As you enter OTJIWARONGO, the road broadens into a dual carriageway, punctuated by traffic lights, leading you to expect a town of some size. But blink and you’ll miss the town centre, and find yourself heading back into the bush. That said, Otjiwarongo is the regional capital of the Otjozondjupa Region, and when the jacaranda and flamboyants lining the main street are in bloom, the place exudes a cheery feel.

There are scarcely any attractions in town, though railway buffs should swing by the station to take a look at the splendid retired old German steam locomotive. The only other place that draws visitors is the crocodile ranch, which gives guided tours of what is effectively a battery crocodile farm providing skin for the European and Asian leather markets – something to consider before paying the entry fee.

For tourists bound for Etosha or Caprivi, Otjiwarongo is a natural pit stop, providing a selection of well-stocked supermarkets and several petrol stations. The town is also within striking distance of the Waterberg Plateau, Namibia’s premier cheetah research and education centre and the AfriCat Foundation at Okonjima.

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