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KEETMANSHOOP NAMIBIA. Capital town and commercial centre of the vast southern Region Karas Namibia


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Keetmanshoop Namibia

Capital town and commercial centre of the vast southern Region Karas Namibia

Keetmanshoop is conveniently situated at junction of the B1 road to South Africa and the B4 west to Luderitz and the coast. A good location  for an overnight stay and springboard for visiting the Fish River Canyon, the local tourist attractions are often overlooked by busy travellers. Nearby are the volcano like Brukkaros, the Giant's Playground, The Mesosaurus Fossils, the Naute Dam and Quiver-Tree Forest. The town has some interesting buildings from the German period and a small museum housed in the Rhenish Church.


Keetmanshoop History:

The Nama tribe !kharo-Oan led by Kaptein Hendrik Tsieb settled at the place they called Swartmodder in 1866. Shortly following this the Rhenish Missionary Dr. Carl Hugo Hahn sought the finances to establish a church and mission station at the settlement. A German businessman from the town of Barmen, Johann Keetman donated the funds and the settlement was named Keetman's Hope in recognition of his generosity and also hopes that the project would succeed. Following the 1884 German occupation of Namibia, Keetmanshoop was proclaimed a town on 14 April 1866 and granted Municipality status on 1 November 1909.


Johann Keetman benefactor of early Rhenish settlement

Johan Keetman

The old German (Kaiserliches Postamt) Post and Telegraphic Office was built in 1909. It also had an accommodation wing for the staff. The building was proclaimed a National Monument on 2.02.1987. It stands at the corner of Hampie Plichta Ave. and 6th Street and now serves as the Keetmanshoop tourist information office.


Following the wash-away of the original church in the great flood of 28 October 1890 the Rhenish Mission Church was rebuilt on higher ground and was consecrated on 8 May 1895. It is the oldest standing building in Keetmanshoop and now serves as a museum. The church was proclaimed a National Monument on 17.06.1978. It stands on Sam Nujoma Ave


Hampite Plichta Street sign

Hampie Plichta Str

Keetmasnhoop Rhenish Church

Rhenish Church

Keetmanshoop Old German Post Office Now Tourist Info Office

German Post Office

Kaiserkrone river

Kaiserkrone River


The above left street was named after the late and much respected Hampie Plichta, who devoted much of his life to public service, promoting tourism to the south of Namibia, and served as the mayor of Keetmanshoop for many years.

Karas Region

26º34'S - 18º08'E

Population 22,000

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What to See ▼

Keetmanshoop Map


Fish River Canyon


Giants Playground

Mesosaurus Fossils

Naute Dam Resort

Quiver Tree Forest

Services 4U ▼







Brukarros Brukarros: This is strictly  for the keen and well equipped hikers, and those with an interest in geology and preferably done with a guided tour. The local Nama community operate a camping area at a level that can be accessed by car. The upper camping area is about 1km up the rock and can be accessed by foot or 4x4. It's a remote, accident prone place with no cell-phone coverage in the event of an emergency, so be careful if going there.  Time budget 4-6hr+  ►►
Mesosuarus tenuidens Fossil Site Mesosuarus tenuidens Fossil Site: Highly recommended. The Steenkamps own the farm and are passionate about their work. They will show you many wondrous things. Not only some of the best trace fossils of Mesosaurus tenuidens, but forests of Quiver Trees, Surrealistic Dolerite Rock formations and even play you a tune on their musical rocks. This is possibly the best value tour in Namibia. Time budget 2-3hrs  ►►
The Naute Dam Naute Dam is the 2nd largest Dam in Namibia and quite picturesque. There are  camping areas with good views over the dam, but no electricity or shower facilities. If you're equipped for 'camping out' this is a good restful stopover place and reasonably priced. Time budget 1hr+ ►►


The Quiver Tree Forest Quiver Tree Forest is a National Heritage site and is located on the Farm Gariganus. Also on this farm, but a few kilometers along the gravel road, is the strange maze of rock-formations known as the Giants Playground.  Here you'll see massive dolerite boulders perched on top of each other. The farm has self catering accommodation, pet cheetahs and warthogs etc.

Time budget 2-4hrs  ►►


Road Distances from Keetmanshoop


Cape Town Noordeower Grunau Mariental Windhoek
325 / 202 995 / 618 305 / 189 170 / 106 235 / 146 495 / 307


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Of Interest: The Nama name for Keetmanshoop was #Nu#Goaes (meaning Fountain of Black Mud). The Apollo 11 cave site about 100km south of Bethanien is the oldest known rock art site in Africa, being an estimated 35,000 old.

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