The Four-O region (after its administrative divisions Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Omusati) is a region in central northern Namibia. It is Namibia's most densely populated area though still primarily rural.
- 1 Eenhana — a trading town on the Angolan border
- 2 Omuthiya — capital of the Oshikoto region
- 3 Ondangwa — amidst the dramatic scenery of the Kaoko and Damara regions, in the vicinity of Etosha National Park
- 4 Oshakati — capital of the Oshana region and one of Namibia's largest cities
- 5 Helao Nafidi — on the border with Angola, it is Namibia's busiest border post
- 6 Outapi — home to a famous baobab tree, whose huge hollow trunk has been used as a post office, a chapel, and a coffee shop, and now houses a craft shop
- 7 Tsumeb — the "gateway to the north" of Namibia, and the closest town to the Etosha National Park
- 1 Etosha National Park — the second largest of Namibia's game reserves; its waterholes attract animals in this dry land
The region is also known as Ovamboland, although this name reminds some Namibians of the South African regime, as this was the name of the bantustan for the Ovambo people, Namibia's largest ethnic group. When Namibians refer to "the North" they also usually means this region, although other regions are just as far north as the Four-O.
Due to the scarcity of other options, most travellers will arrive by car. There are two major highways in the region. The B1 connects the capital Windhoek to Tsumeb and Ondangwa, and the B10 connects Okongo to Rundu.
While there is a railway line from the capital Windhoek to Ondangwa, the much-celebrated Omugulugwombashe Express packed up after a few weeks of service in 2006 and has not been scheduled since.
By public transport
The B-roads are tarred and in very good condition. The C45 to Eenhana, the C41 from Oshakati to Okahao, and the C46 from Ondangwa to Ruacana are tarred as well. All other C-roads are gravel roads and in fair condition, easily passable with an ordinary sedan. Other roads (D-roads and those without letters or numbers) tend to be rough, sandy, heavily corrugated, and will further deteriorate after rainfall.
- 1 Ghaub Cave, PO Box 1549, Grootfontein (in the Otavi Triangle, formed by Otavi, Tsumeb and Grootfontein; from Tsumeb drive south on the B1, then left onto the D3022; for a more scenic route, drive eastwards from Otavi on the B8 and turn left onto the D2863 at Kombat; this road leads through the Tiger Gorge; once on the D3022, turn left), ☏ , email@example.com. Ghaub is historically significant as one of the old mission stations in South West Africa. The cave was rediscovered in 1913 by the missionary Heinrich Vedder. The entrance is locked; You need to take the guided tour if you want to see it. The hike through the cave is exciting, adventurous, and requires some fitness. At many places only crawling or sliding is possible. The game drive reportedly is not worth the time and money. Its only attraction, the rhinos, can be seen from the farm house and the camp site. While not exactly tame, they are used to humans and won't run away from cars or people. There's also a farm drive, explaining the rather uncommon economic activities. For Namibia, Ghaub is extraordinarily wet, a former swamp, and offers unusual vegetation. This drive is worth considering, and rhinos will be seen here, too. The restaurant is for overnight visitors only, and the food is mediocre at best. Cave tour N$550 pp, game drive N$600 pp. Camp site N$250 pppn, children under 12 free. Beer at the bar N$25, cool drinks N$20.
Apart from the Etosha National Park the region is touristically not well developed. However, as it is a rather densely populated area and an economic hub, there is plenty of accommodation, suitable for the business traveller. So instead of walking tours or wildlife observation the typical offer on top of bed and breakfast is to iron your business attire.
All of northern Namibia is a Malaria risk zone. Take the necessary precautions.
Four-O shares a border with Angola in the north. Domestically, the following regions of Namibia border with Kavango: