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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Karibib

   

Karibib is a small town en-route from Windhoek to Swakopmund in Namibia. It's famous for the marble quarry on the outskirts of town, used for creating tombstones and decorations for houses and buildings. Some of the marble is also exported to Europe. Vist the Henkert Tourist Centre in town and get to know a little more about the surrounding area, which also boasts a gold mine. Namibia's highest mountain, the Brandberg, is also found in the region - it's highest peak, Koenigstein, is 2 579m high. The Brandberg is famous for the rock painting known as the White Lady. You can reach the San painting only by foot - the hike along a marked route takes about an hour and requires considerable fitness.

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 Walvis Bay Mining Company was founded in Cape Town, with its offices in Otjimbingwe. Through 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 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, were 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 town’s 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 intense activity at the town. In 1902, the railway was continued towards Windhoek, and as the large railway building process and all its workers moved towards the Capital, 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 were not eager to let got of their vested interests. 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 largly 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. At this time, Karibib district was already counting 837 white settlers, traders and farmers.

Highlights
 

  • Henckert Tourist Centre
  • Brandberg Mountain
  • Old Station Building (1900)
  • Rosemann Hotel (1900)
  • Former Hotel Zum Grunen Kranze (1913)
  • Halbich House (1900-1907)
  • House Woll
  • Schutztruppe’s Quartermaster’s Store (Proviantamt)
  • German Evangelical Church – Christuskirche Built in 1909-1910.
     
   
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