OTJIWARONGO

Otjiwarongo is also known as the capital city of northern Namibia. Historically the area was a sought-after location by the local Herero, Otjiwarongo when translated, meaning as much as “the (beautiful) place of the fat cow”. Even today this translation is very appropriate if one considers that some of Namibia’s largest cattle ranches are situated in the surrounding area. Due to the large amount of Herero, the “modern” Otjiwarongo was established in 1892 as a mission station in the hope of converting the indigenous people’s traditional belief into Christianity. In 1906 Otjiwarongo became the northern administrative control point for German South West Africa and was officially declared a town. Otjiwarongo, as it is known today, came into existence mainly because of the need to find a connection by rail between Swakopmund, Windhoek and Tsumeb. Once the large reserves of copper and iron ore were “discovered” by the Germans (actually they stole the mines from the indigenous Ovambo people, who created their iron and copper jewellery from these mines) in the Otavi (Tsumeb) area, they needed to get the ore to the coast for shipping back to Germany. At first, they wanted to develop Port Alexander to use as a harbour, but that was 730 kilometers from Otavi, while Swakopmund was only 581 kilometers away. A narrow-gauge railway was built from Swakopmund to the Otavi copper mine via Otjiwarongo, which helped the town to become a prosperous agricultural centre. The old Hentschel locomotive Nr 41, hich was in use until 1960, is displayed infront of Otjiwarongo’s train station.Today Otjiwarongo is a place of great diversity, challenges and potential. It is diverse in its people, cultures and its scenic beauty. The town is strategically located and becomes the junction town when traveling from Windhoek to Etosha National Park, Damaraland or the Caprivi.

Crocodile Farm

Quite a new attraction in Otjiwarongo is the crocodile farm near the eastern border of town, where guests have the opportunity to observe and photograph crocodiles at close range and learn about the breeding and living habits of these reptiles. The ranch exports the skins, but sells the meat locally. Meet, photograph and learn more about these remarkable reptiles, and browse around the gift shop.