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Open Africa

Nama Padloper Route



Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Eagle's Nest Chalets
Solitude, silence, space and magnificent sunsets - these are the characteristics of the atmosphere at Eagle's Nest Chale...

'Geisterschlucht' Cabin
Rustic 'Geisterschlucht' Cabin nestles against massive granite boulders in a picturesque and sheltered valley of the Aus...

Desert Horse Campsite
Large old camel thorn trees greet camping guests at the Desert Horse Campsite in a small valley of the Aus Mountains sur...

Felix Unite Provenance Camp
Separating North-Western South Africa and Namibia, the mighty Orange River cuts through a landscape virtually untouched...

Fish River Lodge
Fish River Lodge in southern Namibia is the only lodge perched directly on the rim of the Fish River Canyon offering gue...

Desert Horse Inn
Located in the Aus Mountains at 1 400m above sea level, Desert Horse Inn affords grand vistas of mountain scenery and sw...

Amanzi River Camp
Amanzi River Camp began as a launch site for Amanzi River Trails canoe trips. The river's edge setting provides an ideal...

Bahnhof Hotel Aus
The historic Bahnhof Hotel - initially built in 1906 - presents itself in a modern, elegant format, combining rich histo...

Klein Aus Vista
Desert Horse Inn: Nestled in the Aus Mountains in Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park, the Desert Horse Inn commands a breat...

Norotshama River Resort
Norotshama River Resort offers 22 river-facing chalets. Two of these chalets are on the river (floating) and six are sel...

Alte Kalkofen Lodge
Alte Kalköfen Lodge was envisage and constructed to firstly conserve fauna and flaura in their natural habitat and...

Amica Guesthouse
Amica, meaning “friendly house” in Latin, lives up to its promise, since all the staff and management are al...

Four Seasons Lodge
The Four Seasons Lodge has 37 air-conditioned rooms with fridges and televisions. Rooms vary between single, double and...


Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Rosh Pinah Tennis Club
The Rosh Pinah Tennis Club has three tennis courts, including refreshment facilities. Contact Yolanda for further inform...

Rosh Pinah Golf Club
This golf club offers a nine-hole course (18 tees and 17 greens) and a driving range. A clubhouse with a bar and restaur...

Amanzi Trails
Experience the Orange River at its best with a four-day family friendly Amanzi Trails canoeing experience. Children aged...


Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Skorpion Zinc
This is the eighth largest zinc mine in the world, producing special high-grade (SHG) zinc. The plant is unique in...

Rosh Pinah Geo Centre
The Rosh Pinah Geo Centre is located in the small mining town of Rosh Pinah about 20km north of the Orange River and Sen...

   Food & Drink

Below is a list of restaurants and other food and beverage outlets on this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Kuibis Restaurant
Kuibis Restaurant opened in 1997 as a small establishment, but customer demand soon led to expansion. Kuibis is known lo...

Lo Rentia's
Lo Rentia’s was opened in 2004 and is the first business in Rosh Pinah to be started by a women’s group. It...


Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Aus Info Centre
The centre offers:    Educational displays on: The plant and animal life of the area; The legendary w...


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The Nama Padloper Route has an abundance of natural attractions with unique landscapes and a diverse range of fauna and flora. Most of the route falls within the Succulent Karoo Biome whilst the area east of the Fish River falls in the Nama Karoo Biome. Visitors can view fauna that is unique and endemic to the area, including an isolated and near-extinct population of grey rheebok that live in the Huns Mountains; the Nama padloper tortoise and the desert mountain adder. The Springbok frog can also be spotted near seeps in the Huns Mountains.

The route is named after the Nama padloper tortoise (Homopus solus), the only Padloper that is endemic to Namibia. It grows up to 15cm and has an orange to brown carapace, with dark pigmentation on the scute edges. The name ‘Nama’ comes from the Nama people who inhabit southern Namibia. The Nama have much in common with the San (Bushmen), sharing the same linguistic roots, light skin and small build. The term padloper is an Afrikaans word which means ‘path walker’, ‘road walker’ or ‘trail walker.’ 

The route starts at the Vioolsdrift/Noordoewer border post between South Africa and Namibia and follows the Orange River to the town of Rosh Pinah before heading north to the quaint village of Aus, on the edge of the Namib Desert. 

The road meanders along the Orange River for approximately 160km before reaching Rosh Pinah. This is a truly scenic drive passing through the Aussenkehr area known for its export quality table grapes. You will also travel through the Aussenkehr Nature Park and can experience the many unique features of the park by enquiring at the reception desk at Norotshama River Resort.

The Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park opened the Sendelingsdrift pont that operates across the Orange River on 17 October 2007. The trip itself takes less than five minutes, whereas the alternative route is 485km extra to go around. A maximum of two vehicles can go across at a time, and in heavy windy weather, crossing is stopped.

Reasons to visit:

The route provides scenic views of the river and surrounding desert mountains, synonymous with Namibia's southern parts. The Orange River brings life to the surrounding arid lands and with the water comes a varied birdlife, like red bishops, African darters and Fish eagles.

Apart from a number of lodges and camps along the route, points of interest include the Orange River crossing, the abandoned Lorelei Copper Mine where some dated machinery can still be seen and the Sendelingsdrift pontoon crossing.

Rosh Pinah is a quaint town with all the basic necessities, surrounded by some of Namibia’s most attractive landscapes. Apart from being an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding areas, the village has a few of its own attractions worth noting. It has a golf and tennis club, and a number of accommodation options for tourists. 

The Maritz Rebellion:

The Maritz Rebellion (Boer Revolt) (Five Shilling Rebellion), took place in South Africa in 1914 at the start of World War I, in which men who supported the recreation of the old Boer republics rose up against the government of the Union of South Africa. Many government members were former Boers who had fought with the Maritz rebels against the British in the Second Boer War, which had ended 11 years earlier. The rebellion failed, and the ringleaders received heavy fines and terms of imprisonment.

The outbreak of hostilities in Europe in August 1914 had long been anticipated, and the government of the Union of South Africa was well aware of the significance of the common border South Africa shared with the German colony of South-West Africa. Prime Minister Louis Botha informed London that South Africa could defend itself and that the Imperial Garrison could depart for France. When the British government asked Botha whether his forces would invade German South-West Africa, the reply was that they could and would.

South African troops were mobilised along the border between the two countries under the command of General Henry Lukin and Lt Col Manie Maritz early in September 1914. Shortly afterwards, another force occupied the German port of Lüderitz.

When the South African government offered to invade the German colonies, the commander-in-chief of the Union Defence Force, general Christiaan Beyers resigned, writing, “It is sad that the war is being waged against the ‘barbarism’ of the Germans. We have forgiven but not forgotten all the barbarities committed in our own country during the South African War,” referring to the atrocities committed by the British during the Boer War.

A nominated senator, General Koos de la Rey, who had refused to support the government in parliament over this issue, visited Beyers. On September 15 they set off together to visit major JCG Kemp in Potchefstroom, who had a large armoury and a force of 2 000 newly trained men, many of whom were sympathetic to the rebels’ ideas.

Although it is not known what the purpose of their visit was, the South African government believed it to be an attempt to instigate a rebellion, as stated in the Government Blue Book which covers the historic event. According to general Beyers, it was to discuss plans for the simultaneous resignation of leading army officers in protest against the government’s actions, similar to what had happened in Britain two years earlier in the Curragh incident over the Irish Home Rule Bill.  On the way to the meeting de la Rey was accidentally shot by a policeman at a road block set up to look for the Foster gang. At his funeral, however, many Nationalist Afrikaners believed and perpetuated the rumour that it was a government assassination, which added fuel to the fire, which was even further inflamed by Siener van Rensburg and his controversial prophecies.

General Maritz, who was head of a commando of Union forces on the border of German South-West Africa, allied himself with the Germans and issued a proclamation on behalf of a provisional government which stated that "the former South African Republic and Orange Free State as well as the Cape Province and Natal are proclaimed free from British control and independent, and every White inhabitant of the mentioned areas, of whatever nationality, are hereby called upon to take their weapons in their hands and realize the long-cherished ideal of a Free and Independent South Africa." It was announced that Generals Beyers, De Wet, Maritz, Kemp and Bezuidenhout were to be the first leaders of this provisional government. Maritz''s forces occupied Keimoes in the Upington area. The Lydenburg commando under General De Wet took possession of the town of Heilbron, held up a train and captured government stores and ammunition. Some of the prominent citizens of the area joined him, and by the end of the week he had a force of 3000 men. Beyers also gathered a force in the Magaliesberg; in all, about 12,000 rebels rallied to the cause.

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A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.



The route has an abundance of natural attractions with unique landscapes and a diverse range of fauna and flora. Most of the route falls within the Succulent Karoo Biome whilst the area east of the Fish River falls in the Nama Karoo Biome.

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Key Contacts

Wayne Handley

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Gisela Hinder

Telephone: Click here
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