Situated in south central Namibia, fringing the Kalahari Desert, the city of Mariental lies along the TransNamib railway and serves as the Hardap Region’s commercial and administrative capital. It provides an important petrol stop before heading west to Sesriem to view the red-orange dunes of Sossusvlei. Mariental is located close to magnificent the Hardap Dam, which is the largest reservoir in Namibia. The Hardap Irrigation Scheme has breathed life into this arid terrain, which is now fertile with farmlands covered in citrus, melons, lucerne, wine and maize, and dotted with ostrich farms. The dam is a popular holiday resort which draws city slickers from Windhoek and offers an array of watersports, scenic walks, and abundant wildlife in a 20000-hectare nature reserve set on its western bank; where visitors can spot rhino, ostrich, antelope, springbok and a variety of bird species.