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a village in Namibia

Uis is a tiny town located in one of Namibia's most beautiful desert regions, Damaraland. The village is located in the shadow of the Brandberg Mountain which is home to the world famous White Lady rock painting, said by some to be over 20 000 years old. Being also situated on the main road between the coast and the Damaraland interior there is s reasonable amount of traffic and Uis manages to eke out an existence based almost entirely on this traffic passing through the area. There is a small supermarket, guesthouse and a petrol station, together with a few other small shops. Tin has been mined in the Uis region since the early 1900's and the town was established in 1958 as a mine workers residence when a South African mining company started operations there and increased production. Today when approaching Uis, the first thing you see is a huge white mountain which is in fact the old mine dump for processed tin ore.

In 1991, the main mining operation closed down because the price of tin dropped far enough to make it un-economical. There is still minimal work progressing on the mine site today. Technology has improved enough to make it worthwhile to re-process the already excavated ore that was originally discarded and there is a tiny re-processing plant located near the old mine dumps. This ore is processed to an enriched state and then taken to Walvis Bay for export. Without the mine the town struggled to survive and today it is a shadow of it's former self.

One product that Uis still produces is rocks and minerals. Namibia is well known as a mineral rich country and geologists come from all over the world to study in Namibia because much of the interesting geology and rare rocks are situated at ground level rather than on top of mountains or deep underground. It is possible to find some excellent examples of rock crystals and minerals around Uis. These stones are collected but the locals and sold at bargain prices to the passing tourist trade. The rocks themselves have no real value and you are not likely to make anything by prospecting at Uis, there are however beautiful examples of many different minerals available.

Selling these rocks is part of the extremely shaky economy of Uis and you can be sure, if you do buy something, that you are purchasing a true Namibian souvenir and you will most likely get it for an excellent price.

There is a story of desert tragedy associated with the Uis area. At the beginning of the 20th century, so the story goes, a group of travellers from the north were making their way thought the desert to the ocean. They were following game tracks for most of the way, but came to the main road to Swakopmund nearby where Uis is now located. The travellers decided to stop for the night and being short of fuel on which to cook their evening meal, they collected the branches of dead euphorbia bushes in order to make their campfire. Euphorbia bushes are a very common in Damaraland and their spiky branches help make the Damaraland scenery so unusual. Unfortunately for our group of travellers however, most species of euphorbia are also highly toxic.

After cooking their meat over their makeshift campfire, they went to bed, early one would suppose in order to be ready for the long journey the next day. There was never another dawn for any of our heroes. The toxic smoke from their campfire was so strong and the food so impregnated with poison, the whole group of 16 people died in their sleep. They were buried where they lay and the graves are still visible today just outside the Uis town boundary

  • Uis: Brandberg
  • Uis: Decorative Wagon
  • Uis: White Lady
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Bambatsi Lodge

This small lodge is located between Outjo and Khorixas - it was one of the first guest farms opened in Namibia

Brandberg Rest Camp

Situated in the tiny town of Uis, this lodge acts as a gateway to the Brandberg Mountain and other parts of the Erongo Region. The owner, Basil, is a bastion of the local community and a font of knowledge on the area

Brandberg White Lady Lodge

We are absolutely convinced that this is where Nelly the Elephant decided to live, after deciding to run away from the circus! A bit run down - but in an excellent location

Camp Kipwe

Small private lodge consisting of thatched domed bungalows scattered amongst large granite boulders. It is well situated near Twyfelfontein and several other major Damaraland attractions

Damaraland Camp

This camp was started by Wilderness Safaris and is now managed by the local community. Expect luxury, desert elephants and rhino

Damara Mopane Lodge

Named after the abundant Mopane Trees found in the area, Damara Mopane Lodge is part of a well established lodge group, known for quality lodges at reasonable prices. Only 20km from Khorixas and within driving distance of the highlights of the area

Doro Nawas

A good quality lodge located close to the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. Excursions to the engravings and in search of desert adapted elephant are available

iGowati Lodge

Situated in the town of Khorixas, this lodge may not have the most scenic setting but offers reasonable accommodation at good prices

Khorixas Rest Camp

A fairly basic establishment just outside the town of Khorixas

Madisa Camp

Private campsites in a beautiful setting

Mowani Mountain Camp

One of the most luxurious lodges in the area - accommodation is in luxury tents or more 'solid' suites.

Twyfelfontein Country Lodge

As the name implies this is situated close to the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. A good quality lodge with reasonable rates.

Ugab Terrace Lodge

Close to the Vingerklip rock formation and offering exciting views of the Ugab Plains

Vingerklip Lodge

The Vingerklip is a 35m high finger like rock structure - this popular and well equipped lodge has two swimming pools and apart from being close to Vingerklip is in close proximity to Twyfelfontein, Burnt Mountain, Petrified Forest and other wonders of Damaraland

Accommodation in Namibia