1908 A total of 9 394 "whites" live in the territory. The Schutztruppe force is reduced to 3 988 men.
The lower section of the state railway (Swakopmund to Karibib) is used much less than the more efficient OMEG railway line. It therefore becomes clear that the lower section of the state railway should be abandoned in due course.
The Uukwaluudhi King Niilenga yAmukwa dies. He is succeeded by the tenth King Iita ya Nalitoke (1908-1909).
The Finnish mission station Elim in the Uukwambi area is re-established.
In Lüderitz a small jetty for passengers is built close to the new port jetty (built in 1905). A rockfill connection dam is built between the town of Lüderitz and Shark Island.
First tin discoveries are made in the Omaruru area. The German geologist Hans Cloos is involved in the exploration.
The Herero-Orlams settle with German permission at Vaalgras/Koichas. They are led by their Chief Kahumba Kakahito (also called: Jan Apollus).
Alador Hrabovsky buys the farm Goanikontes on the Swakop River.
01.01. A post office is opened at Okaukwejo (present-day Okaukuejo).
05.01. A post office is opened at Hoachanas.
11.01. A skirmish takes place between the Fransman or !Khara-khoen Nama under Simon Koper and the Germans at !Nanib at the Auob River.
Late January The Bondelswarts continue their resistance against the Germans. Seven Bondelswarts led by Wilhelm Ortmann cross the Oranje River to escape German colonial domination. After approaching the South African Cape authorities the seven Bondelswarts are extradited from the Cape Colony.
13.03. The branch railway line from Otavi to Grootfontein is opened.
08.03. A skirmish takes place between the Germans and a Nama unit led by Simon Koper at Kubub, north of Koes.

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German War Cemetry at Koës: Reflecting the Skirmish of Kubub between Germans and the Fransman Nama (!Khara-khoen) under Simon Koper: 08.03.1908
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

16.03. April Simon Koper escapes after the German troops kill most of his followers in British Bechuanaland. German Commander Friedrich von Erckert is killed in the skirmish of Seatsub.
One of the sons of Hendrik Witbooi, Klein-Hendrik, participates in the battle but gets away back to SWA. There he is taken prisoner and kept in Grootfontein. On 21.06.1910 he is deported with some surviving Nama to the German colony of Cameroon (Dschang). Most of the Nama die there or are executed. On 08.03.1913 the German Parliament (Reichstag) intervenes. The last surviving Nama, together with Klein-Hendrik Witbooi, return to SWA. Klein-Hendrik disappears in the area of Otjiwarongo.

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German War Cemetry at Gochas: Reflecting the Battle of Seatsub in British Bechuanaland between Germans and the Fransman Nama (!Khara-khoen) under Simon Koper: 16.03.1908
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

17.03. State Secretary Dernburg announces self-government ("whites" only) for SWA.

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German State Secretary Dernburg visits Omaruru, 1908
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

April After the death of King Nehale Ondonga in Ovamboland once again becomes once again a unified whole.
14.04. Railway worker Zacharias Lewala finds the first diamond near Lüderitz and hands it over to his superior, August Stauch. Two months later, after Paul Range, the government geologist, confirms the stones to be diamonds, the rush begins and in a short space of time practically the whole coastal strip of southern Namibia is pegged. Many diamond companies mushroom including the Koloniale Bergbaugesellschaft, the Vereinigte Diamanten Minen AG (vorm. Weffl de Meillon & Co.), the Pomona Diamantengesellschaft, the Bahnfelder-Abbaugesellschaft mbH Lüderitzbucht, the Lüderitzbuchter Bergbaugesellschaft mbH, the Kolmanskop Diamond Mines Ltd and the Diamantengesellschaft Grillental mbH.
Smaller diamond companies are the following: Anichab, Viktoria, Germania, Nautilus, Phönix, Kubub, Elisabethbucht, Swakopmund, Meteor, Harmonia, Karlsthal, Angras Juntas, Keetmanshoop, Südwest, Südstern and Quitzow-Diamantengesellschaft and the Namaqua-Schürfgesellschaft etc.
The diamond activities are regulated by the Mining Ordinance dated 08.08.1905.

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The Diamond Ghost Town of Kolmanskop east of Lüderitz: 1971: Karas Region
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Image from the deserted Town of Kolmanskop
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Kolmanskop: August 2002: Karas Region
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks


The British High Commissioner in South Africa, Lord Selborne, observes that "white" hunters "cannot well be refused ..., because of the absence of any authority in the Caprivi Strip, to enter this territory". He establishes a border post between the Caprivi Strip and Northern Rhodesia (present-day Zambia) at Sesheke-Mwandi, and another between the Caprivi Strip and British Bechuanaland at Kazungula.
Von Schuckmann declares the Caprivi Strip a restricted area.
24.04. The Elisabeth Haus maternity hospital in Windhoek is opened.
25.04. A post office is opened at Seeheim. Brackwasser’s postmark is however used until 31.05.1908.
The post office at Feldschuhhorn is closed.
26.04. The southern railway line is opened to traffic bound for Seeheim. At Seeheim a small railway workshop is erected.

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Fish River Railway Bridge at Seeheim: Seeheim-Aus Railway Line: 2002
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

May/June Erich Victor Carl August Franke visits again the Ovamboland Kings Kambonde kaMpingana of the Ondonga area and Ueyulu ya Hedimbi of the Uukwanyama area. He also visits the Uukwambi, Uukwalhuudi and Ongandjera areas. Franke concludes protection treaties with all the kings of these areas, with assistance of the missionaries Martti Rautanen and August Wulfhorst. These treaties bring Ovamboland formally under German protection, but in practice the kingdoms still continue to function as independent units.
June The first of three Dampfwagen (steam-driven rail cars) are put into operation on the OMEG railway line.
01.06. A post office is opened at Guchab.
02.06. Construction of the railway line from Seeheim to Kalkfontein Süd (present-day Karasburg) commences, undertaken by the company Deutsche Kolonial Eisenbahn Bau und Betriebs Gesellschaft.
19.06. The British High Commissioner informs the Governor of German South West Africa that "it is urgently necessary that some serious effort should be made to bring ... criminals [in the Caprivi Strip] to justice".
21.06. The railway line from Lüderitz to Keetmanshoop (365 km) via Seeheim is officially opened by State Secretary Dernburg. The line is constructed to meet the broader "Cape gauge" standard (1 067 mm wide).
17.07. The post office at Otjosondu is closed.
21.07. Finance and accounting administrative functions are transferred to German South West Africa.
22.07. In a diplomatic note Great Britain proposes a new eastern border along 21° east from the "Rietfontein corner angle" to the Molopo River in the south for the Caprivi Strip. This note provokes the Germans to show some interest in the Caprivi Strip.
12.08. The post office at the Waterberg is re-opened.
08.09. The Roman Catholic mission station at Grootfontein is established.
22.09. Diamond areas are declared prohibited zones after the German government declares the area as sperrgebiet (restricted area) and prospecting rights are granted solely to the Deutsche Diamanten Gesellschaft (director: Heinrich Lotz). Lotz appoints Werner Beetz and Ernst Reuning. The sperrgebiet comprises an area between the Oranje River and 26o South (north of Lüderitz) and 100 km inland (Diamond Area No. 1). A diamond mine near Lüderitz is opened followed later by mines in Idatal and Scheibetal. After many areas are closed to prospecting, the search for diamonds turns northwards and soon new discoveries are made. The first diamond claims are pegged in the Meob Bay and Conception Bay area (Diamond Area No. 2, between 26o South and the areas north of Conception Bay (Lange Wand)). The first diamond is found on the Orloff claims and the Diamantenfelder Verwertungsgesellschaft is founded.
The initial primitive processing of diamonds is soon replaced by mechanised methods. The Frankfurter Metallgesellschaft AG develops an efficient device with the Schiechel-Separator to separate diamonds from the sediments.
J Böhm discovers a fossile fauna in the Sperrgebiet.
Lüderitz begins to flourish due to the diamond rush. In the same year a dam constructed from rockfill is built between the town and Shark Island which replaces the wooden bridge from the year 1905. Furthermore a passenger jetty is built 50 m north of the 1905 port jetty.
Lüderitz is, after Windhoek (1904) and Swakopmund (1907), the third town in SWA which gets an official post office building.
From 1908 to 1913 4,7 million carat diamonds worth 150 million Mark are mined (± 66% of GDP).
26.09. Kurt Streitwolf is sent to the Caprivi Strip as a symbolic indication of the German presence there and to incorporate the area formally into the Protectorate.
20.10. A post office is opened at Khan.
November The railway line from Seeheim to Kalkfontein Süd reaches the Holoog station (67 km).
22.11. Streitwolf leaves for the Caprivi Strip. He travels from Gobabis via British Bechuanaland (Rietfontein and Lake Ngami) to the Chobe River (also called Linyanti River).
12.12. A post office is opened at Arahoab (present-day Aranos).
December A Bondelswart unit is established under the command of Abraham Rolf, one of Jakob Marengo’s lieutenants. He resumes the struggle against German colonialism and undertakes several successful raids against German farms in Namaland. The Germans under the command of Major Baerecke try to pursue the Bondelswarts.
End December Klinghardt discovers new diamond fields near Bogenfels. Stauch and Scheibe find the rich diamond deposits of the Pomona area.

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Streitwolf-Expedition crosses the Linyanti River on 25 January 1909
Namibia State Archives

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