Mariental / Hardap Dam Mariental lies 260 kilometres south of Windhoek on the B1. The little town provides for the surrounding farms and Nama communities. With the construction of the Hardap Dam in 1962, irrigation farming on a considerable scale was introduced to the area causing an upswing for the town of Mariental. Nowadays, mainly melons, lucerne, wine and maize are being cultivated below the dam.
The Hardap Dam is the biggest of its kind in Namibia with a water surface area of about 25 sqkms and an 862 metre long dam wall. It dams up the waters of the Fish River, the only river in the country's interior that runs just about all year round, although carrying very low quantities of water during the dry season.
The dam is a popular watersport and holiday resort for the people of Windhoek. At the lake's western bank lies a small nature and game reserve of 20000 hectares.
Here one can go for scenic walks or drives. The resort supports many different species of antelope like springbok, oryx and kudu, as well as ostriches, mountain zebras, black rhinos and a great variety of birds. At the eastern bank lies a state-owned restcamp with chalets, a restaurant, a swimming pool and campground.
Travel Info and Accommodation
Photos: Left the Pub of Mariental. Top: Blooming Agave at the Hardap Dam.