Solitaire is a small settlement in the Khomas Region of central Namibia near the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It currently[update] features the only gasoline station, post office, bakery, and the only general dealer between the dunes at Sossusvlei and the coast at Walvis Bay, as well as to the capital Windhoek. Solitaire belongs to the Windhoek Rural electoral constituency.
|Constituency||Windhoek Rural Constituency|
|Time zone||South African Standard Time (UTC+1)|
In 1948 Willem Christoffel van Coller bought 33,000 hectares of land from the South West Administration (the government of Namibia at the time) for the purpose of farming Karakul sheep. The land was previously an undeveloped area called Areb situated between the Ababis region to the South and the Koireb region to the North.
The area was named Solitaire by Elsie Sophia van Coller (wife of Willem Christoffel van Coller). The name was chosen because of two meanings. Solitaire can mean a single set diamond and Solitaire can also mean solitude or loneliness. Combined these two meanings create the definition of being unique or one-of-a-kind and a precious but solitary place.
The first man-made structure on the Solitaire farm was a 2-room cottage constructed by Mr. Van Coller who also later constructed the main farm house, a stone kraal adjacent to the farmhouse and a dam wall across the river bed. Later he was also responsible for constructing the current shop and installing the first petrol pump. The shop also acted as the regional post office where weekly postbags were delivered. Eventually a small chapel was built as well. In 1968 the farm 'Solitaire' was sold to Mr. Maritz.
Solitaire is situated at the junction of main roads C14 (Walvis Bay - Bethanie), and C24 (Rehoboth - Sossusvlei), both major tourist routes through the Namib-Naukluft National Park. There is also a gravel air strip occasionally frequented by tourism operators and self-flyers.
As the surrounding area is sparsely populated it is a common stopover for tourists. The settlement itself contains a campsite and a motel, the Solitaire Country Lodge, the adjacent farm land accommodates the upmarket Solitaire Guest Farm Desert Ranch.