Excursions from Grootfontein
If you have a car, then there are several attractions in the area:
This famous lump of rock is signposted about 20km west of Grootfontein. Here, in 1920, the farm's owner discovered the world's heaviest metallic meteorite. It weighs about 50 tonnes, and analysis suggests it is mostly iron (about 80%) and nickel.
It was declared a national monument in 1955 and recently received the protection of a permanent tourist officer because it was suffering badly at the hands of souvenir hunters. The locals became particularly irate when even the UN's Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) personnel were found to be chipping bits off for souvenirs as they supervised the country's transition to democracy. Now it is open full time, and there is a guard on duty. There is a picnic site and a small kiosk selling souvenirs, sweets and soft drinks.
Dragon's Breath cave and lake
This cave is claimed to contain the world's largest known underground lake. It is 46km from Grootfontein, just off the C42 to Tsumeb, on the farm Hariseb, owned by Mr Pretorius (identified by a roadside board with the head of a cow on it).
The lake has crystal clear, drinkable water with a surface area of almost two hectares, and lies beneath a dome-shaped roof of solid rock. The water is about 60m below ground level and to get to it currently requires the use of ropes and caving equipment, with a final vertical abseil descent of 25m from the roof down to the surface of the water. This perhaps explains why it is not open to visitors yet. It seems likely that it will be developed in the future, when an easier approach can be made.
Straussenfarm Ostrich Farm
Between the Hoba Meteroite and Grootfontein, on the D2859, the Straussenfarm Farm (PO Box 652, Grootfontein; tel: 06738 83130; fax: 067 242611) is about 10km west of town. It is run by Thekla and Udo Unkel and is an entertaining introduction to the recent boom in ostrich farming. They also serve a good lunch (normally smoked ostrich), and there's a curio shop with jewellery made from ostrich eggshells, ostrich leather, etc.