Karas region, Namibia
|Area: ||161,325 km² (62,288 mi²) |
|Population: ||69,677 |
|Population density ||0.4/km² (1.1/mi²) |
|Capital: ||Keetmanshoop |
|Time Zone: ||South African Standard Time: UTC+1 |
The name assigned to the region reflects the prominence of the Karas Mountain Range in the southern part of the region. The Karas region is considered as a natural organic administrative and economic unit and includes the magisterial districts of Keetmanshoop, Karasburg, Bethanie and Lüderitz.
The region is a predominantly small stock farming area, consisting mostly of animals such as sheep or goats. Game farming and irrigation farming along the Naute Dam and the Orange River have gained significantly in importance.
A further characteristic of the Region is the harbour town of Lüderitz and its fishing and boat building industry, the diamond areas along the coast, both on and off shore, with Oranjemund as the main centre, mining enterprises in the southern part of Namibia (Klein Karas area, Rosh Pinah), the Kudu Gas field in the Atlantic Ocean near Lüderitz and small-scale industries in Luderitz and Keetmanshoop.
The Hot Water Springs at Ai-Ais, and in future probably also the Hot Water Springs in Warmbad, the Kokerboom forest near Keetmanshoop, the Fish River Canyon which is the second largest in the world, the Brukaros Mountain (a former volcano) near Berseba, the coastal town Lüderitz and several guest and game farms gave become important tourist attractions. The tourism industry has the potential for further expansion.
The economic growth potential of the area is considerable but needs an intensive general development policy. It is a profitable tax-generating area, which predominantly comes from diamond mining for the central government.
The main railway line and two main trunk roads give access to South Africa. Keetmanshoop is considered as the capital of the south and has direct air, railway and road links with Windhoek. Its airport is of international standard and suitable for international air traffic. The airfield at Kolmanskop near Lüderitz is regularly visited by Air Namibia on its flights to Cape Town and Windhoek. Well developed landing facilities also exist at Oranjemund.
The region comprises six constituencies: Keetmanshoop Urban, Berseba, Lüderitz, Oranjemund, Karasburg, and Keetmanshoop Rural.