ONDANGWA is the first sizeable town you encounter after crossing the veterinary cordon fence at Oshivelo, north of Etosha’s Von Lindequist Gate. Slightly less frenetic, and less populated than neighbouring Oshakati – it has a population of about 23,000 – it was established in 1890 as a Finnish mission station at the western edge of the Ondonga Kingdom. Following World War I, the British decided to base their administration here; the South African colonial government then followed suit, and from 1918, Ondangwa became the main assemblage point for labourers being recruited to work in the mines and farms in the Police Zone or in South Africa. Once the apartheid regime established Oshakati as the new capital of Owamboland in the mid-1960s, which then became the regional capital post-independence, Ondangwa’s political importance faded. However, commerce in the town is still growing, and likely to expand further, given Ondangwa’s strong rail and air links, and strategic location on the main transit route between Namibia and Angola – the busy main junction in the town centre sees the B1 turn northwards to Oshikango, Namibia’s main border with Angola 60km away.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

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
27 awe-inspiring pictures of Namibia

27 awe-inspiring pictures of Namibia

Namibia has some of the world's most astonishing landscapes. It's home to the world's oldest desert, a long and undeveloped coastline and national parks that te…

31 May 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month