February 2021

Updated: Apr 12

At the end of every month, we're publishing a summary of all the interesting facts shared on social media. In February we covered the picture bridge outside Windhoek, Bahnhof train station, a colourful graffiti back drop, Namibia's university and National Botanical Garden, a historical brewery and the old power station in Windhoek.

Posted on 2 February:

We don't have any official statistics to prove it, but we're pretty sure the most photographed bridge in Namibia can be found just 12km South of Windhoek...

This picturesque bridge forms part of Namibia's 865km state railway running from Windhoek to the Ariamsvlei-Nakop border post between Namibia and South Africa.

The construction of the line between Windhoek and Keetmanshoop began from both ends in 1910 and was successfully completed in 1912. The section between Keetmanshoop and Karasburg was completed in 1909 already but it was only in 1915 that the extension to Upington (past Nakop in South Africa) was built...

For more than a century, this bridge has beautifully framed the Falkenstein and Schildkrote mountains, creating a live, ever-charging portrait for anyone who drives towards it and we recon it's the perfect way to highlight

Posted on 4 February:

Continuing on Tuesday's quick fact bout railways, we decided to take this week's #throwbackthursday all the way to 1912, the year Windhoek's Railway Station opened on Bahnhof street.

The station's initial building was built in a Cape Dutch-style and, when it was enlarged with a Northern wing in 1929, the addition was made in the same style to match the existing design of the building...

Did you know that the first railway line to reach Windhoek was the one from Swakopmund, built between 1897 and 1902? Also, for those who enjoy history and going back in time, the Trans Namib Museum is located in the historical station building.

The museum was officially opened in 1993 and offers visitors an interesting exhibition of railway equipment, maps and related items dating back to German colonial times and South African administration. Outside of the museum you can see old locomotives, including the first diesel locomotive in the country

Posted on 6 February:

This #colorful #grafitti wall at Wernhil Shopping Centre in Windhoek offers a bright and fun backdrop for any visitor who'd like to capture something different #didyouknow that Wernhil was named after the first names of Werner and Hildegard List? Mr. and Mrs. List were two of the senior stockholders of the Ohlthaver and List Group of Companies, who owns the facility.

Wernhil Park was Namibia's first venture into one-stop shopping and the complex first opened in August 1990. Since then, the shopping mall expanded from 18000 m² to more than 54000m², clearly keeping up with Windhoek's overall development.

With a total of 1800 parking bays you're sure to find a safe parking spot while shopping; the mall is open from 9AM every day and closes at 7PM Monday to Friday. On Saturdays closing time is 5PM and on Sundays (and public holidays) all shops are open until 3PM.

Posted on 8 February:

Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be wonderful, so it's easy to understand why this green overload is making us feel extra fresh today!

Welcome to the National Botanic Garden of Namibia, a 12 hectare nature reserve in the heart of the city of Windhoek. All pictures were taken in January 2021 and no filters were added - it's all natural beauty!

There are so many #interestingfacts about this place, you'll just have to go experience it yourself! To get you excited and help you plan a great outing, we have you covered with some NB info...

  • The NBG is open from Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00 AND the first Saturday of every month from 08:00 to 11:00

  • A number of self guided walking trails lead through the garden and there are bird and plant lists available at reception

  • After good rain, you'll find beautiful lilies flowering along the Lily Path and chances are higher that you'll find water in the dam

  • A designated picnic area provides the perfect spot to end your visit - the tables are clean, neat and under the shade of beautiful trees

  • There is no kiosk/quick shop, so you need to bring along your own snacks and drinks

  • Unfortunately, no dogs (or other pets for that matter) are allowed

  • Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult (guided walks for school groups are available on request, just make sure you book well in advance!)

Posted on 10 February:

Built in 1948, the Old Power Station is an iconic landmark situated in the southern industrial area of Windhoek. It provided 22.5 Megawatt of power to Windhoek before the finalization of plans to build the Van Eck Powerplant in 1972.

The desire for success is what led to the transformation of the Old Power Station complex into a favourable business center, owner Gerrit Mouton told Namibia Economist in 2009. Mouton started negotiations to rent the site for two years with the option to buy from the municipality in 1999 already...

In 2017 the Old Power Station revealed a new look, with the focus on the old station's chimney. The upgrade was done by Paratus, who identified the tower as an ideal site to be used with their 4G LTE mobile data service upgrades. Follow the link to see a video of the upgrade: https://youtu.be/_TUupVmXq4Y

Posted on 12 February:

📸: @Leisure Wheels

Although students (or the younger generation) generally dislike history as subject, the importance of knowing and understanding a country's historic events cannot be emphasized enough...

Take the Red Line of Namibia for instance; do you know when, why or how this 'line' was created? To help you understand, we have to go way back to 1896, the year Rinderpest broke out in South West Africa (a colony of Imperial Germany at the time).

The consequences of the outbreak were devastating for the livestock, and its spread throughout the rest of southern Africa promised massive economic, social, and political consequences for the European colonies...

Following a decision made by colonial powers to prohibit the movement of livestock and wildlife in order to better control disease outbreaks, the demarcation of the Red Line was created, so named due to its depiction in red ink on German colonial administration maps in the early 1900's.

Ultimately, the Red Line would fail in its original purpose during the rinderpest outbreak but, despite this initial fail, the boundary continued to be used in an attempt to halt disease progression. Throughout the 1900's the Red Line was redrawn several times and today, more than 100 years after it's creation, it's purpose to keep the area south of the line free from animal diseases is still enforced.

After Namibia's independence, the existence of the Red Line (or Veterinary Cordon Fence) became increasingly controversial as the farmers to the north are not allowed to export their meat while farmers in the south are allowed exports to most foreign countries. Farms south of the line have fences around their farms, making the control of livestock movement (and future outbreaks) easier to contain. To the north of the line, livestock freely roam the land as it is a communal area with no or little fences or boundaries. To this day, both Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) remain an issue north of the fence.

Multiple discussions and proposals to move the line to the Angolan border were considered in recent years but, as new outbreaks of foot and mouth disease still occur (3 recorded during 2020), it seems the Red Line and all regulations linked to the transport of meat, will remain in place for the foreseeable future...

Tourists travelling to the North of Namibia are welcome to follow the link to an interesting blog post by Leisure Wheels about travelling with animal products: https://www.leisurewheels.co.za/.../voetspore-diary-red.../

Posted on 16 February:

For today's #quickfact about Namibia we decided to make #teachingtueday a thing

For those who don't know, the University of Namibia (UNAM) is the largest and leading national institution of higher education in the country. Established by a Commission on Higher Education in 1992, UNAM celebrated the 25th Jubilee of her existence in 2017.

Through 12 nationwide campuses and 11 regional centers, UNAM has graduated over 39 thousand students (to date) who are serving the country in various sectors of the economy. It is a diverse institution with a student population from 41 countries and from all continents... Although it's still relatively young, the university has grown to support a student population of 30,144 registered students in 2020.

According to their website, applications for admission open in May (postgraduate and mature age entry scheme candidates) and in June (normal applications) of the year proceeding the year of study. Head over to the 'Study @ UNAM' page for more information and be sure to submit those applications on time!

Posted on 23 February:

In the heart of the city, on the corner of Sam Nujoma Ave and Tal Street, one of the oldest buildings in Windhoek still stands strong...

Today, you might recognize it as the The Brewers Market and a few years ago many enjoyed it as The Warehouse Theatre, but we wondered how many people knew that this building used to be the Felsenkellar (Cellar of Rock).

In the early 1900's, the Felsenkellar Brauerei was one of four breweries in then South West Africa. In 1920, two German businessmen consolidated all of these breweries and Kronen Brauerei, Omaruru Brewery, Klein Windhoek Brewery and Felsenkeller Brauerei merged into South West Breweries Ltd. The businessmen behind this visionary move? Hermann Ohlthaver and Carl List...

For more than 6 decades, Namibia's famous Windhoek Beer was brewed at Felsenkellar. Following their success, South West Breweries expanded their production and, in 1981, the construction of a new state-of-the-art brewery started in Windhoek's Northern Industrial area. The new brewery was completed in 1986 and beer exports to South Africa was allowed shortly after.

Today, The Brewers Market offers locals and tourists traditional food and proudly Namibian arts and crafts. It also houses small entrepreneurs like barbers, tattoo artists, local musicians and leatherworks, making it a truly unique and history rich culture hub. Find them on Facebook and keep an eye out for quiz, karaoke and ladies night events, all organized and presented at The Brewers Market...

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