With a small population of about 6000, the ranching town of OUTJO – meaning “little hills” in Otjiherero – sits on the pleasantly undulating fringes of the Fransfontein Mountains, just north of the Ugab River. It’s a surprisingly leafy town, which has recently taken on a new lease of life as a staging post for tourists trekking up to Etosha, a fact exemplified by the transformation of the high-street bakery from a small-town shop into a slick two-storey glass-fronted operation with restaurant, large shop and playground.

Beyond stopping for lunch and wandering down the pleasant main street, which boasts a quasi town square, and several tourist shops, there are a couple of German historical monuments worth a cursory glance before moving on, since Outjo was one of the German colonial army’s most northerly, and shortlived, outposts; it was established initially to control the rinderpest in the areas of white settlement, but then to try and win over the Owambo kings. One of the first structures they built was a water tower to pump and supply water to the soldiers, their horses and the hospital. Though the wooden windmill has long gone, the square stone base can still be seen on the east side of town off the northern end of Sonop Street.

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