Rehoboth, Namibia
Rehoboth is a town of 21,000 inhabitants in central 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...

 just north of the Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
The Tropic of Capricorn, or Southern tropic, marks the most southerly latitude on the Earth at which the Sun can be directly overhead. This event occurs at the December solstice, when the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun to its maximum extent.Tropic of Capricorn is one of the five...

. Located on the B1 road
B1 road (Namibia)
The B1 is one of the most important roads in Namibia, passing through the centre of the country in a north-south direction. It connects Noordoewer on the South African border with Oshikango in the north on the Angolan border...

, 90 kilometres south of the Namibian capital 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...

, Rehoboth lies on a high elevation plateau with several natural hot-water springs. It receives sparse mean annual rainfall of 240 millimetres (9.4 in), although in the 2010/2011 a record 731 millimetres (28.8 in) were measured. In 2005, it had a population of 21,378.


Administratively, Rehoboth is classified as a town with its own council of 7 elected individuals. Rehoboth is divided into eight neighbourhoods, called blocks. The oldest part of the town is blocks A, B and C, whereby block B contains most public services and shops. Block D is home to the wealthiest inhabitants of the town. Block E is the poorest neighbourhood and was originally (under Apartheid) designated for blacks. Blocks F,G and H are the newest neighbourhoods. The current mayor of the town is Mr. Pieters living in Block E.

Public amenities include a public hospital, primary and secondary schools and a district court with resident magistrate. The Oanob Dam
Oanob Dam
Oanob Dam is a dam outside of Rehoboth, Hardap Region, Namibia. Located 7km outside of Rehoboth, it dams the Oanob River and provides the town with a majority of its water. It has a capacity of 34.505 Mm3 and was completed in 1990, the year of Namibia's independence.-References:...

, approximately six kilometres from Rehoboth, supplies the town with fresh water. The majority of the population consists of Basters.


Until the 19th century the area of the present day Rehoboth town was inhabited by 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 Khoikhoi or Khoi, in standardised Khoekhoe/Nama orthography spelled Khoekhoe, are a historical division of the Khoisan ethnic group, the native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen . They had lived in southern Africa since the 5th century AD...

) groups who called it ǃAnis meaning smoke; referring to the cloud of condensed water vapour hanging over the hot springs in the morning.

The missionary Franz Heinrich Kleinschmidt
Franz Heinrich Kleinschmidt
Franz Heinrich Kleinschmidt was a German missionary and linguist who worked in South-West Africa, today Namibia. He founded the missionary station and town of Rehoboth and together with Carl Hugo Hahn set up the first Rhenish mission station to the Herero people in Gross Barmen...

 of the German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 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...

 named the place Rehoboth in 1845, when a mission was established among the resident Nama (Khoikhoi). In 1864, the Nama abandoned the area as a result of an attack by the Orlam Afrikaners.

In 1870, the Basters, who had migrated out of the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

 in 1868 moved into the territory and were granted permission to settle at Rehoboth by the participants of the peace conference of Okahandja on 23 September 1870. In a few years, the Basters were closely linked to the town of Rehoboth and became identified as Rehoboth Basters or Rehobothers. The population increased rapidly from an initial number of 333 in 1870, 800 in 1874 and 1500 by 1885. The growing Baster population settled in the surrounding areas, which would become known as the Rehoboth Gebiet (meaning ‘area’).

In 1885, Baster Kaptein
Tribal chief
A tribal chief is the leader of a tribal society or chiefdom. Tribal societies with social stratification under a single leader emerged in the Neolithic period out of earlier tribal structures with little stratification, and they remained prevalent throughout the Iron Age.In the case of ...

 Hermanus van Wyk
Hermanus van Wyk
Hermanus van Wyk was the first Kaptein of the Baster community at Rehoboth in South-West Africa, today Namibia. Under his leadership, the Basters moved from the Northern Cape to what is now central Namibia and obtained Rehoboth and the land around it through a protection treaty with the German...

 signed a 'Treaty of Protection and Friendship' with the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 which permitted him to retain a degree of autonomy in exchange for recognising colonial rule. Relations between Rehoboth and Germany
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...

 remained close for more than twenty years but in 1914, following the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Germany's use of Baster soldiers to guard South African prisoners - contrary to the terms of their enlistment - led to armed revolt. German forces then attacked Rehoboth, committed atrocities against Baster civilians and attacked refugees encamped upon the mountain of Sam Khubis, but, despite repeated attacks and the use of superior weaponry, were unable to destroy the Basters' position. Next day, the Germans retreated and Rehoboth's Baster community was reprieved.

Namibia was occupied by 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...

 in 1915 and, ten years later, a second rebellion broke out at Rehoboth. This revolt collapsed, however, when colonial forces - armed with machine-guns and supported by two warplanes - marched into the town and arrested more than 600 people.


The town is served by Rehoboth railway station
Rehoboth Railway Station
Rehoboth Railway Station is a railway station serving the town of Rehoboth in Namibia. It is part of the TransNamib Railway, and is located along the Windhoek to Upington line....

. There is also a private landing strip, for small aircraft near the Oanob Dam
Oanob Dam
Oanob Dam is a dam outside of Rehoboth, Hardap Region, Namibia. Located 7km outside of Rehoboth, it dams the Oanob River and provides the town with a majority of its water. It has a capacity of 34.505 Mm3 and was completed in 1990, the year of Namibia's independence.-References:...

. To the west is Gamsberg Nature Reserve
Gamsberg Nature Reserve
Gamsberg Nature Reserve is a protected reserve of Namibia, located west of Rehoboth....


External links

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