Namibia destination information: Keetmanshoop, Fish River Canyon, Lüderitz, Kolmanskop, Orange River, Diamonds

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Destination Info: Regions - Karas Region - Part 1

     

Related pages: Adventure - Art - Birds & Wildlife - Experience - History - Landscapes - Museums - Sightseeing - Towns

 

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Namibia's southern Karas Region is the largest and one of only two regions that span the entire width of the country, from the Kalahari in the east to the Namib Desert and Atlantic Ocean in the west. The Orange River - re-named in 2008 to its former traditional name, Gariep River -  forms its southern border, which is shared with South Africa.

Apart from its only larger town and administrative centre, Keetmanshoop, the Karas Region's best known features are the Fish River Canyon, Africa's largest canyon and second largest in the world, and the historic small harbour town of Lüderitz with its neighbouring Kolmanskop, a former magnet of fortune seekers, during the first diamond rush in Southern Africa at the end of the 19th century.

In late 2007, the Karas Region came under the spotlight when the Sendelingsdrift border

 

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post on the Gariep River was re-opened to unite the Namibian part of the Richtersveld Trans-Frontier Park with the South African one. The same year also saw the re-opening of the Mata Mata Gate to the South African Kgalagadi National Park (previously known as Kalahari Gemsbok Park) that borders the Karas Region in the east.

The only other border posts to South Africa, i.e. Rietfontein and Ariamsvlei in the east as well as Onseepkans and Noordoewer on the Gariep River, fall within the Karas Region too.
Newly promoted "Cape to Namibia" tourist routes emphasise the great diversity of landscapes, fauna and flora, as well as sites of historic interest in this






A common cactus found
all over southern Namibia.
Photo: I. Ohm
 

     

part of Southern Africa. They also pay homage to the  fact that both countries have more in common than meets the eye. Namibia's Karas Region not only is part of the winter rainfall region, like most western provinces of SA, but they also share much of the geological developments and  historic events that shaped south-western Africa.       

Travellers to the Karas Region will find vast serene plains along the western escarpment, rugged mountain ranges such as the Karasberg, Tiras, and Aus Mountains with their unique plant life, and the "Sperrgebiet" (Prohibited Diamond Area), where the Namib Desert shows its most hostile face yet hides its greatest treasures.       - to be continued

 



 

 

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Last Update:  August 2009