Tsumeb is the nearest Namibian town to Etosha and so is very popular with those wanting a refreshing overnight stop. It is an old mining town where a wide variety of minerals had been found. Copper was the main one but there was also Lead, Germanium, Zinc and Silver. As a very old country Namibia has been found to have a wide variety of minerals and gems.
The Minen Hotel in Tsumeb
A small part of the Minen Hotel gardens
About 20kms from Tsumeb we visited the Otjikoto Lake. How this lake was formed or its age is unknown but it is very deep and a beautiful turquoise colour. It is believed to have the deepest underwater cave in the world.
Entrance to the lake with the Logo of Tsumeb. The explanation is below
Otijikoto Lake. Old mining equipment is seen in the background
The most interesting piece of its history is that when the Germans prepared to surrender to the South African army in 1915, the German army pushed most of the heavy war equipment into the lake. Almost 70 years later much of this equipment was salvaged and was in very good condition. Today they are housed in a military museum in Tsumeb.
This is what is believed to still be in the lake
We spent some time wandering around the sides of the lake and then the botanic garden developed around it. At the entrance a sign hung over the gate with the German motto of Tsumeb which was interpreted below it. There were some very interesting plants as well as fossilized rocks which were between 600 and 700 million years old.
A Python Tree with the most amazting root system
As we left we spent a few minutes admiring a Giant Eland, the biggest species of antelope.
A Giant Eland
The following morning, on our way out of town, we visited a small chocolate manufacturing plant. We were invited to take a seat and taste some of their wares which meant that we could not resist purchasing some before we left. We then took the road to Grootfontein and stopped at the site of the Hoba Meteorite. The meteorite goes by this name as it is situated on the farm “Hoba West” between Tsumeb & Grootfontein.
How and when the meteorite was found
Info on the meteorite
Lyn beside the mereorite
Weighing over 60 tons it is believed to be the largest meteorite on the surface of the earth and, although it has been uncovered, it cannot be moved. Just visiting and touching this enormous piece of iron (mainly) was an awe-inspiring moment. We watch a lot of programmes on the universe and see the pictures but it is hard to imagine what was felt when this fell to land. It is believed that it did not break up on impact because of the angle at which it fell.
We sat on a meteorite – Wow
We continued on to Grootfontein which was a very fascinating stop. During the 1980s both Angola and Namibia were fighting for their independence from Portugal and South Africa respectively. As a result SA was at war and had a big and strong army which was maintained by compulsory conscription of all white males when they turned 18. Grootfontein was one of the main bases for the SA army so we had heard a lot about the town but actually knew very little. We didn’t stop in this city but continued straight on to Plateau Waterberg.
View over the base of the mountain
A part of the Waterberg
A baby buffalo
A young Kudu
We were housed in 2 adjoining chalets and had our meals at the restaurant. Dinner was rather amusing but also annoying. Those of you who know me well know that I don’t eat any form of spicy or peppered food so when the waiter came to take our order Lyn told him that I would a pasta dish with unspiced sauce. He said that this was all made in advance and mixed into the pasta. So, after checking various other options, I requested macaroni with grated cheese. When our meal arrived mine was a bowl of macaroni sans cheese, sans anything! I was not amused. He said one can only have cheese already in the sauce.
Lyn outside our adjoining chalets
We were up very early the next morning, the last of this trip, as we had booked a safari drive across the Plateau which was a Game Reserve. As we made our way to the very top of the hill which created the plateau, a climb of 200m, we enjoyed some spectacular scenery. As we drove around we were fortunate to see a herd of Buffalo and a number of antelope including Sable, Kudu and Oryx. The buffalo were at a watering hole and we spent quite a while watching them move together. A special moment was to see a baby and how well the herd cared for it. After a couple of hours and a wonderful drive we returned to the Lodge in a biting cold wind.
Buffalo at the watering hole
A group of Sable antelope
We packed up and then went to have breakfast in the restaurant. We had a little smile as we saw the waiter form the previous evening quickly move to the other side of the dining room so as not to serve us. From there we drove
We packed up and then went to have breakfast in the restaurant. We had a little smile as we saw the waiter form the previous evening quickly move to the other side of the dining room so as not to serve us. From there we drove back to Gobabis via Otavii and Windhoek.