Namibia's Herero people are heartened that Germany is keen to atone for the genocide of their ancestors, but they expect something that Berlin says it cannot give.

"What we want is our land," said Alex Kaubtauuapela, 74, whose parents survived the extermination of 80 percent of the community — a precursor to the Holocaust.

She lives much as they did, in a community dependent on cattle herding.