what to see / Martin Luther Steam Engine


Martin Luther Steam Engine (1896) Located just outside Swakopmund. Transport until the end of 19th century inside German South West Africa, revolved around either walking, trekking, horseback or by ox wagon connecting supplies from Swakopmund 100km into the desert provided much hardship for man and beast. Ox wagon treks took seven to eight days. Oxen went without food for this period and required up to three months to recuperate before they could be used again. It became an unacceptable turnaround. The Bay Road from Walvis to Swakopmund, not to mention interior tracks and trails, were littered with ox skeletons. The plan to introduce steam locomotives to the country was approved, but there were insufficient landing facilities at Swakopmund. Walvis Bay was the only other alternative. Hostilities between the Germans and the Nama delayed moving the stream engine to Swakopmund by five months. Almost every 500m the locomotive had to be dug out, as it was up to its... read more  Read More


More information on Swakopmund