Aus Tourist Attractions Namibia

Aus Tourist Attractions Namibia

  • Dicker Wilhelm
    Aus Tourist Attractions
    Prominent mountain (1500 m) 35 km north-west of Aus, along the road to Luderitz. German for ‘the thickset Wilhelm’, the name refers to Kaiser Wilhelm II whose orders, like the insular mountain in the otherwise flat Namib Desert, were not... More Info
  • Namib Desert Horses
    Aus Tourist Attractions
    The Namib Desert Horse is a rare feral horse found in the Namib Desert of Namibia, Africa. It is probably the only feral herd of horses residing in Africa, with a population ranging between 90 and 150. The Namib Desert Horse is athletic in... More Info
  • First World War Graves, Aus
    Aus Tourist Attractions
    The prisoner-of-war camp at Aus was affected by the Spanish Flu and numerous prisoners of war and Union guards died. They were buried in the cemetery 4.7km north-west of the POW camp. More Info
  • Prisoner-of-War Camp, Aus
    Aus Tourist Attractions
    The prisoner-of-war camp was erected after the conclusion of peace in July 1915 between the German and Union forces in South Africa. A total of 1 552 prisoners of war were initially based in this camp. More Info

Aus Map

Aus Information

Aus is a village in southern Namibia 230 km west of Keetmanshoop and about 125 km east of Luderitz. The name means 'out' in German, but is actually derived from a khoi-khoi word which means 'place of snakes'.

Trains from Keetmanshoop now terminate at the village but formerly continued on to Lüderitz. The village is small but has a number of amenities including a hotel, police station, shop and garage.

It is located in the Aus Mountains above the plains of the Namib Desert. The climate is usually hot and arid but snow has been recorded in winter. 

The village was formerly the site of a prisoner-of-war camp established by the South African army in 1915 to house German inmates captured during the First World War. The inmates initially lived in tents but later built brick houses. The houses weren't opulent - roofs were tiled with unrolled food tins - but they did provide protection from the elements. The prisoners also built several wood stoves, and eventually sank boreholes to provide water for the camp and built barracks for the guards. The number of prisoners reached 1500 but by May 1919 the last inmates left and the camp closed. A plaque marks the site today and the remains of some of the houses can be seen. 

The area west of Aus is noted for its herd of feral horses living in the desert. Their origin is uncertain but today there is a population of between 150 and 200 individuals which have adapted to the harsh environment. They urinate less than domestic horses and can go five days without water. They drink at an artificial water hole at Garub Pan where a blind has been erected to enable tourists to watch the animals without disturbing them.

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