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Otjiwarongo and Waterberg Plateau National Park
The Waterberg Plateau towers 400 metres above the surrounding plains and 1878 metres above sea level, dominating the landscape for miles around. The oldest rock stratum is 850 million years old and dinosaurs left their tracks here 200 million years ago. The first human inhabitants were San people, who left rock engravings believed to be several thousand years old, and a small band of San were still living their traditional lifestyle on the plateau until the late 1960's.
Waterberg was the site of one of the major turning points in Namibia's history. It was here on the foothills, that the Herero people lost their last and greatest battle against the German Colonial forces at the beginning of the century. The Herero were forced to retreat from the Waterberg and headed eastward to British Betchuanaland (now Botswana). Thousands were killed by the following Germans and many lost their lives due to lack of food and water. Estimates are that nearly two thirds of the Herero population lost their lives during this period. The graves of German soldiers who lost their lives at Waterberg can still be viewed near the Rest Camp.
The plateau and 41000 hectares of surrounding land was declared a Nature Reserve in 1972. The plateau is difficult to reach and several of Namibia's endangered species were soon translocated here to protect them from predators and poaching. The programme was very successful and Waterberg now supplies other Namibian parks with rare animals.
While visiting the Waterberg Plateau you will have the chance to see many different species of birds - over 200 different species have been recorded here. The scenery is fantastic and there are several short, self-guided bush walks, and two longer hikes if you are feeling energetic. There are several species of small antelope on the lower slopes of the mountain, but the larger and more interesting animals have been brought to Waterberg to enjoy the protection of the largely inaccessible plateau.