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Towns in Namibia

The town of Karibib is situated on the main road between Windhoek and Swakopmund, some 100km west of Okahandja. This location makes it the ideal overnight or refreshment stopover between the countries capital, and Namibia's premier seaside resort, or even the beautiful volcanic Erongo Mountain range. The western peaks of this tourist draw card rise 2,500m above sea level and over 50 rock faces were used by the ancient San artists as their 'canvas.'

Karibib owes its existence to the advent of railroad development between the coast and inland Namibia, in fact the Karibib railway building is a national monument. Nowadays, this lively little town is best known for the Navachab gold mine, (not open to the public) 5km south-west of the town. Most tourists stop for a drink, a bite to eat, fill-up with petrol and take a visit to the Henckert Curio Shop. The Proviantamt, a large supply store room, the Zum Grunen Kranze Hotel & the Haus Woll were procalined national monuments in the 1980's. There are also numerous lodges near Karibib offering a range of accommodation choices.

But Karibib, however, does have a rich history. The earliest settlers in the district were missionary Johannes Rath and his family, who arrived in Otjimbingwe (place of refreshment) on 11 July 1849. Six years later, in 1855, rich copper deposits were found in the Khomas highlands, and the Walwich Bay Mining Company was founded in Cape Town, with its offices in Otjimbingwe. With traditional colonial thinking, (settle, command, exploit, and increase personal wealth and power) the deposits at the Matchless Mine were transported with ox-wagons from Otjimbingwe to Walvis Bay. By 1860, the copper deposits were yielding too little for further mining activities, and subsequently the mine closed down and sold its buildings in Otjimbingwe to Charles Andersson for 1,500 pounds.

Originally, Karibib was nothing but an unknown waterhole belonging to the West-Hereros. The waterhole and surrounding 20,000ha, was later sold by treaty by the Herero headman of Otjimbingwe to Mr Eduard Hälbich of Otjimbingwe. In addition to the settlement of debt, Zeraua received two ox-wagons with 36 oxen, and some other compensation in consumables and clothing.

In 1899, Karibib received a second waterhole to cater for increased needs. After the railway reached Jakkalswater, a military outpost of 4 soldiers was opened in Karibib in 1899 to safeguard the approaching railway. In 1900, the towns population was 10, and further developments occurred at the expense of Otjimbingwe, as the ox-wagons which used to travel via Otjimbingwe to Swakopmund, now travelled via Karibib. By the time the railway from Swakopmund to Windhoek had reached Karibib on 30 May 1900, the government moved the district council from Otjimbingwe to Karibib. During these years, the Karibib district grew fast, as Zeraua sold off two-thirds of his traditional land before 1902 to white settlers. The railway was officially opened on 1 July 1900, which initiated a period of hectic activity at the town

In 1902, the railway was continued from Karibib towards Windhoek, and as the mammoth of the railway building process and all the workers moved toward Windhoek, business slowed down in Karibib. Two factors had a detrimental effect on the flourishing of Karibib before 1904. The first was that large areas of the Karibib district were in the hands of the Deutsche Kolonial-Gesellschaft, who was not eager to let got of their vested interests easily. Secondly, Karibib was in the traditional area of the West-Hereros, who were equally not very keen on selling land to settlers and traders.

During the Herero uprising of 1904, Zeraua left the settlers in the Karibib district greatly unharmed, and due to the railway link from Swakopmund to Karibib, the towns importance as military hub grew rapidly. Eventually, the status of Karibib district was raised to that of a county, and expanded to include the governance of the district of Omaruru. On 8 December 1907, a reserve for the Herero was proclaimed in the vicinity of Otjimbingwe, whilst the remaining Herero land was confiscated and offered to the resident farmers in the district, a process which lasted until 1909, by which time Karibib district was already counting 837 white settlers, traders and farmers. By 1914, the census counted 892 white people (Karibib: 339, Usakos: 314, Otjimbingwe: 42 and 197 on farms).

In 1910, the first year of a Namibian agronomic census, the district counted 2270 cattle, 8850 goats and sheep, and 139 horses on 65 farms already developed or to be developed. In 1914, this increased to 14,125 cattle, 46,435 goats and sheep, 891 horses, 625 mules, 218 donkeys, 601 pigs and 163 ostriches on 74 farms.

Karibib is also home to the Karibib Marble and Granite Works. This highly specialized industry processes some of the high quality marble deposits that have been found in the country, with a large percentage being exported.

Places of interest include the Old Station Building, Halbich House, and the Henckert Tourist Centre.

  • Karibib: Karibib Station
  • Karibib: Main Road
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Ai-Aiba Lodge

Nestled in a conservation area in the majestic Erongo Mountains this property contains a wide selection of rock art. Activities here center around rock art and various guided walking trails serve as a good introduction to Namibian rock art

Epako Game Farm

A luxury lodge offering top notch rooms & facilities. Guided game drives and bush walks allow guests to thoroughly explore the area.

Erongo Wilderness Lodge

One of our favourite lodges in Namibia - excellent accommodation, food and guided walks in beautiful surroundings make for an enjoyable and relaxing stay.

Etusis Lodge

A variety of activities are on offer at this lodge near Karibib. Accommodation ranges from camping and self-catering options to private bungalows

Hohenstein Lodge

Situated at the foot of the Hohenstein mountain, this lodge offers many hiking and climbing opportunities. It is also well situated to visit the Spitzkoppe Mountain

Kashana Lodge

A charming lodge in the town of Omaruru. With all the facilities you may require including a popular restaurant & bar

Klein Eden Guest Farm

Around 30km east of Omaruru this pretty little guest farms offers self catering units in a tranquil and pleasant environment

Accommodation in Namibia