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Town Small Uis

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Located in Namibia :: Damaraland  :: Uis
Category: Places :: Town Small


Huge white mounds of processed tin ore to the east of Uis make this tiny town hard to miss; they also tell the story of its success and decline. Tin was discovered here in 1911, with large scale mining starting in 1958 when Iscor installed an extraction plant. The plant was enlarged in 1966 and the town of Uis was established for the mine's employees. The plant was enlarged again in 1980, producing 140 tons of ore per hour and operating 24/7; this made it the largest
hard-rock tin mine in the world. When the tin market crashed in October 1985, recovering the ore became uneconomical and the plant was closed in 1990, leaving the residents unemployed.
In 1994 a small mining project was introduced with support from the Swedish Raw Materials Group, but in August 2019 Afritin Mining (now Andrada Mining) redeveloped the historic mine into a profitable tin mine. It now also processes lithium and tantalum. Only a handful of locals are employed at the mine, with the majority being from other parts of Namibia.

Traveller Description

Uis is situated at the foot of the Brandberg Mountain and is home to the White Lady rock painting which is believed to be over 20 000 years old. It is this rock art site which brings travellers to Uis, enabling residents to also make a living from the passing traffic into Damaraland.
The Brandberg Massif is Namibia’s highest mountain with its highest point, the Königstein, towering some 2 759m above sea level. The name means 'burning mountain' and refers to the mountain's appearance at sunset. The Brandberg hiking trail is a strenuous three day guided trail to the Königstein Peak. Guides must be booked beforehand through the Brandberg Mountain Guides.
The area around Uis is rich in minerals and rare rocks are often found on the ground rather than on top of a mountain or underground. Locals collect these rocks and sell them to the passing tourist trade.
To the south of Uis, just outside the town boundary, are 16 graves which tell a tragic
story. A group of travellers was making their way to the coast when they reached the main road to Swakopmund, where Uis is now located. Stopping for the night they collected dead branches of the Damara milk bush (Euphorbia damarana) to cook their evening meal, not knowing that the bush is toxic. Their food absorbed the toxic smoke and they went to sleep never to wake again. They were buried where they died, and their graves are still visible today.

Address :  Damaraland, Namibia
Cellphone Reception :  Good Main Cellular Network :  MTC. LEO

Destination Information
Police Petrol Diesel Gas Refill Shops Shopping Centre ATM Lodging Camping Liquor Restaurant Airstrip Tyre Repair Tyre Sales Mechanical Repair Towing Service
Facilities :  Tour Services
Police Telephone :  +264(0)64 504 007
Towing Service Telephone :  +264(0)81 129 7490
Petrol Type :  LRP/ULP

Game Viewing Game Drives Quad Bikes 4WD Trails Tours and Excursions Hiking Trails Guided Walks Swimming Boat Trips Bird Watching Hot-air Balloon Flights Stargazing
Donkey Cart Drives

Travelling Information

There’s a variety of accommodation in Uis.

If you’re travelling from the west coast via Uis and the Brandberg towards Twyfelfontein and Etosha, Uis is the last fuel stop until Khorixas. Fuel may be available at Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, but isn’t guaranteed, so be sure to fill up at Uis.

Take note: Garage or Petrol cards will no longer be accepted as a legal tender for purchase of fuel, spares or repairs in Namibia. Cash, Debit and Credit cards are accepted at most fuel stops in the larger and touristy towns. Just always take extra cash with in case they only accept cash!

There is a clinic +264(0)64 504 011.

There is a small supermarket, fuel station and restaurant.

The tow-in is located in Okahandja.
Alternative numbers include +264 (0)62 500 132 / +264 (0)62 504 250.

Info Centre for Brandberg Mountain Guides: +264(0)64 504 162.

 Travel Tip!

The well-stocked Multisave Supermarket sells well-priced frozen meat. The Cactus & Coffee Café is set in a spacious and shaded area amidst a wide variety of beautiful cacti species. They have a good menu and the service is on the point.

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