Gamsberg - the third highest mountain in Namibia

The Gamsberg (2347m above sea level) is a table mountain with a 40 m quartzite layer. The plateau was discovered in 1970 by the German 'Max-Planck-Gesellschaft' for Astronomy. It is 2500m long and 800m wide on average. The access to the plateau is often steep and winding. Few people are permitted to drive on this road.

James Edward Alexander was the first European to mention the Gamsberg in his account 'An expedition of discovery into the interior of Africa'. In this account the mountain is called 'Tans-Berg', Tans (nam.) meaning 'umbrella' according to Alexander. On German military maps the mountain becomes 'Der Große Gansberg' which eventually changed to today's name 'Gamsberg'.

Historical reference of Gamsberg can be found in the following:

Alexander JE 1837 EDIA 2 34 "...rose a great tabular mountain called Tans, or the screen, for it shuts in all the lesser mountains and hills near it; on each side of Tans extended black mountain chains..." [Op kaart] "Tans Ms." [wat met S 2316 BB korreleer met bv. Kriegsk S 2316 AC.]

Berghaus H 1841 kaart "Tans Bg." [korreleer met Gamsberg.]

Hall H 1850 Ethnological S.A. "Tans M" [oos van 16° lengte, noord van Steenbokkeerkring, direkt wes van Rehoboth, korreleer met Gamsberg.]

Andersson CJ 1851 Lake Ngami 133 "Within Zwartbooi's territory was a mountain, called Tans..."

Kleinschmidt FH 1857 Quellen 20 68 "Er wollte nach dem Gansberg fliehen..."

Anderson AA 1873 Map of S.A. "Tans Table Mt." [op 2216, korreleer met Gamsberg.]

Heidmann F 1878 Quellen 21 148 "≠Gansberg". Ibid. Quellen 21 151 "im ≠Gansberg westlich von Rehoboth".

Hahn Th 1879 kaart "≠Gans Mt." [op S 2316]

Afrikaner Jan Jonker 1880 brief nr 37 van Windhoek af Quellen 15 "wat die Bergdamaras die in ≠Kans Berg is..."

Haibib P (hoofman, Topnaars) 1884 brief nr 73 Quellen 15 "≠Gansa !oa" [Gamsberg-tot]

Judt F 1886 Quellen 6 67 "...in die ≠Ganzberg zurückgezogen haben..."

Kroenlein 1889 Wortschatz 57 "≠Gans-!homi", in Duits "≠Gansberg (Jan Jonkers Burg)".

Hahn Th 1901 Collectanea 124 "≠Gans, Name eines Berges - ≠gāb: Berg, Bergspitze, d.h. Hochberg; ≠gan, schliessen, verschliessen".

Sprigade-Moisel 1904 Kriegsk "Gams" [op S 2416 AA]; "Gr(osser) Gans Bg" [op S 2316 AC]; "Gans Wüste" [op S 2315 DA/DB.].

Wilders MG 1973 Boer Vraelys "Gamsberg, berg 128 km suidwes van Windhoek. Beteken 'Leeuberg'. Dit is die hoogste berg op die Khomas-Hochland, en omdat dit die hoogste en grootste berg in die omgewing is, het die Namas dit met die leeukoning vereenselwig; inligting van vorige eienaar van die plaas gekry".

Polisie (almal Basters) Rehoboth 1974 Gesprek "Gamsberg = Leeuberg".

Witbooi Max 1974 Plaasjong Gesprek "Gamsberg, die Namanaam is ≠ans, dis amper soos 'n deksel".

Budack dr K 1974 Gesprek "Gamsberg, dis van !gans, die 'Tafel'".

Bassingthwaighte V 1974 Boer Gesprek "Dit kom van ≠Gans = maak toe, die kop maak toe".

Bassingthwaighte JJ 1974 Taaladviseur Gesprek "Gamsberg, ≠an, 'enclose', die berg is ook plat, soos'n tafelberg. Die naam bestaan al te lank vir die gebruik van 'tafel' in die Nama...".


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