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Route Map

Some Towns:
Steinkopf, Luderitz, Warmbad, Gibeon, Berseba

Other Routes:
Crayfish Route
Diamond Coast Route
Richtersveld Route
Kamieskroon Mountain Route
Hardeveld Route

Steinkopf: Kookfontein Rondawels
tel: 027 7218841
fax: 027 7218842

Berseba: Brukkaros Campsite
Tel:+264 63 257188
or :+264 63 223572
Mobile:+264 812696150
Fax:+264 63 224211

Kuiseb: Aonin Camp
Camping and self catering bungalows.
Catering available on request.
Rudolf Dausab
Tel: +264 64207208
Mobile: +264 811297208

Nico Noord: Grundoring
Sarah Bock +264 6325 2241

Richtersveld: Namastat
Cultural camp in the Richtersveld Community Conservancy
Volenti v/d Westhuizen
027 8517108
Open Mon-Fri
8:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00

Warmbad Hotsprings Community Restcamp
Contact Lorraine
Tel: +264 63 269 187
Fax: +264 63 268 186

The Nama Route is for those who are genuinely interested in the history and culture of people. However, your journey will always be blessed by magnificent backdrops of endless plains, rugged mountains and the unique riverine valleys that mark the !Gariep (meaning ‘Great River’ in Nama, and referring to the Orange River that temporarily lost its name during the colonial era).

Today the region’s population is a true patchwork quilt of cultures tied together by a complicated history of bloody wars, repression, dispossession of land, and finally by a common desire to recover a fascinating past and develop a common future where local resources and tourism will help to sustain the people of this marvellous transfrontier region.

Who knows where the Nama Route really starts? Some say it starts way down in Tulbagh near Cape Town, because it is from there where the great Nama leader Jan Jonker Afrikaner trekked north when Europeans settled at the Cape of Good Hope and soon after started to make life uncomfortable for the local people. Jan Jonker Afrikaner finally settled at //Ai-//gams, meaning Hots Springs and referring to Windhoek in central Namibia from where he ruled the entire country for a decade. So, conveniently, the Nama Route really criss-crosses the N7, becoming the B1 the other side of the border, and going as far north as ancient Nama history and the present day settlements reach.


Living on the Edge
The Topnaars, a group of Namas that live in the central Namib along the dry riverbed of the Kuiseb, lead a most remarkable existence in one of the harshest deserts in the world. The lifestyle is closely tied to the !Nara plant (Acanthosicyos horrida), a melon-like cucurbit that they use in a variety of ways to sustain themselves throughout the year. The Topnaars know their environment extremely well and can help unlock the secrets of the Namib to those interested in the fascinating ecology of what some scientists believe is the oldest desert in the world.
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Brukkaros Crater
About 130 km northwest of Keetmanshoop near the small settlement of Berseba the Brukkaros Mountain towers over the flat landscape. Brukkaros is not an extinct volcano as many people believe, but the eroded remnants of a massive pile of rocks produced by a gigantic gaseous explosion some 84 million years ago. At its highest point it is about 1 580 m, and a high ridge surrounds a deep crater of 2 kilometres in diameter. The mountain's local name Geitsigubeb means the large leather apron traditionally worn by Khoikhoi women.
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Where the !Gariep Flows
The Gariep has played, and continues to play a big role in the lives of the people who live in the region. It is the locality of an emerging Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) that will tie together numerous individual protected areas, all of them worth a visit, meaning you can spend an eternity in the region and still wanting to see more. Two conservancies on either side of the border, namely the Richtersveld Community Conservancy (where an authentic Nama settlement is in progress) and //Gamaseb Conservancy near Karasburg on the Namibian side as well as the Eksteenfontein Museum will point you in the right direction to learn more of the Nama culture.
[ read more (pdf file - 70kb) ]

Where the Road Leads You
The Nama Route can be started anywhere and followed in any direction. The Nama Route might take you to Luderitz, where thousands of Nama prisoners of war died in appalling conditions under German occupation - be sure to visit the grave of Captain Fredericks on Shark Island. Or to the route might take you to Gibeon, near Mariental, where the Hendrik Witbooi Museum will become an important interpretation centre for Nama history. Anyone can direct you to the house of Sophia Samuels (or you can call her on 081 2773714). Pay a visit to Warmbad and the //Gamaseb Conservancy and see how the Namas on the other side of the !Gariep live. Then spend the night at Warmbad Hotsprings Community Restcamp.