Otjiwarongo, Namibia

OK, seriously.  What is with these Namibian names being so damn difficult to pronounce.  I am pretty sure they do it on purpose so silly little tourists riding around their country on scooters like I was are forced the embarrassment of trying to say the names.  That being said, the fact that the names are difficult to say is about the only thing I have to complain about Namibia.  Honestly, one of the top travel destinations in the world, even for a guy like me who has travelled to over 80 countries.

In all honesty, though, I didn’t get much time to enjoy life in Otjiwarongo.  I limped into town with my scooter falling apart.  At the Shell station I was aided by a woman whose husband was a mechanic and managed to breathe new life into my precious scooter.  It meant that I spent almost all my time in the city in a shop with my bike.  Of course, my impression of Otjiwarongo will always be that the people were so friendly and helpful they likely saved my trip.


Getting to Otjiwarongo

The truth is most people don’t stay long in town.  For most, it’s a central hub to get somewhere else in the country.  It’s 250km or so from Windhoek and about 150km to Etosha National Park.  Most tour operators stop here in town on their way to the park.

All major bus links in the country pass through Otjiwarongo so it’s not hard to get to, or away from.

Things to do in and around Otjiwarongo

  • Crocodile Farm: Likely the only thing to do in town itself, the crocodile farm makes for an interesting stop.  It’s not likely a spot for nature lovers, but if you’re interested in crocodile skins, and the process behind it all, it’s an interesting visit.  They also do a good job communicating their program and have a good educational program on the breeding program.
  • Cheetah Conservation Fund: This is a great place, from what I’ve heard.  However, my scooter troubles meant I didn’t have time to get out here.  The cheetah fund is a bit of a ways out of town, but a fantastic place to go and see some beautiful cats up close and personal.
  • Waterburg Plateau: Another place I couldn’t get to, I’m told this place is beautiful.  Unfortunately, I’m also told that it’s a bit expensive staying there, an.  If you’re a bird lover, though, this is one of the best places in the country to spot some impressive species.

Where to Stay in Otjiwarongo

If you’re camping there’s only one place in town to stay and it’s not exactly pretty.  I’m not sure the name of the site, but it’s basically just behind the crocodile farm near the eastern edge of town.  If you’re hoping for a softer bed than a campsite, I’ve heard a place called the Bush Pillow is good, but it’ll run you about $40 a night.

Where to Eat in Otjiwarongo

There are a couple decent places to eat in Otjiwarongo, but it’s nothing that’ll blow your mind.  I gave a place called Kameldorn Garden a shot, and it was pretty good for lunch, but it’s more of a cafe-style than big meal restaurant.  There is also a big Spar supermarket with lots of ready-made meals if you’re in a hurry.

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