Namibia's Otjikoto Lake

November 11, 2014

Otjikoto Lake - 20141007-GLE_7373

Photographer: Steve Gledhill; Steve's Web site
Summary Authors: Steve Gledhill; Jackie Phillips

Namibia’s only permanent natural lakesOtjikoto Lake and Lake Guinas (18 mi or 30 km to the west of Otjikoto Lake), are believed to be connected by underground caves. Both are collapsed sinkholes that reveal just a little of the massive karst lakes beneath them. Lake Guinas is classified as the 12th largest underwater cave in the world.

Otjikoto Lake, pictured above, varies greatly in depth between 22 ft or so (7 m) at the center of the lake to over 185 ft (60 m) at places around the edges. Namibia was a German colony until 1915. The lake was used by German troops as a dumping ground for war materials such as artillery and ammunition before surrendering to the Western Allies in World War I. Some of the war materials are on display in the nearby Tsumeb Museum while other materials, still on the lake bed, can be viewed with a diving permit. Photo taken October 7, 2014.