About Namibia’s Wild Horses
The romance of wild horses galloping across the wilderness is the last thing you expect in Namibia, but you can witness this spectacle on the arid plains around Garub near Aus in Southern Namibia.
The wild horses of Namibia are free to roam as they wish, but they tend to remain in the flat areas between the Koichab River and the Great Escarpment, about 550km from Windhoek.
You can see the horses on a day trip from Lüderitz, which is just over an hour’s drive away or while staying in accommodation at nearby Aus. They are most often spotted from the Garub hide which overlooks the waterhole built for them.
The origins of these domestic animals gone wild are lost in the sands of time, but there are a few theories about how they came to be here.
One theory suggests that they bolted from their encampment at Kolmanskop during a WWI air raid. With no one to claim them, they wandered free, finding water at Garub which was set up as a watering point for trains.
Another theory is that they were purposely released from a stud farm at Duwisib after the owner of the farm died. It is also believed that the horses hail from a stud that supplied the diamond mines at Kolmanskop with draught animals and racehorses. Rumor has it that these horses were chased away by farmers wanting to protect their sheep’s pastures from over-grazing.
Genetic tests have shed no light on the matter.
However, the horses came to be in the wilds of Namibia; they have survived, adapting to their harsh surroundings like so many of Namibia’s wild animals. Unlike domestic horses, the Wild Horses of Namibia can cope with their water and food stressed existence and remain in surprisingly good condition except in times of extreme drought.
You can choose from some wonderfully quaint bed and breakfast, hotel or self-catering accommodations in nearby Aus. There’s also a good selection of well-equipped campsites available for true outdoor enthusiasts.
While Lüderitz has the most things to do in this area, you should take some time to visit the WWI fortifications, POW camp and graves near Aus. The 9km Shutztruppe Trail also departs from here for a 3-hour journey of discovery around the area.
In Aus itself, you can fill up on seafood, steaks, pizzas and more at the local hotel, or head to Lüderitz for a bite to eat. Here you’ll find light meals, seafood and German dishes to suit any appetite.
Fauna and Flora
Apart from the wild horses, you may be able to catch sight of other Namibian wildlife species such as the springbok, gemsbok and brown hyena. Birdlife includes the African oystercatcher, dune lark and black-headed canary.
In this seemingly barren area adjacent to the Karoo biosphere, over 700 species of plants are found – making it one of the most diverse places on earth. Most of these take the form of sparse grasses and succulents.
What to Bring
Don’t forget sun protection and extra water whenever you travel around Namibia. A camera and binoculars are essential to record the unique moments you’ll experience here.
Travel along the B4 from Lüderitz and you will come across the Garub watering hole about 20km before Aus. Head down the sand road and walk to the undercover hide from the carpark.
By Air: Charter flights operate from Eros Airport in Windhoek to the airport at Lüderitz. Commercial flights travel twice weekly from Hosea Kutako Airport at Windhoek to Lüderitz.
Transfers: Car hire and transfers are readily available from Lüderitz Airport to accommodation in the area.
Don’t miss the chance to see Namibia’s only feral horses during your trip to Namibia.
For more information or to book your trip to Lüderitz in Namibia, pop us a message via our contact us page, and we will gladly assist you.
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.