Outjo felt under the Otjimbingwe magistrates district (Bezirksamte), established by the German Governor, von Lindequist around 1890. Outjo became a prominent area and acted as headquarters when "RUNDERPES" broke out in 1895 and a "sperline" was established to control the disease. Outjo then housed a German military contingency.
Von Lindequest declared Outjo a constituent in his major network of magistrate districts after he visited and drew up Schults agreements in 1897 with the Topnaars and Swartbooi ethnical groups. Trouble began only 3 months after the agreements were signed and the 2 day Swartbooi war around Grootberg on 26th and 27th February 1898 resolved the issue.
Hauptmann von Estdorff was the Military commander that also assumed the role of "Bezirkmann" for the civil administration. He managed to finalize decent district borders by 1902 after agreements with Herero chiefs in the area. He also planned the town and the first erwen were given to Tom Lambert on 4 May 1898. The first business, Damara Namaqua Handelsgesellschaft, bought an erf in 1900. Eight trading licenses were given out and the district housed 151 white people from ZAR, Cape Colony, England, Russia and Germany.
Other developments were the Post office at Outjo and a Police station at Okaukuejo to control pouching in the Etosha pan. Elephant, Oryx, Duiker, Steenbok and Rhino has already been declared "KROONWILD"
The German / Hereo war of 1904-1905 stopped growth in Outjo, it had only 62 non soldiers until middle 1905 when vehicles used for the war returned.
In 1906 the following businesses were registered:
The Koakoaveld Minen Geschelschaft
Glatz & Kie Shopkeeper and Hotelier
Heinrich Post - Shopkeeper
Paul Witt - Building Master
Sailer - Wagon maker
C.W. Rolfs - Shopkeeper
During the same year the Bezirksmann decided to house all natives on a piece of ground at the East of Outjo, away from the town. The reason provided was that they very messy, smelled bad and were up to mischief. Outjo then had 237 white inhabitants of which 164 were Schutztruppe.
During 1907 the white population grew by 30, Okaukuejo and the Etosha has been declared a wildlife conservation area and even though farmers were still allowed to collect salt a few were summoned to court in Windhoek after they shot Ostriches. Outjo's only pastor, Erw Brockmann from the Rhynse Missionary refused to give services to white inhabitants or soldiers and concentrated only on the natives. He also started a school for natives, while request from the Bezirksmann, Estdorff for a white school was not granted and Brockmann refused his help. The first liquor license was granted in 1907 and the road and water points to Okaukuejo were completed. In 1908 the white population was 253 and expeditions were undertaken to the West coast to find alternative harbours to the troublesome Swakopmund harbour. Very good rain and malaria was experienced.
No rain during 1909 again, caused food shortages in Ovamboland and Koakoveld and Outjo acted as distribution point for emergency rations. Many natives died and the Portuguese from Angola has been reported to exploit the natives by trading with bad liquor that had many chiefs addicted. On 23 December Outjo's Bezirksratt was given executive rights. In 1910 the white population was already 319 with only 116 Schutztruppe. This year also saw the law being enforced better on white inhabitants with a few jail sentences for felonies previously ignored. Another good rain season with accompanying malaria deaths was reported. The Rhynse missionary church and school was opened with a 450 mark donation from the Bezirksratt. Even though Outjo had 35 white children, no white school was erected since the government did not support it yet. Buschman were living around Outjo in the hills and were reported to cause trouble.
His Royal Highness, Prins Leopold visited Outjo and went hunting in the Etosha. Public roads were conveyed and road signs with distance blocks erected.
White farmers started to immigrate to Angola despite request from the Bezirksmann to reconsider with no better future in Angola. By 1912 Outjo had no white farmers left with most that left for Angola, but also a few that went back to South Africa. The 6th company left to construct a railway line and the town's health services relied on a nurse only. Business only flourished after October 1912 when the sixth company returned. Water shortage and the lack of a school mostly restricted growth. The outbreak of stomach fewer resulted in numerous fatalities, especially amongst the natives. Taxes were introduced. All requests to bore for water were ignored by Windhoek.
During 1914 they eventually bore and found water. Brandsiek and stomach fewer outbreaks were also experienced again. Outjo however realized that it would not need to close down. Plans were made to erect schools, but the available funds fell short. The new Bezirksmann, Dr. Schultse-Jena was murdered at Fort Naulila in Angola, when he went to negotiate trade agreements with Angola due to the difficulty getting supplies from Swakopmund and Walvisbay caused by the war.
VodaNak Project: 2010
Outjo's fountain was populated by nomadic Herero people prior to Tom Lambert, the first white resident who established a trading post in 1880. He build his house and gardens at the fountain on today's erf 23 and 21 respectively.
Outjo's history before this is very vague and even though a few missionaries were active in this part of then Hereroland no one prior to Lambert considered Outjo for possible settlement .
GATEWAY TO THE ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK