Sited at the crossroads between the C33 – the short cut between Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo on the main road north – and the less frequented C36, which leads to the Brandberg, OMARURU, a small, somnolent town, makes a good stopover. It’s also within easy striking distance of the scenic Erongo Mountains. Established in 1868 by Wilhelm Zeraua, the first Herero White Flag chief, it later became a mission town – the old mission house is now a small, rather uninspiring museum – and was repeatedly the focus of battles between the Nama and Herero, then later the Herero and the German army. The distinctive, cylindrical Franke Tower memorial, which lies across the Omaruru River in a street parallel to the main drag, is a remnant of the latter. Over the weekend closest to October 10, Herero flock to the former township of Ozondje, to mark White Flag Day, in commemoration of those who died fighting colonialism.

These days, Omaruru is garnering a reputation as a centre for arts and crafts – check out the shops on the attractive, shady main street. In particular, don’t miss the Tikoloshe workshop and souvenir store at the western end, where you can watch the Kavango root-carving artists at work, and peruse the craft shop, which sells their work, as well as all kinds of crafts from all over Africa. If you’re in the area towards the end of September, look out for the increasingly popular annual arts and cultural festival, which involves exhibitions and workshops.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

The Namib desert is one of the world’s most extreme environments. Covering 81,000 square kilometres, its vastness can only truly be appreciated from above. He…

17 Jul 2017 • Lottie Gross local_activity Special feature
In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

From the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert to the serpentine chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the rugged mountains of the Great Escarpment to the acacia-stud…

05 Jul 2017 • Sara Humphreys camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right