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26.05.2017

Fish River Canyon - Traces of a Death Struggle

“Hell’s Bend” in the Fish River Canyon at the main viewing point.  Photo: Gondwana Collection

Once upon a time a giant snake dwelled in southern Namibia. Every so often it devoured the people’s sheep and goats and so finally they decided to kill the snake. Armed with spears and accompanied by their dogs the men set out for the hunt. They encircled the snake, keeping it at bay with fiery torches, shooting arrows at it and thrusting spears...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

19.05.2017

Zebra - Pyjamas and other theories

Stripes merge individuals into a group. Photo: Ron Swilling

White stripes on a black background or black stripes on white? Although our perceptions may differ, we can all agree that the zebra has one of the most striking coats seen in the animal kingdom. Two species of zebra occur in southern Africa: Burchell's (or plains) zebra Equus burchellii and mountain zebra Equus zebra. Both...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

12.05.2017

A pledge made between rugged rocks

Sam Khubis. View from the Baster positions; the Schutztruppe attacked from the hills on the right.  Photo: Sven-Eric Kanzler

Charge, fire, charge, fire, charge, fire. Armed Basters put up fierce resistance against the attacking German soldiers. The battle started before sunrise and has been raging the whole day, now the sun is already low on the horizon. It is just as well, because the Basters have reached the end of their tether, they are running out of ammunition....[more]

Category: Gondwana History

28.04.2017

The Potjie, a Beloved Southern African Tradition

You can tell that these potjies (three-legged cast-iron pots) are used regularly.

Rivalling the legendary braai (barbeque) as the most popular outdoor southern African cooking tradition, the “potjie” like the braai, provides an opportunity for an enjoyable social and culinary event as families and friends gather around the fire. The slow-cooking cast-iron three-legged pot simmering on the fire encourages chatter, tall stories...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

21.04.2017

Nemesis of a lioness

On 1 May 1954 the Dagbreek insert “Fleur” dedicated a whole page to the lion attack on the Els family.

Jan, the legendary strongman of the South African bushveld, apparently could pick up a plough with one hand and point it in the direction from which the rains usually came. The problem is that nobody ever witnessed his stunts. But when a South West African farmer’s wife who tackled an outraged lioness with her bare hands is mentioned, you can well...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

07.04.2017

The wild horses of the Namib may disappear

Namibia’s wild horses have lived in the desert for 100 years. They are one of the top ten tourist attractions in Namibia and they “embody the spirit of Namibia”. They have contributed to the promotion of Namibia as a destination and have been the subject of a number of documentaries about the country. The horses are also part of Namibia’s history...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

24.03.2017

Independence - More than 300 Years of Resistance

Resistance leader becomes president: Sam Nujoma is sworn in by Chief Justice Hans Berker on 21 March 1990.  Photo: National Archives

It is January 1677. At the tip of Africa, where a supply station has been established at the foot of Table Mountain, the Dutch ship “Bode” sets sails to explore the coastline north of the Gariep/Orange river mouth. In early March the “Bode” arrives at Sandwich Harbour. The crew goes ashore but is attacked by the Khoisan who live there. After a...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

17.03.2017

Lithops - Living stones

Lithop: Flowering stone.  Photo: Ron Swilling

In 1811, botanist, explorer and artist William John Burchell recorded finding a “curiously strange pebble”, which he discovered was a plant that “ ... in colour and appearance bore the closest resemblance to the stones between which it was growing”.This “living stone” or lithops, derived from the Ancient Greek words lithos – stone and ops – face,...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

10.03.2017

The Forgotten Vineyards of Klein Windhoek

The Roman Catholic Mission vineyards in Klein Windhoek in April 1964. (St. Paul’s chronicles)

Looking out over the Klein Windhoek valley, one notices the upmarket suburban houses surrounding St Paul’s College and its sports fields and the students walking jauntily down the road after a typical school day. What few people may realise however is that the valley, verdant in mid-summer bounty, was once covered by the sprawling vineyards of the...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

03.03.2017

Omajova - A Wild Delicacy

In celebration of the rains: a termite mound with omajovas.

Towering termite mounds reaching heavenwards from the savannah are a typical sight in many areas of Namibia. Giant mushrooms emerge from the base of the mounds during the rainy season adding to their striking visual impact. As the grass turns green and the clouds mass for summer downpours, the gargantuan fungi appear as if in celebration of the...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

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