Keetmanshoop is the capital of the ǁKaras region of southern Namibia. It's one of the main stopping points on the B1 between Windhoek and South Africa. Referred to in Namibia as Keetmans. At first, Keetmanshoop (pronounced keet-man-swoop), may seem like not much more than a quick stopover. The main reason for stopping at all is to refill on gas and check your tires (the dry, hot asphalt of the highway can make tires pop), but there is in fact much more to this town if you get the chance to discover it, either out of your own volition, or because your car breaks down.
An old German town, Keetmanshoop features a cinema, multiple restaurants, an impressive library, and easy access to some of the most visually stunning landscapes this side of the border.
Long distance coaches pass through Keetmans on a regular basis on their way between Windhoek and South Africa. Unfortunately the north-bound trip from South Africa arrives at a nasty hour of the morning.
Combies (shared taxis) travel regularly to Keetmans from various places in Namibia, including Windhoek, Lüderitz and Mariental. Combies also arrive in Keetmans from South Africa. There are also private shuttles that provide transport to and from Keetmanshoop.
Keetmanshoop is 10 hours by overnight mixed train from Windhoek, not really the best option, the bus is much faster.
- 1 Keetmanshoop railway station.
- 1 Keetmanshoop Museum. Housed in the Rhenish Mission Church, a historic monument and well-known landmark. The church was built in 1895 in a Gothic architectural style, cast in African stone.
- 2 Keetmanshoop Dutch Reformed Church. Historic church.
- Giant's Playground and Quivertree Forest on Gariganus farm (for contact detail consult the "Sleep" section) are worth a visit. Both are perfect for scenic photos and make the area around Keetmanshoop more than just an overnight-stay.
- Trek Best place to organize a trek through the Fish River Canyon Park. #24 Luchtenstein st., around the corner to the north from the petrol station where the bus stops. Look for the sign on the station window. Staff can organize transport to the Fish River Lodge, where a 5 day hike in the canyon is available.
The town has supermarkets, outfitters, a hardware store, and auto parts.
- Uschie's A humble, friendly, portly eatery near the main road into town, Uschie's is run by an old German couple. The restaurant offers a shockingly large amount of different hamburgers, all of them great. Just as massive (and famous in South Africa) are the Greek salads.
- 1 Central Lodge, 5th Avenue (in the town centre). The meals are good value for money, even the light meals are quite big. Light lunch 50 N$, lunch 90 N$, steak 120 N$.
There is a nice new pub in town, just behind the swimming pool, called STEAMERS where every one is welcome. Nice atmosphere, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
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- Quivertree Forest Rest Camp (about 15 km north-east of Keetmans on the road M29).
- Bernice Bed and Breakfast, down a dirt road with out a street address, ☏ . single/double rooms. N240/360.
- 1 Hotel Schützenhaus, ☏ . The oldest German club in Africa, established in 1907. Now turned into a guesthouse.