Namibia is discovered by Europeans

Diego Cão raises a stone cross at Cape Cross

In 1486, Portuguese explorer and seafarer Diego Cão raised a stone cross on the Namibian coast of the Atlantic Ocean, today’s Cape Cross. Cão sailed under orders of King Johann II. Of Portugal. He was to sail around Africa on the sea, however he did not succeed. In 1893, German warship captain Becker discovered the cross and had it replaced first by a wooden replica, which he replaced two years, later by a replica made of granite. Today, the original cross is exhibited at the Museum of German History in Berlin.

In 1487, Portuguese captain Bartholomew Diaz erected another stone cross in what is now Lüderitz Bay.

Bantu tribes move into Namibia

The great Bantu migrations in the 15th and 16th Centuries caused Bantu tribes to move into Namibia from the North East. They brought ceramics, iron, copper, breeding cattle and cultivated plants to the country. After about 1600, the Ovambo migrated from Central Africa into the northern part of Namibia and settled on the river Kunene. Today, the Ovambo are the largest ethnic group in Namibia.

As early as the 17th Century, the lagoon of Walvis Bay was used as a shelter for European whaling ships. In 1793, the Dutch government occupied the Cape Region, Walvis Bay, Angra Pequena (now Lüderitz Bay) and other coastal regions.

Herero tribes settle in Central Namibia

During the 18th century, the Herero tribes settled in Central Namibia. They had come from the Kaokoveld in the North West and moved further into the country.

In 1806, the London Missionary Society began evangelizing Namaland; evangelization by the “Rheinische Missionsgesellschaft” started around 1840.

Around 1850, European businesses, especially British enterprises, began mining copper in the region.

Orlaam and Baster settle in Namibia