|Tsumeb was founded over 100 years ago
as an important copper mining town and is today the capital town
of the Oshikoto Region of northern Namibia. The climate is sub-tropical
having a mean maximum temperature of 29,7°C
and a mean minimum temperature of 14,4°C. The average rainfall is 555mm
per annum. The town has a population of about 16.000 people. Tsumeb has
always been associated with the mining of copper and is presently the operational
center of the Ongopolo Mining and Processing Ltd. The town is also a popular stay
over for tourists traveling on to the Etosha game Park. You'll find good
accommodation here, but be sure to book in advance.
De-Wet Shaft Head-gear
- 'De Wet Mine Shaft'
(now closed) was the main access to the
extensive underground mining complex that was worked to a depth in excess of 1200
meters and remains world famous. This
was the only known
ore body in the world that comprised of Cadmium, Copper,
Germanium, Gold, Lead, Silver and Zinc. To date total of 226 different minerals were found, of which
40 were unique to the
Tsumeb Ore Body. A variety of semi precious minerals such as, Dioptase, Malachite and Tourmaline were found.
Don't miss the Museum which is at the eastern end of the
main street. It's one of the best in the country and has excellent
displays of the various minerals that came out of the mine, plus many
other interesting displays.
The Kaiser's Guns:
Just prior to the surrender of the Kaiser's Forces to
the Union of South Africa troops on 9 July 1915
at kilometre 500, a group of Schutztruppe
having been driven further and further north with no chance of being
re-supplied with arms or ammunition arrived at
Lake Otjikoto some 20km north of
Tsumeb. It was here
that they decided to dump the heavier of their remaining equipment into
the lake rather than allow it to fall into enemy hands. Legend has it
that one of the German soldiers ankles became entangled in the rigging
as the cannons were being pushed off the ledge and he was dragged down
and drowned. His ghost is said to haunt the area around the lake.
Recovery of Gun
Krupp 80mm Field Gun
The South African Union troops recovered the majority
of the equipment in 1915, much of which was cleaned and serviced and saw
action in the East Africa campaign.
In 1984 the
Corporation Mine (TCL) financed the recovery operation of several of
the German field guns with the assistance of local sub-aqua clubs.
After nearly 70 years underwater the condition of the items was
reasonably good. The mine engineering staff refurbished the cannons,
of which the above are but two of the exhibits at the Museum.
Road Distances from Tsumeb
|100 / 62
||250 / 155
||315 / 196
||565 / 351
||310 / 193
||430 / 267
Otavi / Grootfontein / Tsumeb Area
It is an unusual geological feature, being a limestone cap about the
size of a foot-ball filed that collapsed into the massive and deep water
filled karst-cave system that runs for quite some distance under the ground in
this area. It is into this lake that, prior to surrender, the Germans dumped the
their weapons and Field-Guns in 1915. There's a small zoo, restaurant and lots
of interesting collections at this site. Well worth a visit. Time Budget 1-2 hr
||Hoba Meteorite. It weighs-in at over 60 ton,
is approximately 3 meters square and about 1 meter in depth. It contains about
82% iron and 16% nickel. It fell to earth about 80,000 years ago, and is the
largest known-of metal meteorite in the world. When it came-in to land it didn't
cause any crater to be formed, so it probably had a very low trajectory and
'bounced' to its final landing site on the Farm Hoba. National Heritage Site.
Camping Available. Time budget 1hr
Of Interest: The Bushmen called the place 'Tsomsoub' which means, 'to dig
a hole in loose ground'.
The town's motto is from the old German miner's greeting, 'Gluck
Auf" (May luck be with you and bring you up safely)