46 photo-collection of Namibian Shebeens

For the individual(s) who don’t know the term “shebeen”, let us help you clarify the term before enjoying the photo collection below. Shebeens, mostly located in traditional townships, was started as an alternative to pubs and bars which during apartheid times, black Africans were barred from. Originally shebeens operated illegally, selling home-brewed alcohol and were also meeting places for activists of the struggle against apartheid. As time evolved they also sold commercial beer, spirits, brandy and whiskey. Most of these are operated by elderly people, predominantly women. Shebeen queens and kings share their living space with their customers, meaning there are no designated areas in the house for patrons.

Children raised in these households often go to bed late or can’t study because of the noise generated by patrons, despite the fact that most hardcore shebeens don’t play loud music. A typical shebeen would sell about two to four cases of alcohol on a good day. The customers are normally regulars who are often given booze on credit. These are the operations that would normally fall outside the ambit of the existing legislation within most southern African countries.

The internationally accepted definition of culture by Unesco states that it includes “the whole complex of distinctive, spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or a social group. Culture includes arts, letters, modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions and beliefs.” In general, culture is the essence of a given people’s way of life as represented by their multifaceted creations, accomplishments and aspirations

According to www.everyculture.com  the culture of Namibia is characterised by a people who speak Bantu languages like Oshiwambo and Otjiherero as their first language. Others speak Khoisan languages (Nama/Damara and various Bushman languages), while a smaller percentage are native speakers of Indo-European languages like Afrikaans and English.

Like most southern African countries Namibia boasts of a variety of architectural styles in addition to Western buildings. But one can also note the increase in dwellings made of metal sheets or concrete blocks with metal roofs, a style also seen in some urban neighbourhoods.

Should you be educated about this country you will be familiar by now that Namibia was originally inhabited by nomadic hunters, gatherers, and pastoralists and one would note the lack of vegetables in the Namibian diet. So with, important occasions are marked by the slaughter of cattle or goats, and the consumption of meat, home-brewed beer, purchased beverages and other foods. Thus, emphasises the fact that throughout Namibia, drinking is another part of life. No wonder the capital Windhoek is the home of a popular lager named after the city.

A drive to Katutura Township, a populous location 15 km away from the city centre of Windhoek, one will find shebeens located at every corner or in the yard of every other house in Genesisstraat (a street in Namibia’s populous Katutura Township). Sadly, this specific street is at random days unfortunately littered by broken bottles. So if you as a visitor get the change to explore these locations with a rental vehicle, make sure to book vehicle insurance which includes your 4×4 tyres (for just in case).

In Namibia, shebeens operate under the Liquor Act of 1988. Shebeen owners are required to get an annual licence but it was apparent through a community radio current affairs programme that most of them are illegal. But nevertheless, illegal or not, many Shebeen’s all over Namibia will always welcome you and provide a friendly atmosphere in a manner which only Namibian’s can. One thing is certain when it comes to creativity to naming a Shebeen, Africans truly take the lead. Especially when naming the outlet – as seen below. Although many Shebeens look “run-down” from the outside, the inside will often leave you very surprised. Beautiful interior decoration in many Shebeens shows a style which is purely Original within its design and layout. The most beautiful Shebeens are often found very deep in some townships, which sadly are rarely seen by many international visitors. Namibian creativity is actually very well known and admired since the entire country is filled with very creative individuals which should be applauded and showcased to everyone wanting to experience it. Personally, I maintain an opinion that the “name-giving” of every outlet of each Shebeen is to be celebrated in the form of understanding presenting uniqueness and originality which can be only found in southern Africa and especially Namibia. One thing is for certain, Namibian Shebeens have some of the most “catchy” Names which draw the attention of potential customers (disregard of location) hence giving some international Pub’s, Tavern’s or Hang-Out’s a run for its money.

Hard to see on this one: THE DOG IS HOT BAR (spelling missing on Photo Image)
Photo: WAKA WAKA Bar
Photo: TRIPLE N. JOINT SHEBEEN (looks like northern Namibia (?) )
Photo: SPECIAL OFFER (apparently sponsored by MTC – Mobile Cellphone Provider Enterprise)
Photo: Socialising inside a Shebeen (unknown)
Photo: Traditional Herero Lady inside a Shebeen, shop or Kuka-Shop (unknown)
Photo: OUR LUCKY BAR (looks like northern Namibia(?) )
Photo: EASY LIFE BAR (not known if sponsored by MTC (?) )
Photo: COOL & COOL
Photo: REALITY BAR $ GROCCERIES (love the spelling layout)

Photo: SIMBIRA SHEBEEN (love this one)
Photo: Unknown Shebeen Interior
Photo: Single Quater Food Outlet in Windhoek (a Windhoek Food Outlet, not a traditional Shebeen as such… click for more details)
Photo: EMBANDI SHEBEEN (most probably in northern Namibia)
Photo: PUT MORE FIRE SHEBEEN (located in Rundu – northern Namibia)
Photo: HOT STUFF BAR (all you Designers will love this one – check out the Fonts used)
Photo: MEME’S INN (abrv. “MEME” is Oshiwambo standing for Lady, Old Lady, older Lady, Woman in charge or a form of respectful Term used to introduce yourself humbally towards an African Female)
Photo: BACK OF THE MOON (my personal favourite – located in Mondesa, Swakopmund)
Photo: BAFANA-BAFANA SHEBEEN (look up Bafana-Bafana on the Web for more Info – African Soccer)
Photo: VANDAKONGELA. SHEBEEN (would love to find out the location)
Photo: SADDAM HUSSEIN SHOPPING CENTRE (would love to know the location)

Photo: Township Tour (P.S. it seem as if this photo has been taken in RSA)


     + Word of Note: Photo origin and rights include Vagabond Adventures, Flickr, The Mad Traveller, Gondwana Collection, Carsten ten Brink, Pinterest, Chameleon Safari’s, Peace Corps Namibia Blog, FivePrime, Namibia Tourism Board and a couple unknown sources.

     + Shebeen Links:

• Namibian culture of Shebeens

• The Namibian Newspaper Article

Photo Collection of Namibia pre-21’st century

A small photo collection of 30 black and white photos, taken by various unknown photographers in the days of colonialism and other dark days. We don’t want to provide inaccurate information, therefore, we exempt ourselves from explaining every photo itself. All we can say that the locations on these photos include Swakopmund Mole, Kristuskirche, Reiterdenkmal, Avis Damm in Windhoek, Pupkewitz General Dealer (one of the oldest retailers in Namibia), Hotel Kaiserkrone, Kaiserliches Zollamt, Swakopmund Leuchtturm, Tintenpalast, a vehicle used for an Ostrich hunt, diverse traditional and non-traditional Garments worn by proud Namibian’s and other selected and diverse images. Mainly, most of the images include a beautiful showcase of some of the Architecture still present throughout Independence Avenue in Windhoek and the general location of and around the Kristuskirche. One character trait which helps predict the age of some of these photos is the layout and shape of bricks shown inside a few photos and also the vehicles used at the time. Perhaps some of you reading this will also notice the “Jugendstil Architecture” and the old-school font’s used on all the signage(?). Unfortunately, much knowledge on when, where and by whom got lost over the time. Many other photos/replicas can be found at Windhoek’s UNIC Library, UNAM Library ( recommended), Peter’s Antiques in Swakopmund and other selected locations.

     + Other similar cool Info available:

• Download our 92-page .pdf brochure for further details on Windhoek Libraries (3,7Mb)

• Kolmanskuppe – German colonial coastal Ghost Town

Gemstones in Namibia

Namibia is generally well known for its quality diamonds and the history around these precious stones. However, if you love your Gemstones, semi-Gemstones and Minerals than this post is for you. Namibia offers a whole variety of different Gemstones found throughout this beautiful country. Famous for its exceptional variety in precious and semi-precious stones, Namibia hosts such world-renowned mineral localities as Spitzkoppe, Erongo and Brandberg, amongst others, which are being visited by many professional and hobby collectors each year. But while we Namibians are proud to share this heritage with those who appreciate it, there are certain rules and regulations to be followed, when exporting minerals (more details below). Image shows the worlds biggest Quartz Crystal which is up for display and viewing at the Kristall Galerie in Swakopmund. (see Map below for directions)

Claims for semi-precious stones are reserved for Namibian nationals, many of whom make a living by digging for gemstones, amongst which topaz, amethyst, tourmaline, aquamarine and garnet are the most common, and selling them at diverse roadside stalls or outlets. Collectors’ specimens are also sold by a number of formal stores in Swakopmund and Windhoek.

Private mineral collectors and researchers need a permit from the Ministry of Mines and Energy for all material collected or purchased, while the export of mineral specimens for commercial purposes, in addition, requires a permit from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (it is advisable to allow two working days for the issuing of the permit). The collecting and export of any fossils, including fossilized wood, and meteorites are prohibited by law and regarded as theft and is not treated lightly (more insight on our past Blog Post here).

Gemstone mining operations vary according to size and complexity. Small shallow deposits are generally mined by a few people with buckets, prybars, shovels and picks. Methods of drilling, blasting, and timbering may or may not be employed. Mechanized hauling and hoisting are done only at the largest mines. The difficulty behind such mining efforts remains to the fact that one cannot simply blast the earth to extract most of these beautiful minerals hence beautiful specimens will shatter. Utmost value of eg. Tourmaline is evaluated by size, clarity and crystal flawlessness (!), meaning that a stone which doesn’t show any internal cracks or tears are considered a prime specimen. Via blasting the earth the chances are very high for the crystals to develop cracks and tears inside of them. Hence the extraction is a very labour intensive one. One often finds small mineral sellers wanting to sell some inferior samples along the road. These samples are great as a souvenir and not really intended for polishing or jewellery. But if you come across one, support them. These people invest a lot of labour inside smaller private mines in order to get out inferior specimens at the best of their ability without the financial backing of diverse enterprises. Have a look at their Hand-Palms, they are rough (because of the nature of the work involved)!!!

Image above clearly shows a Tourmaline with internal cracks and rips (flawed). However, still being a beautiful specimen such crystals never reach a high-value Crystal market value and most of the time will be passed off as a “lower class” specimen. (image by Classic Crystals)

Some semi-precious stones are produced as by-products of other mining operation s. For example, Beryl, tourmaline, spodumene, and gem quartz may be coproducts of mica, feldspar, quartz, or other pegmatite minerals. Diamonds may be recovered from gold dredges, turquoise from copper mines, agate and petrified wood from gravel pits, and gem garnet from abrasive garnet mines and mills.

Gemstones are used primarily for ornaments or diverse decoration elements. There are, however, some industrial applications for gemstone material. For instance, industrial processes requiring clean homogeneous stones use low-quality diamond. Tourmaline is used in laboratories to demonstrate the polarization of light, to measure the compressibility of fluids, and to measure high pressures. Ruby is well known to provide as a medium for medical equipment used to catalyse the accuracy of blood-count accuracy. Agate is made into mortar and pestle sets, knife edges for balances, textile rollers, and spatulas. Gemstones are used as jewel bearings in timing devices, gauges, meters, and other applications requiring precision elements.

     + So how does the Industry compare the value and quality of Minerals and Gemstones?

Natural resources pose particular governance challenges, and many of the considerations that apply to other commodities are equally salient in the gemstone sector. Yet gemstones are also distinguished by several unique qualities that have implications for their management, including:

High unit value. The average rough diamond is worth approximately 15 times more than gold per unit weight. This difference is significantly higher when gold is compared against “gem grade” stones (those deemed of suitable quality to be made into jewellery).

Non-physical attributes. A stone’s pedigree or other subjective qualities may influence perceptions of its value; for example, a Kashmiri sapphire may fetch a higher price than a Malagasy sapphire with similar characteristics. Markets also increasingly favour stones that are “responsibly sourced,” or produced in accordance with certain environmental, social and governance standards.

Variable unit value. The price of a given type of gemstone reflects its perceived quality, whereas most minerals are priced based on quantity and purity. In 2013, for example, high-quality Zambian emeralds marketed by Gemfields were worth 19 times more by weight, on average, than low-quality Zambian emeralds.

Unique characteristics. While the quality of certain gemstones is assessed on the basis of the “four C’s” (referring to color, clarity, cut and carat weight), a range of other attributes may affect market prices, such as the presence of inclusions (materials that become trapped inside a gemstone as it forms); also, heating is commonly used to improve colour but also clarity, or quality. Many of these qualities are not easily discernable without a degree of specialist knowledge.

Complex processing. “Beneficiation,” the process by which rough stones are transformed into polished gems and jewellery, requires a greater degree of craftsmanship and specialization than processes for other minerals, such as smelting. A fine or poor cut, respectively, may significantly increase or reduce the potential price of a gemstone

Variable unit value. The price of a given type of gemstone reflects its perceived quality, whereas most minerals are priced based on quantity and purity. In 2013, for example, high-quality Zambian emeralds marketed by Gemfields were worth 19 times more by weight, on average, than low-quality Zambian emeralds.

     + Here is our list with a few selected Minerals which are being mined/found in Namibia:

• Vanadinite, Otavi Mountains (image by Mindat.org)

• A meteorite from the Gibeon Meteorite Swarm (image by the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy)

• Gypsum “rose”, Namib Desert (image by Nature Friend Safaris)

• Monazite, Eureka Carbonatite (image by Dakota Matrix Minerals)

• Smithsonite, Tsumeb (image by Marin Mineral)

• Beryl, a variety of Aquamarine from the Erongo Mountains (image by John Betts)

• Dioptase, Omaue Mine, Kaokoland (image by John Betts)

• Elbaite (also referred to as Watermelon Tourmaline), Otjua Mine, near Karibib (image by High Living Luxury)

• Jeremejevite (often confused with blue Tourmaline – image by e-Rocks Mineral Auction)

• Mandarine garnet, Kaokoveld (image from Pinterest)

• Amethyst, Brandberg (image by Mine Rat Minerals)

• Andradite, a variety of Demantoid, Erongo (image from Pinterest)

• Fe-oxide stained quartz, Orange River (image by the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy)

Quartz crystal with tourmaline needles, Gamsberg (image from the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy) 

• Azurite (image from the Crystal Dictionary)

• Malachite from Tsumeb Mine (image from Shelter Rock Minerals)

     + Our Book recommendation on Gemstones and Minerals inside Namibia:


This one is the second edition which comes with stunning images. A newly updated book on the minerals and varied location in Namibia by three well-versed authors who understand the requirements of mineral collectors and also catering for the wider interest. A great second bit at the Namibian cherry packed full of mineral pictures and site information, with 900 minerals and gems and 1600 pictures to see. A must-have updated literature in regards to Namibian Geology. It is in no way a cheap Book but definitely well worth it, if you are one of the individuals deeply interested enthusiast’s of all things Namibian Minerals and Gemstones. Needless to say, these authors went all out on this specific publication, informational, graphical and more (hence the price). Also, if you want to build your general knowledge on all things regarding the Topic, then do yourself a favour and get this one. Barely any other publication will give you such a beautiful insight which you are seeking for, guaranteed.

A view from the inside of the Book can be found here! 

Available Online here (if in Stock)!

The first edition is available here from Amazon (if in Stock – Paperback, 2007)

“This book follows two years after the release of Namibia: Minerals & Localities, Volume 1. This book shows more exclusive and breathtaking specimens and rare minerals from many private collections and important museums all around the world. This book is a one-of-a-kind reference book that gives you all you the information you need to know about the newest mineralogical finds and the most sought-after rarities. The over 800 Namibian minerals and gemstones are listed from A to Z. This second volume contains an enormous amount of new mineral photographs and many up-to-date references to localities. Many of the 1600 pictures have never been published before and were taken by top photographers like Jeff Scovil, Joe Budd, Olaf Medenbach, Matthias Reinhardt, John Schneider and Rainer Bode.” (taken from Book Introduction)

Author: Ludi von Bezing, Rainer Bode, Steffen Jahn
Category: Namibian Geology
ISBN: ISBN-13: 9783942588195
Date Released: September 2016
Price (incl. VAT): N$ 2,056.50 (depending on the location of purchase)
Format: 664 pages, ~1600 colour photos, illustrations and maps

     + See our past Blog Posts with similar Topic Information:
• All about Namibia’s Meteorites
• The history of Komanskop ( Namibia’s diamond Ghost City)

Gross Barmen Namibia

Gross Barmen is located around 100 km from the capital city of Windhoek, nestled on the banks of a tributary of the Swakop River.

Set between rows of palm trees, green lawns, tennis courts, children’s playground and many pleasant walks, the resort is ideal for all ages.

Gross Barmen includes facilities for spa & wellness, fitness, recreation, and leisure. The main attraction of the resort is the health and hydro/medical spa center, featuring thermal springs and providing a full range of treatments, massages, and health activities for relaxation.
Additional attractions include sports facilities: a fully equipped gym, playground, game room, putt-putt course, and water theme park with waterslides for children. The accommodation options at Gross Barmen include recently refurbished family and bush chalet and camping sites.




















Other amenities and facilities include indoor and outdoor thermal pools, conference facilities, restaurant, bar, shop, and a gas station.
The nearby dam attracts more than 150 different species of birds making it a hotspot for bird watching.


Additionally, the Von Bach Dam outside of Okahandja (25 km) is a major draw for water sport enthusiasts and anglers.
Originally known as Otjikango (Otjiherero: “large fountain”), the site was inhabited by the Herero people. When Wesleyan missionaries arrived in Windhoek in 1844 at the invitation of Jonker Afrikaner, Rhenish missionaries Carl Hugo Hahn and Franz Heinrich Kleinschmidt, already resident there since 1842, feared conflict and moved on to Otjikango. Here they established the first Rhenish mission station to the Herero in late 1844. They named the place Barmen after the town Barmen (today part of Wuppertal) in Germany where the headquarters of the Rhenish Missionary Society were located. The ruins of the missionary house are still visible.

At that time the road network in South-West Africa was being developed under the supervision, and at the initiative, of Jonker Afrikaner. Hahn and Kleinschmidt initiated the creation of a path from Windhoek to Barmen via Okahandja, and in 1850 this road, later known as Alter Baiweg (Old Bay Path), was extended via Otjimbingwe to Walvis Bay. This route developed into an important trade connection between the coast and Windhoek and was in use until 1900, when the railway line from Swakopmund was commissioned.

The mission station was operational until the start of Herero War in 1904. The settlement also had a police station at that time.

Click here for the Gross Barmen Website.

Image rights:

Hilton Hotel Namibia (Windhoek)


Discover world-class facilities and signature services at the modern, chic Hilton Windhoek.

The hotel boasts an ideal location in the heart of the Windhoek central business district, and is close to shopping venues and popular attractions. The 150 guest rooms and suites offer access to our 24-hour fitness center, an 18m heated lap pool and the rejuvenating Breeze Spa.

Make business easy at Hilton Windhoek where our team is dedicated to exceeding expectations.

Since the hotels opening in 2011, Hilton Windhoek has welcomed thousands of corporate executives, and serviced heads of state, entertainers and dynamic business leaders in our variety of guest and meeting rooms.

With a number of restaurants, bars and lounges, choose from a variety of innovative cuisines and intimate settings. There is something for every palate and preference at Hilton Windhoek. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail and panoramic views of the skyline from the rooftop Skybar or savor delicious seafood at the Parilla grill. Sample local and international wines and sushi at D’Vine or watch our chef’s prepare Namibian specialties in the show kitchen at Ekipa.

Read more about the Hilton Hotel on the Web (click here).

Images are the Copyright and kindly provided by: Sky Aerial Imaging (Namibia) CC.  http://www.aerial-namibia.com

Namibia High Court

Prior to Independence in 1990 and the promulgation of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, which created an independent judiciary and a Supreme Court for the sovereign nation, the courts of Namibia were an extension of the judicial system of South Africa. By virtue of the provisions of the Supreme Court Act, 1959 (No. 59 of 1959), the judiciary of South West Africa was amalgamated into that of South Africa, resulting in the High Court of South West Africa being constituted as the South West Africa Provincial Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa.  Logically, this meant the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa maintained jurisdiction over the decisions of the South West Africa Provincial Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa to hear and finally determine matters brought before it on appeal from the South West Africa Division or any other provincial or local division.

For more Info go to the official Website (click here)

Images are the Copyright and kindly provided by: Sky Aerial Imaging (Namibia) CC.  http://www.aerial-namibia.com