Solitaire, Namibia

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Solitaire
Solitaire is located in Namibia
Solitaire
Solitaire
Location in Namibia
Coordinates: 23°53′S 16°0′E / 23.883°S 16.000°E / -23.883; 16.000
Country  Namibia
Region Khomas Region
Constituency Windhoek Rural Constituency
Time zone South African Standard Time (UTC+1)
General dealer

Solitaire is a small settlement in the Khomas Region of central Namibia near the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It currently features the only gasoline station, post office, bakery, and the only general dealer between the dunes at Sossusvlei and the coast at Walvis Bay, as well as to the capital Windhoek. Solitaire belongs to the Windhoek Rural electoral constituency.[1]

Solitaire is known in The Netherlands because of the book of the same name by Dutch author Ton van der Lee dealing with his stay in this place.

History[edit]

In 1948 Willem Christoffel van Coller bought 33,000 hectares of land from the South West Administration (the government of Namibia at the time) for the purpose of farming Karakul sheep. The land was previously an undeveloped area called Areb situated between the Ababis region to the South and the Koireb region to the North.

The area was named Solitaire by Elsie Sophia van Coller (wife of Willem Christoffel van Coller). The name was chosen because of two meanings. Solitaire can mean a single set diamond and Solitaire can also mean solitude or loneliness. Combined these two meanings create the definition of being unique or one-of-a-kind and a precious but solitary place.[2]

The first man-made structure on the Solitaire farm was a 2 room cottage constructed by Mr van Coller who also later constructed the main farm house, a stone kraal adjacent to the farmhouse and a dam wall across the river bed. Later he was also responsible for constructing the current shop and installing the first petrol pump. The shop also acted as the regional post office where weekly postbags were delivered. Eventually a small chapel was built as well. In 1968 the farm 'Solitaire' was sold to Mr Maritz.

Tourism[edit]

Solitaire is situated at the junction of main roads C14 (Walvis Bay - Bethanie), and C24 (Rehoboth - Sossusvlei), both major tourist routes through the Namib-Naukluft National Park. There is also a gravel air strip occasionally frequented by tourism operators and self-flyers.

As the surrounding area is sparsely populated it is a common stop-over for tourists. The settlement itself contains a camp site and a motel, the Solitaire Country Lodge, the adjacent farm land accommodates the upmarket Solitaire Guest Farm Desert Ranch.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kapitako, Alvine (12 November 2010). "ELECTIONS 2010: Khomas Region profile". New Era. 
  2. ^ "Solitaire Country Lodge". The Cardboard Box travel shop. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 

Coordinates: 23°53′S 16°00′E / 23.883°S 16.000°E / -23.883; 16.000