The largest and most populous of the Triangle towns, TSUMEB is also the most attractive, its main roads lined with mature trees, including palms, jacarandas and flamboyants – which provide splashes of lilac and red when in bloom, and brightly coloured bougainvillea hedges. There is even a large leafy park, the town’s fulcrum, overlooked by several of Tsumeb’s main buildings, and off which the high street leads. On the park’s south side stands the excellent museum, next door to the town’s oldest existing building; erected in 1913, the striking Saint Barbara Catholic Church was aptly named since Barbara is the patron saint of miners. Mining, from the outset, has been the town’s raison d’être, though the disused mineshaft that dominates the west end of President’s Avenue is a reminder of its more recent decline. Nevertheless, Tsumeb is a pleasant enough place to spend a night, with a choice of accommodation, which generally serves up decent food. If you’re just passing through en route to Etosha, this is the last stop for groceries, in one of the town’s well-stocked supermarkets. At the end of October, the town parties during the annual Tsumeb Copper Festival, essentially a trade fair centred on the United Nations Park, but also with the usual food and drink stalls, musical and cultural entertainment.

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