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The battle for a life in freedom

04. December 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

Fascination with the wild horses in Namibia’s south-western Namib Desert is compelling. Their origin was shrouded in mystery for decades. Their habitat, the inhospitable plains around Garub, is anything but a paradise. In more recent times they have become a tourist attraction. Every year thousands of visitors watch in awe as the horses arrive with thundering hooves and flying manes to quench their thirst at the trough at Garub. They are all the more touched when in years of drought they see emaciated tired creatures... Why? Does nobody come to the rescue?

The battle for a life in freedom

Custodian of the Namib Wild Horses

27. November 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

The wild horses have lived in the Namib Desert for nearly a century, being tempered by the desert conditions, forming the resilient Namib breed. The horses initially lived in the Sperrgebiet. Garub was an important source of fresh water in the desert and access to its borehole water ensured their survival. Jan Coetzer served as the unofficial custodian of the wild horses from the time he began to patrol the area for Consolidated Diamond Mines (CDM) in 1966/67. He took an active interest in the horses until he left the area in 1981, checking up on the borehole at least once a month.

Custodian of the Namib Wild Horses

Shipwreck on the Skeleton coast

20. November 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

Shipwrecks along the Skeleton Coast testify to the hazards of navigation without modern instruments. The Woermann Line, which operated scheduled shipping services to the German colonies in Africa until the First World War, lost several ships off the southwestern coast, among them the “Gertrud Woermann”. The ship ran aground near Port Nolloth in 1903. At the time the Woermann Line was the largest private shipping company in the world and immediately bought a replacement vessel, the “Gertrud Woermann II”. She set sail on her first voyage to Africa in June 1904.

Shipwreck on the Skeleton coast

Hoba Meteorite - Fragment of a Dwarf Planet

06. November 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

“Beware of falling meteorites!” The warning on a sign on the way to the meteorite on the farm Hoba, some 20 km west of Grootfontein, is in jest of course. It has been almost 80,000 years since a meteorite fell from the sky and hit this spot. But there is a grain of truth in the banter. According to estimates the earth is hit by approximately 500 meteorites per year. Most of them are rather small. The Hoba meteorite, on the other hand, is a chunky fragment weighing tons. It is likely to have caused a violent tremor when it crashed into the earth. 

Hoba Meteorite - Fragment of a Dwarf Planet

Curt von François Leaves a Noteworthy Legacy

16. October 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

He was Reichskommissar and Landeshauptmann of German South West Africa and left a remarkable legacy to the former colony: Curt von François is recognised as the European founder of Windhoek and Swakopmund. A monument was erected in his honour in Windhoek depicting him in the Schutztruppe uniform. Few know that von François was not only a soldier but primarily a talented cartographer and researcher who contributed significantly to the development of the former German colony. 

Curt von François Leaves a Noteworthy Legacy

Coughing Steward serves Death to Hundreds of Train Passengers

09. October 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

It is a virus with many names. 2007 it was called swine flu, in 1978 it was the Russian flu and in 1918 the Spanish flu. But whatever the name, this virus always spells death. Its worst outbreak was during the final months of the First World War when it raged worldwide, massively aided by the military. It even makes its way to the remote little hamlet of Aus and thins out the ranks in the POW camp, among the guards as much as among the prisoners. It happened around this time, 92 years ago.

Coughing Steward serves Death to Hundreds of Train Passengers

Donkey carts: The 4x4s of rural Namibia

02. October 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

Although you may think that minibus taxis, buses and bakkies are the modern means of transport in an ever-expanding Africa, on the dusty roads of the Namibian interior, far from crowded cities, the donkey cart is one of the quintessential Namibian forms of transport. The many gravel roads that bisect rural Namibia are arteries in the vast country, ideal for this transport of old. Donkey carts convey people from village to village, to wells and clinics, and transport children to school. 

Donkey carts: The 4x4s of rural Namibia

Matchball on top of Brukkaros

25. September 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

This is where solitude lives. After several hours of driving to the foot of the volcano-shaped mountain and another two hours of climbing we have reached our destination: the south-western crater rim of Brukkaros, north of Keetmanshoop. We are 600 metres above the rest of the world, surrounded by total wilderness. But what on earth is this? Two steel tubes, set in a concrete base, protrude waist high from the ground. They are about nine metres apart. No doubt, this is a tennis court. But who, may I ask, plays tennis on the crater rim of Brukkaros?

Matchball on top of Brukkaros

The Battle of Waterberg

14. August 2015 inke - Discover Namibia

Hereros and Germans had been at war for seven months in the former colony of German South West Africa on 11 August 1904. Led by paramount chief Samuel Maharero the main force of the Hereros was concentrated at the southeastern flank of Waterberg Mountain. Historians believe that the Herero force was up to 3000 men strong. German general Lothar von Trotha had a force of 2500 men at his disposal (Tröndle 2012). He planned to encircle the Hereros and inflict a crushing defeat.

 

The Battle of Waterberg

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