Established in 1966 by the South African colonial administration as the capital of the newly designated Owamboland, OSHAKATI means “the place where people meet” or “that which is between” in Oshiwambo – perhaps a reference to its deliberately central location, chosen so that the authorities could further their political and commercial interests. Today, with a population of just under 40,000, Oshakati is Namibia’s fourth-largest town; it’s the capital of the north and a major commercial centre and transport hub. Along the main dual carriageway, punctuated by traffic lights, and lined with the occasional pavement, new supermarkets, warehouses and shopping malls gleam in the sunlight; at the same time, rusted old cars still decorate the waste-ground and the odd herd of goats will slow down the traffic, while battered combis slither on and off the road at will, to pick up or drop off passengers.

Just south of Oshakati, but soon to be sucked into the conurbation, lies the quiet, mainly residential town of ONGWEDIWA; established initially to house workers in Oshakati and Ondangwa, the place hosts a faculty of the University of Namibia plus a teachers’ education college; more pertinently, it also offers a couple of pleasant places to stay.

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

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook