North of Etosha sprawls Oshakati, one of Namibia’s largest urban centres, with a population of 37,000. Forming a 30km conurbation along the C46 with neighbouring Ongwediva and Ondangwa, Oshakati is a major centre for the Owambo people – who constitute the majority of the country’s population – and is a major commercial centre and transport hub. An unprepossessing, flat town, it contains little to interest the tourist but you are likely to pass through here if visiting northern Namibia, especially if reliant on public transport. Moreover, it’s a good place to visit a bank and stock up on food supplies and fuel, but you’ll need to keep your wits about you and remain streetwise when parking your vehicle and going about your business. Most services you’ll need are spread out along the dual carriageway that scythes through the dust, lined with large car-sales warehouses, service garages and cuca shops – shebeens named after the Angolan beer that was illegally stocked here in the 1970s and 80s.

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