Siddhesh Joshi

Omaruru, Namibia

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Country  Namibia
Founded  1863
Region  Erongo Region

Omaruru, Namibia in the past, History of Omaruru, Namibia

Map of Omaruru, Namibia

Omaruru is a city and constituency in the Erongo Region of Namibia. The town has 14,000 inhabitants and owns 352 square kilometres (136 sq mi) of land. The town is situated near Mount Erongo, on the usually dry Omaruru River. It is located on the main paved road from Swakopmund to Otjiwarongo. The name in the local Otjiherero language means 'bitter milk', as the cattle used to browse on a local bush that turned their milk bitter.


Omaruru, Namibia in the past, History of Omaruru, Namibia

The town is known for its annual festival where the Hereros commemorate their past local chiefs, its winery and for the dinosaur footprints at nearby Otjihenamaparero.

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Omaruru was established in 1863 by Wilhelm Zeraua, the first chief of the White Flag clan of the OvaHerero people. In 1871, Anders Ohlsson and Axel Eriksson established a brewery at Omaruru. Eriksson had also established a trading post, which flourished and by 1878 he employed about forty whites. Eriksson's business was based upon long-distance trading between southern Angola and Cape Colony, which necessitated the establishment of regional trade routes.

The town grew around a mission built in 1872 by Gottlieb Viehe, now a museum, and was attacked in 1904 during the Herero Wars. Franke Tower was later erected to commemorate the relief by Hauptmann Victor Franke's troops of the local garrison that was beleaguered by Herero tribesmen who had risen against the German colonial presence.

Legacy of von Trotha

The descendants of Lothar von Trotha and the von Trotha family travelled to Omaruru in October 2007 by invitation of the royal Herero chiefs and publicly apologised for his role in the Herero genocide. Member of the family Wolf-Thilo von Trotha: "We, the von Trotha family, are deeply ashamed of the terrible events that took place 100 years ago. Human rights were grossly abused that time".


Omaruru is governed by a municipal council that currently has seven seats. It is the district capital of the Omaruru Constituency.

In the 2015 local authority elections SWAPO won four seats in the town council, gaining 1117 votes. The United Democratic Front (UDF) gained two seats (590 votes), and the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) obtained one (291 votes).

Transport and infrastructure

Omaruru is the only Namibian town not connected to the NamWater pipeline network. It receives its water from boreholes along the Omaruru River which are managed by the municipality.

The town lies on the Trans-Namib Railway.


Omaruru, Namibia Wikipedia

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