Postal Runners - The Heroes of Early Communication - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

Namibia with Heart and Soul: Take our hand and let us introduce you to this awe-inspiring country. Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.

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Where the Namib Desert stretches languidly from the Atlantic Ocean and wild land extends into infinity, dreams become real. At this place where fantasy meets reality, you'll find the Gondwana Collection safely positioned.

Take our outstretched hand and let us introduce you to our extraordinary country, Namibia. From the massive chasms of the Fish River Canyon, the fossilised dunes of the Namib Desert and the red sands of the Kalahari Desert to the waterways of the Kavango and Zambezi, there are countless marvels to behold. Explore this awe-inspiring wilderness from the warmth of our lodges, created with conservation cognizance and ample character. And return to relax after an exciting day of discovery.

This is the Gondwana feeling: Namibia with heart and soul.

Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.

About us

Namibia2Go Car Rental

Experience Africa like never before. Explore Namibia your way with our well-maintained and fully inclusive rental vehicles. Easy. Hassle free. Unforgettable.

We offer a comprehensive travel service including car rental, accommodation, safaris and self-drive itineraries and day trips. Interested?

Boxed2Go Self-Drive Safaris

Let us spoil you with Gondwana Collection’s exceptional self-drive safari packages including accommodation, vehicle and a detailed route map guide. Make use of our comprehensive travel services to book an unforgettable safari. Discover the spectacular secrets Namibia holds. more

GO EPIC - Experience Namibia’s famed locations (11 days)
GO BIG - Discover Namibia's main attractions (13 days)
GO WILD - Track Namibia's awesome wildlife (12 days)

Safari2Go - The easiest way to travel the country!

10-Day Namibian Highlights Tour
Enjoy Namibia’s most popular destinations on this compact guided tour that incorporates visits to the Kalahari and Namib deserts – including the famed Sossusvlei dunes, the intriguing coastal town of Swakopmund, the Twyfelfontein rock engravings and Etosha National Park. more

3 Day / 2 Night – Sossusvlei Safari Shuttle
Exciting adventures await those who partake in this exhilarating safari to Sossusvlei, one of the most spectacular sites in the world. The magnificent star dunes are a photographer’s dream and the spectacular landscape will leave memories to last a lifetime. more

Namibia Road Map 2019/20

Anyone touring Namibia should definitely take our road map along. It is available from Gondwana free of charge, or as pdf download. This map features fascinating experiences plus recommended accommodation. At the same time it is an ordinary road map with all the essential information of the official Namibia road map by Prof. Uwe Jäschke and the Roads Authority of Namibia.

Gondwana's Newsroom

Postal Runners - The Heroes of Early Communication

Avatar of inke inke - 21. July 2017 - Discover Namibia

Postal runner on the Tsumeb – Ondangwa route with post bag and pouch of provisions. Photo: Walter Moritz

Talk about snail mail! That’s putting it mildly. Are the loved ones back home all right? Will head office send the urgently needed bibles or not? German missionaries in Namibia used to have to wait two years before they received an answer to letters sent to the home country. Every now and then they waited in vain. Around 1840 the mail route was not only very long but was also dangerous.

At that time, of course, postal services did not exist. Missionaries sent their letters by runner or asked travellers to carry them home. The first postal runner service in today’s Namibia was established in 1814 between the missionary stations of Bethanien and Warmbad. Letters to Germany had to be sent via Cape Town and Great Britain, the colonial power, because German ships had as yet no particular reason to call at the coast of South West Africa on a regular basis.

The surface route was the biggest challenge. Namibia’s first postmen were real heroes who certainly deserve to be honoured. They covered hundreds of kilometres on foot, in the murderous heat of summer and bitter cold of winter. They were able to carry up to 17 kg of mail. The mailbag was tied to a stick that they carried on one shoulder and a bag carrying their provisions was attached to the other end of the stick. They took around 12 days to get from Windhoek to Walvis Bay.

Apart from the exertion, postal runners also had to withstand many dangers. One of the runners who was the communication link between the mission stations of Bethanien, Warmbad and Kommagas, disappeared one day. Tracks were found shortly afterwards which led to the assumption that he had fallen prey to a lion. One of his successors met with the same fate. In this case, however, neither the postal runner’s mortal remains nor the mail was ever found.

The first postal agency for South West Africa opened in Otjimbingwe on 16 July 1888. 
Why Otjimbingwe? Because the office of the Reichskommissar, chief administrator of the “Protectorate of German South West Africa”, which had been proclaimed by Imperial Germany in 1884 was there.

The beginnings of the postal service were very modest. The post office was a small hut and the full-time police constable doubled as postmaster. For many years letters and parcels were also distributed via the mission stations. The postal agency was transferred in October 1891 from Otjimbingwe to Windhoek, where a fort had been built in which the imperial commissioner had taken up residence.

After the construction of the railway line from Swakopmund to Windhoek, the number of post offices mushroomed. In 1907 a well-organised public postal service was established. A regular shipping service was also started between Swakopmund and Germany. The two-year wait that a German missionary had to endure in 1840 before receiving an answer to his letters had shrunk to just six or seven weeks.

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