The Namibian town of Grootfontein's Herero name is 'Otjiwanda Tjongue' which means leopard’s crest - as the area has a high density of these agile cats. It seems a pity that when formally naming the town it was decided to base the name of the Bushman name of Gei-/ous, which translates into Afrikaans as Grootfontein (meaning large spring). Perhaps the name was influenced by the fact that there is a large spring within the town boundaries while leopards are only occasionally spotted!
Grootfontein is the centre for a large cattle farming community while copper mining is also prevalent in the area. The section of Namibia around Tsumeb, Otavi & Grootfontein is often referred to as the 'Otavi Triangle'. The area receives considerably higher rainfall than parts of Namibia situated further west and south and contains much of the country's best commercial farmland.
During spring the Jacaranda trees flower, bathing the town in a swathe of purple. Situated in a prominent position atop a hill is the 'Old Fort Museum'. Originally a Schutztruppe fortress built in 1896 - today the museum houses a complete smithy which was used in the production of ox-wagons.
Probably the town is best known for being situated 20km's from the Hoba Meteorite - the world's largest meteorite. Discovered by Jacobus Hermanus Brits in the 1920s the meteorite is 3 meters long, 1 meter wide and weighs around 50 tons. Unfortunately Hoba has been subjected to numerous incidents of vandalism as visitors have chipped of pieces to take home with them.
Two other points of interest in the area are the large Baobab tree (romantically called 'Tree 1063') on the farm Keibeb, 60km north of Grootfontein and the Ghaub Cave on the Guest Farm of the same name.
Whatever you make of Grootfontein I'm sure most people would rather live in a town called 'Leopards Crest' than 'Large Fountain'.
Situated north-east of Grootfontein this serves as an gateway between the Caprivi and central Namibia
Around 80km north of Grootfontein this lodge acts as a gateway to Namibia's north east (the Kavango & Zambezi Region)
A satellite camp to Fiume Lodge, the Bush Camp requires a minimum two night stay and is the base for top quality guided excursions to visit a local Bushman / San community
Ten kilometers outside of Otavi this lodge offers a relaxing environment and is ideal for walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and birders
Initially a Christian mission station this property was converted into a lodge in 1999. The Ghaub caves nearby are well worth a visit
Horse riding, game and beautiful surroundings are just some of the reasons to stay at this lodge
A convenient stop close to Otavi
Large resort offering a restaurant, bar and olympic sized pool in Tsumeb
Situated near the center of Tsumeb this is a popular hotel.
A courtyard atmosphere, traditional garden and German cuisine can be found at this Tsumeb hotel.
Close encounters of the wild side - experience the Namibian veld on foot with Bruno, an enigmatic & knowledgeable guide
10 peaceful chalets provide accommodation at this lodge just north of Otavi
a campsite in a rural setting 80km north of Grootfontein on the main road towards Rundu & the Zambezi Region
Basic accommodation just a few kilometers from the town of Grootfontein
An eclectic lodge, allows for visits to a San community as well as offering reasonably priced overnight accommodation
Situated 20km west of Tsumeb
Between Otavi and Tsumeb.