History

The Erongo range consists of the remains of a ring dyke, an elliptic magma basin made of basalt and granite created by a subterranean volcanic eruption during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (approx. 140 to 190 million years ago). On its southwestern side, the Hohenstein massif represents the by far highest and steepest part of the Erongo range. Following the stone age inhabitants, bushmen and Damara settled on the bottom of the Hohenstein. Many of them left drawings on overhangs, in caves and on large rocks.

In the first half of the 20th century, the farm Davib Ost 61 was set up. It took an enormous amount of energy to „civilize“ this most impressive and primordial landscape. Wells were bore drilled in the granite, grazing areas were fenced, minerals were dug for. After years of hard work, sheep farming led to prosperity, as an old spoked wheel with part of the differential of an expensive car found on the farm grounds has proven.

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Since the beginning of the 1990s, the farm grounds of Davib Ost 61 have been converted to a private reserve in cooperation with the Erongo Mountain Nature Conservancy (EMNC). Many kilometers of fence were dismantled on the approx. 8,000 hectares. On the external edge of the EMNC along the road D 1935, 18 km of game fence were set up and patrolled daily by a game keeper, while the Hohenstein Lodge was built on the grounds. As Davib Ost 61 directly borders on the former Damaraland, setting up jobs in tourism for the local residents was focused on. These jobs are paramount for the locals since the small villages are far away from larger urban areas.

From the beginning, the Damara population was involved in the project. Experts showed them how to build the lodge, water lines and game fences and trained them for working in the lodge. As the area offers few possibilities of employment, many locals work as ’small miners‘ digging up minerals. We do our best to set up links with these small miners, too, and to encourage their sensibility for nature protection and sustainability.

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