Close Proximity to Etosha
Tsumeb has approximately 15,000 inhabitants and is the largest town in the Oshikoto region in northern Namibia. Tsumeb is considered the “gateway to the north” of Namibia and is the closest town to the Etosha National Park, which is the largest game reserve in the world and one of the greatest wildlife viewing parks in Africa, situated only 100km north-west of Tsumeb.
The park spans an area of 22,270 square kilometres (8,600 sq mi) and gets its name from the large Etosha pan which is almost entirely within the park. The Name “Etosha” means: “Land of Dry Water” and the pan itself (4,760 square kilometres (1,840 sq mi) covers 23% of the total area of the Etosha National Park.
The park is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinoceros. Tsumeb is primarily a mining town. The mine was originally owned by the OMEG (Otavi Minen- und Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft) and later by TCL (Tsumeb Corporation Limited) before its closure a few years ago, when the ore at depth ran out. The mine has since been opened up again by a group of local entrepreneurs (“Ongopolo Mining”).
A fair amount of oxidized ore remains to be recovered in the old upper levels of the mine. It is highly unlikely, though, that the deepest levels will ever be reopened. The other notable feature of the town is the metal smelter, currently owned by Namibia Custom Smelters. The Annual Copper Festival is a well-known event on the local festival calendar.
The Tsumeb Museum
The museum displays the area’s rare minerals and mining history, as well as Bushmen and Himba artefacts and details the rich German colonial history in the area. You cant miss the sight of the beautiful old, black locomotive displayed at the entrance to the Museum. Main Road – next to Lutheran Church.
Tsumeb Cultural Village
A community project located at the southern entrance to Tsumeb, giving the visitor insight into the rural life of Namibian tribes. One of the specialities is the a drink made from Mahangu, called “oshikundu”.
Twenty kilometres northwest of Tsumeb, alongside the B1, you will find a mysterious sinkhole called “Otjikoto”. A haven for divers, Lake Otjikoto holds a treasure of German weaponry, including brass cannons that were dumped by the Schutztruppe in an effort to prevent British troops from laying their hands on it. Many of these armaments were since recovered and restored and are now displayed in the Tsumeb Museum.
This lake, 32 kilometers northwest of Tsumeb, past the Otjikoto Lake on the D3043 road, is more difficult to access, since it lies on farmland and permission has to be obtained from the farmer to view its mystical inky-blue depths.
Some 75 kilometres south-east of Tsumeb you will find the famous “Hoba Meteorite”. This famous lump of rock is reportedly the world’s heaviest metallic meteorite to be found on earth. It weighs approximately 50 tons and is mainly comprised of iron and nickel. It was declared a national monument in 1955. With a kiosk selling cool drinks, snacks and souvenirs, this is an ideal place for a picnic.