Up on the Plateau

Waterberg Travel Blog

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This morning we explore some of the walking trails on offer oo the Plateau. 68 km east of the town of Otjiwarongo. The Waterberg Plateau is a particularly prominent feature, elevated high above the plains of the Kalahari of Eastern Namibia. The plateau and some 405 km² of surrounding land were declared a Nature Reserve in 1972.

The Waterberg Plateau Park is ecologically diverse and rich and has over 200 different species of bird and some rare species of small antelope on the lower hills of the mountain.

Geologically, the oldest rock stratum is over 850 million years old and dinosaurs tracks were left there some 200 million years ago. The first human inhabitants were the San people, who left rock engravings believed to be several thousand years old.

A small tribe of the San were still living their traditional lifestyle on the plateau until the late 1960s.

The site is also home to one of the major turning points in Namibia's History. It was at Waterberg, in the foothills, that the Herero people lost their last and greatest battle against German colonial forces at the beginning of the 20th century. The Herero were forced to retreat from the Waterberg and headed eastward to British Bechuanaland (now Botswana). Thousands were killed by the pursuing Germans and many lost their lives in the Kalahari Desert due to lack of food and water. Estimates are that nearly two thirds of the Herero population lost their lives during this period. 

We will then head south after lunch and return to Windhoek. We have the chance to stop off en route to visit the Penduka Womens workshop.

An NGO that provides support and employment to Deaf and other  Namibian women. The crafts that they make include Batiks and ingeniously recycled beer bottles that are turned into glass bead jewellery.

Women in Namibia suffer from a low social status, which makes it difficult for them to find a job. As a result, the entire family lives in poverty. This vicious circle is often strengthened by a physical handicap or by diseases like tuberculosis and HIV AIDS. Penduka tries to break this negative circle by providing these women with work. This way they can support their families and as a result their social status will improve both within their family and within their 
local community.

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2,322 km (1,443 miles) traveled
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photo by: rvanolderen