Already in 1893 the first Simmentaler cattle were imported to Namibia , the first country outside Europe . Simmentaler and other europaen breeds were imported to Namibia to improve the milk and meat performance of the local cattle . Initially, imported animals were kept in the stables and slowly accustomed to rangeland walks horseshoed on all eight claws. The animals got used to these rangeland practices during the first rainy season. More and more Simmentaler were imported since they had proven to be the best. They were also the most resistant in 1896 during the cattle plague (Rinderpest).

 

In a local newspaper the following was quoted in 1921: "Unless our farms are better developed, I have to plead for caution when the same is expected of other imported breeds as of the Simmentaler, which maintains its type well under extreme conditions." After a long voyage by sea it was not easy to off-load the animals. They actually had to swim to the shore. From there they had to travel by foot through the desert over a distance of 80 km without any water. In Otjimbingue the animals were horseshoed and accompanied by an ox-waggon on their journey to Okahandja or Windhoek. 

 

Already then it was clear that only cattle with good hooves could be imported to Namibia since they had to walk over a distance of up to 10 km on the farms, as they were then, in order to reach the water. The demand was huge as it can be taken from the frequent correspondence. Even in the extreme South the Simmentaler had been established. Many farmers made use of the good milk production capacities of the Simmentaler. In the years when the slaughter oxen could hardly be sold at lowest prices, farmers had to opt for milk production. It was meaningless to sell good cows for 20 Shilling per cow if they delivered butter for 50 Shilling per year. On many studfarms milking controls were introduced in 1925 so that buyers of young bulls could orientate themselves as to how much milk the mother of the bull produced. : On a daily basis, herds of 200 head of cattle had to look for their pasture at a distance of 4 to 5 km from the water. They were given their water in a primitive way by hand from a 5m deep well. It is therefore not surprising that the breed grew strong A specific young full-blood bull then weighed 515 kg at an age of 515 kg and that after a march of 32 km through stony, hilly area. 

 

On 31 October 1929 the old Breeders Association was re-activated, having been originally founded in 1919 in Kalkfeld. The demand for Simmentaler and Simmentaler crossed cattle was enormas.It is reported of bulls that travelled from Walvis Bay to Kapps Farm per train “The eight Simmentaler Bulls (2 from Rusch, Stauch, Voigts, Sperlich) rested for a quarter of an hour every km and arrived well on Voigtland after 10km walk without being foot-lame. The bulls from Germany were not used to walking and had been tied up on a vessel and in quarantine for over three months. After 1920 many English breeds were brought to the country, and the Simmentaler received negative publicity in newspaper articles. This was done out of fear since the publishers saw how the Simmentaler breed became famous without any publicity through successful breeding.

 

The publication of trials, which ended in 1951, was the proof for all trouble and even paved the way for the Simmentaler breed in America,South Africa and Australia. On the trial farm Omatjenne near Otjiwarongo the Simmentaler were compared with 9 other breeds in respect of fertility, adaptability, growth up to 3 yrs of age, carcass traits and profitibility. The test took place over a period of ten years and the Simmentaler excelled as dual purpose breed. From now onwards no hurdle was too high and the demand for good male and female breeding animals could not be covered. Through specific selection, awareness creation, promotion programmes for breeders and compulsory grading of all registered animals the breeders of our country managed to produce Simmentaler corresponding to today’s needs. Namibia is a cattle breeding land “par excellence” , where breeding is only profitable in free rangeland and where selection is largely left to nature.

 

Reproduction (Simdex) is still the most important selection aspect of Simmentaler in southern Africa. The excellent Milk as well as meat characteristics of the Simmentaler make it the prefered breed for many beef producers in Namibia.