Twyfelfontein’s cave paintings tell us about the history of this land, inhabited by various ethnicities.

Its inhospitable coasts did not allow missionaries, explorers and ivory hunters to travel inland until the mid-19th century, and it was not until the end of that century that it was colonized by Germany.

After World War I, Namibia became dependent on South Africa. In 1966, the People’s Organization of South West Africa (SWAPO) began to fight for its liberation. In 1988, South Africa agreed to end apartheid, and in 1990, Namibia achieved its independence, thanks to the union of at least 11 ethnic groups fighting for a future together.

Basters

They are a very protective people, especially of their culture. They are dedicated to farming, commerce and crafts. It is believed that they evolved to exist in 1652, with the arrival of the Dutch at the Cape of Good Hope and their marriage with Khoisan women.

Caprivians

There are two main groups that live on the Caprivi Strip; the Fwe to the west and the Subia to the east. They are farmers and shepherds. Their interaction with neighbouring countries allowed them to learn English.

Coloured

It is believed that the origin of this ethnicity is from the Cape of Good Hope, when European men married Khoisan women. Children born from these unions suffered discrimination and many left the Cape.

Damara

It is thought that they are a group of Bantu origin who speak a Khoisan dialect. They are semi-nomadic gardeners, shepherds and hunter-gatherers. Skilled in mining and metallurgy.

Herero

It is believed that they arrived in Namibia in the 16th century. The conflicts between the Herero and the Nama caused a lot of casualties. They are good farmers and entrepreneurs. In some remote villages they continue to communicate with their ancestors through ancient fire.

Himba

They cover their skin with red ocher to protect themselves from desert drought. They are nomads and live on land in the Kaokoland region.

Kavango

The Kavango are five tribal groups that live along the Kavango River. They are engaged in agriculture and fishing. They are good wood carvers.

Nama

They practice the ownership of communal lands, with a rich tradition of poetry, music and dance. The women are good artisans.

Owambo

They mostly live in the north. The Owambo represent almost half of Namibia’s population. They are dedicated to farming, fishing, economy and commerce.

San

They are better known as the Bushmen. It is the only ethnic group in Namibia that has no place to call home.

Tswanas

They are the smallest cultural group in Namibia. The majority live and work as farmers. They consists of three subgroups, the Tlharo, the Tlhaping and the Kgalagadi.

Whites

It is believed that the first European descendant who resided in Namibia was Guilliam Visagie, who settled in the current Keetmanshoop. As time went by, missionaries, explorers and hunters arrived. Gradually the number of European residents began to grow.

We use own and third party cookies. To continue browsing, please accept the use of these cookies. More information

Cookies settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" and thus offer you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue using this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" you are giving us your consent to continue using them.

Close