Grootfontein, S 19° 33,808′ – E 018° 06,397′, is situated in the Northeast of Namibia at an elevation of 1,430 meters. With a tropical climate, the town's annual rainfall is 500 mm, or 1,000 mm in good years. It's usually hot in summer, with an average temperature of 30°C to 38°C, and mild in winter, with its lowest temperature at 1°C. Grootfontein is the main center in a relatively large district of 2,564,600 hectares. The total population of the district is estimated at 45,000; the town, 17,500.
The town is a typical multi-ethnic community. In the mid- and late 1800s, Europeans began to settle here. On September 8, 1896, a fort was built here; in 1933, Grootfontein held its first election; in 1947, it officially became a town; after March 21, 1990, it became a constituency of Otjozondjupa.
The town currently has four primary schools and two secondary schools. With the completion of the Caprivi highway, Grootfontein will be fully connected, via tarred roads, to countries such as Zambia, Angola, Botswana and Zimbabwe. There is also a railway connecting the town with all major towns and centers to the south of Grootfontein and South Africa. It also has at its disposal a very high-standard runway at the airport that can handle any aircraft in the market.
In terms of telecommunications, Grootfontein is also equipped with high-standard facilities for telephones, telex, fax and mobile phones. All major local TV channels (Namibia and South Africa) are available, while other popular international channels can also be received with a satellite dish.
Grootfontein's economy is mainly based on the service sector, which is composed of privately owned service firms, such as doctors, dentists and lawyers. There is almost no industry. Services and business activities run by central and local governments and individuals include retailing, repair and maintenance, construction, transportation and agriculture-oriented services and retailing businesses. Local agriculture is focused on extensive cattle farming, as well as on cultivation of crops such as maize, peanuts, sorghum, cotton, sunflower and various types of animal fodder.
Grootfontein also boasts many tourist attractions, including the Hoba Meteorite (which is 18 km from Grootfontein and is the world's largest meteorite); the Das Alte Fort Museum (a fortress built by Germans from 1896 to 1904, exhibiting more than 3,000 historical pieces); six hunting farms; Dragon's Breath Cave (the world's largest non-subglacial underground lake, which is 60 meters below the ground with an area of 1.9 hectares); and the Baobab Tree (a national symbol whose trunk circumference is 18.5 meters).