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Murder Hill – Reminder of a bloody Battle

Murder Hill in Okahandja, next to the western bypass. Source: Gondwana Collection

"They [the Hereros] had just left when we were startled by heavy rifle fire in the vicinity. (...) We were certain that this was the dreaded signal for attack. Women and children, some of whom had already been robbed of their ornaments, fled to us fearful and panic-stricken and reported that the Namaqua [Oorlam/Nama] were approaching. We...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


The Orange River – Named by an Explorer of Note

Robert J. Gordon. Source: Wilcox 1986, p. 9

The Great River, Gariep, Orange... The various names by which the longest river in southern Africa (2160 km) is known embody its impression on the eye of the beholder and also testify to South Africa’s eventful history. From its source in the Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho it first flows through South Africa as a live-sustaining green ribbon and...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


Eternal church on a rock between the desert and the sea

The German evangelical church in Lüderitzbucht. Source: 25 Jahre deutsche evangelische Kirche Lüderitzbucht, p. 20 (DELK/ELKIN archive, photo: JC Hubrich)

Defying the elements, Felsenkirche (the Church on the Rock) has stood overlooking the small harbour town of Lüderitz for over 100 years. The church is an architectural gem, built on the granite of Diamantberg (Diamond Hill). Whether the patrons wanted to express that the Christian church is based as firmly as a rock on the belief in Jesus Christ...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


A journey into humanity’s past

Dr Wendt doing excavations at the Apollo 11 Cave in 1972. (Private Collection Antje Otto)

It is the year 1969. Man sets foot on the moon for the very first time. The whole world is mesmerized by the Apollo 11 mission. Archaeologist Dr Wolfgang Wendt from Cologne in Germany embarks on a similar mission, albeit in the opposite direction. Instead of reaching into space he digs into the ground and his journey is not into the future but the...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


Seeheim applies for legal Prostitution

Seeheim at the start of the 20th century. (Photo: Walter Rusch collection)

History does not repeat itself. But every now and again it provides a déjà vu of some kind or other. One example is the debate about the legalization of prostitution. An application with similar content was submitted back in 1908..."With reference to the discourse with your Honourable Sir, I most obediently allow myself to put forward a...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


Postal Runners - The Heroes of Early Communication

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...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


Black-backed Jackal - The Trickster

The jackal kills larger prey with a bite to the throat.  Photo: Johan Scholtz

Like the fox in European folklore, the jackal is often represented in African folk tales as a trickster. Its ability to adapt to changing circumstances and its legendary stealth and cunning have inspired stories about the wily creature that dodges traps and avoids hunters year in year out. The jackal is reputed to be able to obliterate its tracks,...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


Piles of stones a reminder of Haiseb deity

Information boards in front of the reception of Canyon Village.

Canyon Village is dedicated to the history and culture of the Nama and Oorlam peoples. Before this Gondwana lodge opened in September 2003, five Namibian artists were engaged to depict scenes from the everyday life of these peoples as it was more than 100 years ago in dozens of murals. The idea was for guests to become acquainted with the people...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


Twyfelfontein - the Fountain of Doubt

Ella and David Levin with their children Christina, Susan and Michiel in 1951.

Long before the Twyfelfontein engravings became a popular tourist destination and received recognition as a world heritage site, the land was visited sporadically by Damara people watering their animals at the trickling spring (or "fontein" as it is called in Afrikaans). It was named Twyfelfontein (doubtful spring) by farmer David Levin...[more]

Category: Gondwana History


World heritage: the writings of Nama Chief Hendrik Witbooi

Hendrik Witbooi. (National Archives)

The legendary traditional leader of the Witbooi Namas, Hendrik Witbooi (1830-1905) kept a diary. In his leather-bound journal he also entered copies of letters, treaties and protocols of meetings. The journey of Chief Witbooi's journal from 1884 until it was inscribed into the 'Memory of the World' register of UNESCO in 2007, is an interesting...[more]

Category: Gondwana History

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