Karibib, a town located in the Erongo Region of Namibia was officially founded in 1900.
It was originally a waterhole named by the Herero people as Otjandjomboimwe. During the time of the 1890’s the railway construction work between Windhoek and Swakopmund brought a lot of business opportunities. In due time, a man named Eduard Hälbich took advantage of such opportunities and bought the area along with 20 000 hectares of surrounding it from the Herero headman, Zacharias Zeraua.
The price paid was 22 500 marks along with two ox wagons and 742 pound 5 shillings which the headman had racked up in debt from Hälbich’s shop. Eduard Hälbich was a merchant coming from Otjimbingwe and in the years 1897 or 1898 Hälbich had decided to open a branch in Karibib. At that time the reported population was very few.
By 1900 the population grew intensively due to the work on the railway. By 1 June 1900, Karibib was officially founded at the arrival of the first train in its station. Since then, a medical facility had been built along with storage facilities, a prison and living quarters. While Karibib prospered, the town of Otjimbingwe suffered as goods would now travel through the train station.
In 1902, business had slowed down as the work moved to Windhoek. Around 1904, due to the Herero and Namaqua war, the town once again became an important railway hub. By the end of the war in the year 1909, Karibib’s status became that of a municipality with Eduard Hälbich as its mayor.
Today Karibib’s population is that of 3,800 people. It is now known for its aragonite marble quarries and the Navachab Gold Mine.