Viewed on a map, the roads linking northern towns of Tsumeb, Otavi and Grootfontein form an isosceles triangle enclosing the scenic Otavi Mountains, which provide welcome topographic relief to anyone travelling down from the flatlands of the far north. It’s one of the most prosperous areas of Namibia, rich both in minerals and agriculture – thanks to fertile soils nurtured by annual rainfall that usually tops 500mm; maize cultivation is particularly widespread, resulting in the sobriquet of the Golden or Maize Triangle. Located on the way to Etosha’s eastern gate as well as the lush game reserves in the Zambezi Region, many visitors pass through these small towns. Of the three, Tsumeb is the most attractive and has the best facilities, followed by Grootfontein; both are good places to withdraw money, stock up on supplies and top up your fuel, with Otavi a rather forlorn third. In terms of sights, the museum in Tsumeb, and the Hoba Meteorite – the world’s largest – west of Grootfontein, are worth a brief detour, while a few lodges and guestfarms in the area make the most of their scenic surroundings and offer very pleasant overnight stops.

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