KeetmanshoopKeetmanshoop lies on the B4, 500 km south of Windhoek. It is the traffic junction and the economic centre for the whole south of Namibia. The town was founded as a mission station in 1866 and named after the German trader Johann Keetman who supported the mission financially.
There is a museum in the old church where the illustrated history of Keetmanshoop is on display. Worth a visit is the old "Kaiserliche Postamt" built in the year 1910, which now houses the Tourist Information.
Today the town has of 20 000 inhabitants and is a nice place to stop over, as there are some comfortable hotels and a caravan and camping park.
About 13 kilometres north-east of Keetmanshoop lies the spectacular and much photographed Kokerboom or quiver tree forest on the farm Gariganus. The site has been declared a National Monument.
The quiver tree or "Kokerboom" is indigenous to the hot and dry southern part of Namibia and the Namaqualand in South Africa. The plants are succulents and can reach a height of up to 9 metres. They have adapted to the extreme environmental conditions and can store water in their trunks. The tree only blossoms for the first time after 20 to 30 years and can reach an age of 300 years. The wood is very light and spongy inside. And because trunk and branches can easily be hollowed out, they were used as quivers by the San (Bushmen people) who formerly inhabited this area.
Travel Information and Accommodation
Left: "Klipkerk", the old Mission Church, now a Museum. Right: Quiver Tree Forest on Farm Gariganus.