Gobabis is a town situated on the route from Windhoek to Botswana. The town is 110 km from the Buitepos border post with Botswana. It is the largest town east of Windhoek. Gobabis is the main centre and main business area of Omaheke, one of the thirteen regions of Namibia. It is linked with the capital of Namibia, Windhoek, by rail and paved roads that serves as the main supply line for the region.
Like many other towns in Namibia, Gobabis developed around a mission station which was established in 1856 by Friederich Eggert of the Rhenish Missionary Society. In the latter half of the 1800s and the early 1900s several conflicts flared up between the Mbanderu and the Khauas Khoikhoi, as well as between the settlers and the indigenous people.
In February 1894, Gobabis district was proclaimed by the German authorities. In June the following year, Gobabis was occupied by a German garrison. While the military fort, built in 1896/7, has long since disappeared, one of the few buildings dating back to that era is the field hospital, or Lazarette, which has been declared a national monument.
Of special interest is the Gobabis museum that is located on the outskirts of the town. A variety of old agricultural implements are displayed in the grounds, as well as a collection of historic artifacts. There are a few hotels in Gobabis and nearby lodges offer accommodation for tourists.
Many other services are rendered from Gobabis to the region, such as the Police Divisional Head Quarters. The town also hosts two hospitals and a clinic serving the region, shopping, and banking facilities. All the other population centers in the region are linked with Gobabis by road.
By Purity Njeru
Ms. Njeru is an African Executive staff writer
Comment on this article!