I've traveled the road between Aus and Lüderitz in southern Namibia a number of times and seen the roadsigns warning of the presence of Wild Horses but, I've never seen any of the animals themselves.
On my recent trip to the sea I spotted a lone horse grazing in the distance - I felt lucky, I'd finally seen one of the famed Wild Horses.
In the background is Dicke Wilhelm - Fat Wilhelm - a prominent mountain on the flat landscape, upon which a German Heliograph station was located in the early 1900s.
Garub is a bore-hole and watering trough about 20 kms west of Aus. It was originally established to provide water for locomotives on the nearby, (now unused), railway line.
The water point is situated about 1 kilometer from the main road, with a sheltered spot for visitors to observe the horses.
Three days later, on my return from the sea I was even luckier - scattered in the area around Garub there were about 40 to 50 animals, grazing close to the road and in the distance.
Two Wild Horses stand by a telephone pole.
Modern electronic communication has made this line redundant and I expect the poles will be removed sometime.
A group of horses crossed the road ahead of me.
To the left (north) of the road is the Namib Naukluft Park and to the right is the Sperrgebiet - Forbidden Area - forbidden because of the wealth of Diamonds to be found here. Unauthorized entry into this area can result in arrest and a prison sentence.
Personally, this draconian control of land by a Corporation irritates the anarchist in me but, the upside is that a vast area of land still remains in pristine condition, unspoilt by the presence of Man.
Horses are not indigenous to Namibia and there is much speculation as to the origin of these animals, which have been roaming free in the desert for almost 100 years.
You can find a summary of the various theories here.
The most plausible theory is that a core group was left behind by South African troops in 1915 as they advanced Eastwards against German forces at the outbreak of World War One.
Although some of the animals look a bit scruffy because they are not groomed like domestic horses, they generally seem to be in good condition.
It's estimated that there are about 150 animals roaming the area around Garub - looking at the sparse, poor grazing, it is indeed fascinating how these animals have adapted and survive in this harsh landscape.
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