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Gobabis is the regional capital of the Omaheke Region in the eastern part of Namibia. Home to some 15 000 people, it is mainly a service town for the 800 farms in the surrounding area. This is cattle country, as you will see from the statue of the Brahman bull welcoming you into the town.

The town got its first name, “Khoandabes” (meaning “The place where the elephant came to lick”) from the elephant tusks that were suspended in the well of the settlement, to prevent them from cracking in the dry, hot climate. This settlement was the base of many ivory hunters and brisk trading of elephant tusks took place here.

Today Gobabis is no longer a trading post for ivory hunters, but an important part of the regional economy. It is on a railway line and is only 110 km from the border post with Botswana (called Buitepos). This means that goods from Botswana destined for export via Walvis Bay pass through the town. Gobabis is also situated on the Trans-Kalahari Highway to Johannesburg, so that goods being imported to Namibia from South Africa pass through the town.

Apart from the bull statue, Gobabis also has an interesting museum exhibiting relics from the German colonial era. Some 6 km outside town, you can find the Harnas Lion, Leopard and Cheetah Farm. Here endangered wild animals that could cause trouble on the many cattle farms are rehabilitated. Another place worth visiting is the Saa Ta Ko Campsite, 250 km southeast of Gobabis. This is a community project of the Omaheke San Trust and aims to preserve the traditional culture of the San people.