Keetmanshoop is a city in Karas Region
Karas Region
The Karas Region is the southernmost region of Namibia. The name assigned to the region reflects the prominence of the Karas mountain range in its southern part...

, southern Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

, lying on the Trans-Namib Railway from Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...

 to Upington in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. It is named after Johann Keetman, a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 industrialist and founder of the city.

The town is situated in a semi-arid area, normally receiving an annual average rainfall of only 152 millimetres (6 in), although in the 2010/2011 rainy season 254 millimetres (10 in) were measured.


Before the colonial era, the settlement was known as ǂNuǂgoaes or Swartmodder, both of which means "Black Marsh" and indicated the presence of a spring in the area. The first white settler, Guilliam Visagie, arrived here in 1785. In 1860 the Rhenish Missionary Society
Rhenish Missionary Society
The Rhenish Missionary Society was one of the largest missionary societies in Germany. Formed from smaller missions founded as far back as 1799, the Society was amalgamated on 23 September 1828, and its first missionaries were ordained and sent off to South Africa by the end of the year.The...

 founded a mission there to christianize the local Nama
Nama are an African ethnic group of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. They traditionally speak the Nama language of the Khoe-Kwadi language family, although many Nama now speak Afrikaans. The Nama are the largest group of the Khoikhoi people, most of whom have largely disappeared as a group,...

. The first missionary, Johann Georg Schröder, arrived in Keetmanshoop on April 14, 1866, which is now marked as the founding date of Keetmanshoop. The mission station was named after the German trader Johann Keetman who supported the mission financially, but never actually visited the place himself.


Keetmanshoop has a desert climate
Desert climate
A desert climate , also known as an arid climate, is a climate that does not meet the criteria to be classified as a polar climate, and in which precipitation is too low to sustain any vegetation at all, or at most a very scanty scrub.An area that features this climate usually experiences less than...

 (BWh, according to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

), with hot summers and mild winters. The average annual precipitation is 147 mm (6 in).

Notable buildings and structures

The Keetmanshoop Museum is located in the Rhenish Mission Church, a building dating back to 1895. The church was declared an historic monument in 1978 and is a well-known landmark. Its unique combination of Gothic architecture cast in African stone makes it one of the architectural masterpieces in the country and a popular tourist attraction. Other notable buildings are the post office, dating from 1910, and the railway station
Keetmanshoop Railway Station
Keetmanshoop Railway Station is a railway station serving the town of Keetmanshoop in Namibia. It is part of the TransNamib Railway, and is located along the Windhoek to Upington line that connects Namibia with South Africa....


The town is situated near two quiver tree forests, one of them
Quiver Tree Forest
The Quiver Tree Forest is a forest and a well-known tourist attraction of southern Namibia. It is located about 14 km north of Keetmanshoop, on the road to Koës, in the Gariganus farm...

 being a national monument
National monument
A National monument is a monument constructed in order to commemorate something of national importance such as a war or the country's founding. The term may also refer to a specific monument status, such as a National Heritage Site, which most national monuments are by reason of their cultural...

 and a major tourist attraction of Namibia. Also close to Keetmanshoop is the Naute Dam
Naute Dam
The Naute Dam is a dam outside of Keetmanshoop, Karas Region, Namibia. It was built between 1970-1972 and was officially commissioned in September 1972. It is the third largest dam in Namibia after Hardap Dam to Naute's north and holds up to 69 million cubic metres of water...


J. Stephanus Stadium
J. Stephanus Stadium
J. Stephanus Stadium is a sports venue in Keetmanshoop, Karas Region, Namibia. It is the home stadium of Fedics United F.C. of the Namibia Premier League.-References:...

 is located in Keetmanshoop and is home to Fedics United F.C.
Fedics United F.C.
Fedics United F.C. is a football team in Keetmanshoop, Karas Region, Namibia. They play in the Namibia Premier League at J. Stephanus Stadium....

, a football team in the Namibia Premier League
Namibia Premier League
The Namibia Premier League , also known as MTC Namibia Premier League due to sponsorship reasons, is the highest level of domestic association football in Namibia...


Keetmanshoop is also an important center of the Karakul
See also: Karakul Karakul or Qaraqul is a breed of domestic sheep which originated in Central Asia...

 sheep farming community.

Local authority results, 2010

In the 2010 local authority election
Namibian local and regional elections, 2010
Namibia held elections for their local and regional councils on 26 and 27 November 2010. The terms of regional councillors and local authority representatives were originally set to expire in 2009...

, a total of 3,156 votes were cast in the city. SWAPO won with approximately 48% of the vote. Of the three other parties seeking votes in the election, RDP
Rally for Democracy and Progress (Namibia)
The Rally for Democracy and Progress is an opposition political party in Namibia. It was launched on November 17 2007 under the leadership of Hidipo Hamutenya and Jesaya Nyamu, both former leading members of the ruling SWAPO party and cabinet ministers. Hamutenya had unsuccessfully sought the SWAPO...

 received approximately 35% of the vote, followed by the Democratic Party
Democratic Party of Namibia
The Democratic Party of Namibia is a political party in Namibia, launched in July 2008 at Keetmanshoop.Although it constitutes an initiative of the Nama people, the party plans to focus on all ethnic minorities in Namibia. It positions itself in clear opposition to SWAPO, the currently ruling party...

 (10%) and the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (7%).
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.