Aus is located in the Aus Mountains above the plains of the Namib Desert. The small settlement of Aus lies west of Keetmanshoop and east of Lüderitz but has a number of amenities including a hotel, police station, shop, and garage.
The village's name comes from the Khoekhoe for "big snake." The village was formerly the site of a prisoner-of-war camp established by the South African army in 1915 to house German inmates captured during the First World War. The inmates initially lived in tents but later built brick houses. The number of prisoners reached 1500 but by May 1919 the last inmates left and the camp closed. A plaque marks the site today and some of the houses have been reconstructed. Gold was rumored to have been discovered in the area before then.
The area west of Aus is noted for its herd of feral horses living in the desert. Their origin is uncertain but today there is a population of between 150 and 200 individuals who have adapted to the harsh environment. They drink at an artificial watering hole at Garub Pan where a hide has been erected to enable tourists to watch the animals without disturbing them.