The place was named after Maria Brandt the wife of Hermann Brandt, the first German settler in the region. It was founded in 1884. Today Mariental is the capital of the Hardap region and has about 15500 citizens. The town is situated about 250 km south of the capital Windhoek along the B1 at the Fish River. The Fish River is the only perennial river in the centre of Namibia, though it only has very little water during the dry season. In 1962 the so-called Hardap Dam, a 25 km² water reservoir was built (retaining wall 862 m), in which water from the Fish River is caught. Not only does the dam serve as recreation resort for water sports or tourists, but it also enables agricultural activities with the result that fruit and vegetables are harvested in the area, which led to a considerable boom in Mariental.
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