. 4WD vehicles only. You will enter this crater via the Messum riverbed, with its interesting sedimentary rock formations. The road leading to the crater has sharp and protruding rocks that could damage your tires. Please do not exceed 40 km/h. Part of the track is very rocky and steep, so take it carefully.

How remote is the drive to Messum Crater?

Make sure you’re well-prepared for the drive here since it’s easy to get lost: if you break down there, you are in trouble. Be prepared to drive tens of kilometers without meeting anybody. Travel with your GPS and stick to the existing tracks.
Pic: Bennie Moggee