Rosh Pinah to Aus


This Route stretches along the C13 from Rosh Pinah to the small town of Aus. Aus is a small town that lies between Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop. The town gained some importance late in 1906 when the railway line from Lüderitz reached it. In 1915, after defeating the German Forces at Otavi, the South African army established a camp for German prisoners of war east of Aus. The village of Aus became one of two detention camps for prisoners of war. Military police and officers were sent to a camp in the north and the non-commissioned officers went to Aus. After the treaty of Versailles, the camp was dismantled and by May 1919 it was closed. Virtually nothing remains of the original camp, but several WWI graves remain immediately north of the village.

On the desert plains west of Aus live some of the world’s only remaining populations of wild desert-dwelling horses. Among the several theories about the origins of the horses is the one that suggests they are descended from German Schutztruppe cavalry horses abandoned during the South African invasion in 1915. Others claim they were brought in by Nama raiders moving north from beyond the Orange River. Another of shipwrecked horses en-route from Europe to Australia. Still, others maintain they are descended from the stud stock of the Baron Hans-Heinrich von Wolf from Duwisib Castle north of Helmeringhausen, who set off for Germany to fight in the First World War but was killed in battle in France and never returned to Namibia.

At present, the population fluctuates between 150 and 160, but there have never been more than 280 individuals. Their only source of water is Garub Pan, which is fed by an artificial bore hole.

*Information courtesy of Dr. E. Ozcan



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