Surrounded by acacia woodland, the 30,000-strong town of REHOBOTH, situated just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, is of little interest to the casual visitor, though it is home to the fiercely proud Baster people, whose history is well explained in the local museum. The settlement had already had a couple of names before gaining its current biblical incarnation, thanks to a local missionary in 1844. Drawn by the natural hot springs in the area, a semi-nomadic Damara group that would visit periodically when water was scarce in the Kalahari dubbed the place |Gaollnāus (“Fountain of the Falling Buffalo”). This was later changed to |Anes (“Place of Smoke”), by a group of Nama, making reference to the steam rising from the springs. Even today, there has been an attempt to market Rehoboth as a spa town, though the baths have been closed for some time. Better recreational facilities can be found at the Oanob Dam, 7km outside town.

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