Historic photos from the Gobabeb archives
Here are some images from Gobabeb's earliest days, including several images of Gobabeb's founder, the beetle expert Charles Koch. Click to enlarge.
For other historic documents and photos, click here.
Charles Koch memorial plaque
in the courtyard of the Gobabeb station
Dr Charles Koch
inspecting early pitfall traps for Namib dune organisms.
working in his laboratory at Gobabeb in 1964, now the headquarters Tea Room.
on a field trip checking pitfall traps in the dunes.
Breakfast with colleagues
Dr Charles Koch having breakfast with colleagues at Gobabeb 1964
Dr Vivian Fitzsimons
Head of the Transvaal Museum and founder of Gobabeb, holding a golden mole
Dr Vivian Fitzsimons and Dr Charles Koch
Discussing plans of the newly constructed Gobabeb Desert Research Station 1963
Dr Charles Koch
working in his laboratory, now the Gobabeb Tea Room.
Drs Charles Koch and Vivian Fitzsimons
Vivian Fitzsimons was head of the Transvaal Museum
Mrs Charles Koch
Mrs Koch accompanied her husband, Charles, on his research expeditions.
Standing on a vulture nest
gobabeb archive photos 38
Charles Koch and colleagues
Charles Koch and two colleagues search for beetles on the gravel plains near Gobabeb.
Dedication of Eric Luebbert House
now the main headquarters of Gobabeb Namib Research Institute. Mr W Haake installing the plaque.
Erich Luebbert House dedication
Installing the dedication plaque
Official Gobabeb VW bus
A new addition to the Gobabeb vehicle "fleet."
The delegates and staff of the Namib Desert Research Station in 1963.
Attendees at Luebbert House inauguration
Does anyone know who they are? They look important.
Luebbert House today
The Erich Luebbert House is now the headquarters for the Gobabeb Namib Research Institute. An addition to the east wall now includes offices for staff and visiting students.
First reading of meteorological data
Mr Eberhard von Koenen, Gobabeb staff member, takes the first readings from Gobabeb's meterological station.
William (Bill) J Hamilton Jr
An American herpetologist (Cornell University) who was an early international researcher at Gobabeb
Caravan set up
Once the caravan was placed under a shed and fenced off, the research was ready to begin.
Building a fence
The caravan had to be fenced off.
Arrival of Gobabeb caravan
Gobabeb was originally a caravan towed up from the Transvaal, and served as a residence for Dr and Mrs Koch
Transvaal Museum Gobabeb caravan
Research at Gobabeb began out of a caravan belonging to the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria.
Mrs Rene Koch in the Namib, outside the caravan that was the Kochs' home during their expeditions to Gobabeb.
Liz McClain, presenting a poster on wax production of desert beetles. 1984.
Liz McClain (middle) was one of Gobabeb's prolific early scientists. She is pictured here at the launch of her book, Leonard the Land Rover, at the Swakopmund Museum in 1984. With her is her co-author Ginny Brain (left, now Watson) and the book's artist, Christine Marais (right).
Leonard the Landrover cover
Mary Seely appointed as DERU Director
Shortly after her appointment as DERU (Desert Ecological Research Unit, Mary Seely with Mr W J (Willie) Weideman, head of the University Research Division of the South African CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), which played a role in establishing Gobabeb as a permanent research institute.
Dune drive for DERU Steering Committee
DERU Sterring Committee meetings at Gobabeb usually provided an opportunity for a trip into the dunes. This photo was taken in July 1981. Mary Seely is second from right.
Mary Seely and Gideon Louw
Mary Seely and Gideon Louw at the launch of their book Ecology of Desert Organisms, in Swakopmund, July 1982. Gideon Louw was one of the early mainstays of Gobabeb.
Gobabeb's Advisory Committee.
Gobabeb's Advisory Committee for the South African FRD (Foundation for Research DEvelopment), which succeeded the CSIR. This is the 1988 Advisory Committee meeting. Standing left to right: Dave Boyer, Neels Coetzee, Willie Weideman, Mary Seely, Gideon Louw, Duncan Mitchell, Bob Brain. Sitting left to right: Eugene Joubert, Gudrun Schirge and Gerhard Prinsloo.
Gideon Louw and Willie Weideman
Gideon Louw and Willie Weideman of the FRD enjoying sundowners at the 1982 Gobabeb Steering Committtee meeting.
The last FRD Advisory Committee meeting before Namibia's independence
Standing left to right: H Schraeder, Prof C S Crawford, Dr R R Arndt (replacing Gideon Louw as Chair); Willie Weideman, Mary Seely, Prof T Erasmus, Prof P D Tyson. Sitting left to right: A Raedel, C G Coetzee, H Berry, C K Brain.
Early image of weather station
The Gobabeb weather station, located now near the headquarters building.
Gobabeb weather station
A chainlink fence was eventually put up around the weather station.
The weather station today
What the weather station looks like today.
Weather station facing Station and water tower 2
"Water" tower today
The old water tower has been converted to the communications tower.
Wind meter construction
A second stable anemometer was mounted in place on a rock outside Gobabeb headquarters.
Rock wind meter in place
Not the buildings of the station off to the left.
Rock weather station today 2
The weather station on the rock now supports a variety of sophisticated meteorological instruments.
Rock weather station today 1
The rock weather station from a different perspective.
Gobabeb in 1967
A new gate and parking bays (to the left of the original Luebbert House) have been added.
Gobabeb front facade today
The addition on the east wall of Luebbert House has been converted to offices.
The addition on the east wall of Luebbert House was initially used to park vehciles, in this instance from a rare rain event.
Additional offices for students have replaced the old parking bay. Note the stone wall, which has been in place since Luebbert House was erected.
The new gate.
Addition of the watchtower
A watchtower was added to the west facade of Lubbert house, and the addition of the Tea Room.
Addition of the watch tower
The watchtower was a favorite place for Charles Koch to watch the sunset. The addition also included a new wing added to the west, which now includes the Tea Room.
This is what the west addition looks like, The watchtower is still a great vantage point to watch the sun rise, or set.
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