Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Ghost towns and desert wild horses

Wild horses in the African country of Namibia  have a number of theories proposed over the years as to the origin.

Namib Desert Origins of Wild Horses.

Ghost towns and wild horses of the African Namib Desert

The Namib desert of Southern Africa is one of the world's oldest and largest deserts. The origin of wild horses of the Namib desert is a secret the desert ghost towns keeps to herself. Kolmanskop was a rich German diamond mining town but presently is a ghost town in the Namib Desert visited only by Namib wild horses and the occasional tourist. 

Origins of the wild horses of the Namib Desert remains a mystery fueled by theories and urban legends because originally there were no horses in southern Africa. There have been a number of theories proposed over the years as to the origin of the wild horses in the Southern African country of Namibia.

One theory is around 1914 during WWI the Union of South Africa troops were stationed at the small town of Garub. The German forces set up a stronghold in the hills at the town of Aus, which bombed the Union camp sporadically. 

It is thought that the Union forces might not have had enough time to round up all the horses before advancing on the retreating Germans and thus horses were left behind. Another theory is Emil Kreplin, who was the mayor of the town of L├╝deritz from 1909 to 1914, had a horse farm near the town of Aus.

Kreplin bred 2,000 workhorses for the mines and racehorses, however; he was drafted into the Union of South Africa Army and while fighting in the war he lost his fortune. Kreplin’s horses were ownerless began to scatter throughout the area. 

Whatever their origin’s, for nearly a century the Namib Desert horses developed generation after generation becoming a wild breed. The wild horses may be regarded as a breed in their own right, the Namib. The desert horses gather in the area around the town of Aus, finding water at the springs and at the Garub borehole or well. 

Namibs gather-around the permanent water source Garub’s well which is a water drinking trough currently maintained by Namib Naukluft Park. The Garub well was originally created for topping off locomotives on the nearby railway line but today a scenic photo opportunity area and shelter was erected at the drinking trough at Garub to give visitors the opportunity to watch and study the Namib wild horses. 

The Namib desert of Africa is one of the worlds oldest and largest deserts, the origins of the wild horses of the Namib desert is a secret the desert keeps to herself.

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