Otjiwarongo (Otjiherero: "pleasant place" or "place where fat cattle graze") is a city of 20,000 inhabitants in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia. It is the district capital of the Otjiwarongo electoral constituency and also the capital of Otjozondjupa.
Otjiwarongo is in central-north Namibia, on the TransNamib railway. It is the biggest business centre for Otjozondjupa Region. Otjiwarongo is located on the B1 road and its links between Windhoek, the Golden Triangle of Otavi, Tsumeb and Grootfontein, and Etosha National Park. It is one of Namibia’s fast growing towns, with a neat and peaceful quality environment, and many excellent facilities including supermarkets, banks, lodges and hotels.
Otjiwarongo is located 250km north of Windhoek on the B1, which is the main route running South to North and connects all the towns in the center of the Namibia.
Otjiwarongo has a landing strip which is situated about 5km outside of the town on the B1 towards the North. The GPS coordinates are longitude: 18° 15’ 0” E and latitude: 21° 44’ 0” S. The airport is very small and not manned but the airstrip is kept in good condition. It is a gravel strip and is only good for light aircraft.
TransNamib, via their StarLine passenger service, operates trains from Otjiwarongo to destinations all over Namibia.
There are no dedicated passenger trains in Namibia. The StarLine scheduled service described above conveys passengers via special coaches hooked on the back of freight trains. These passenger coaches offer comfortable airline-style seating with air-conditioning and (sometimes) video entertainment. Vending Machines provide refreshments on long journeys. Note, however, that Namibian trains are considered a relatively slow and sometimes unreliable method of transport.
Downtown is compact and easy to walk. Most attractions are within a 10-20min walk away from most of the Guesthouses in town. For ease of getting around a car would be advisable. Parking is free and voluntary carguards will look after your car.
There are various international and local car hiring companies in Namibia. All the major companies like AVIS, Budget, Europe Car etc. have offices in and around Namibia. AVIS does have an office in Otjiwarongo.
- Crocodile Farm, ☏ . Near the eastern border of town, where you can observe and photograph crocodiles at close range and learn about the breeding habits of these reptiles.
- Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), ☏ . Founded in 1990, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)'s mission is to be the internationally recognised centre of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people. CCF will work with all stakeholders within the cheetah’s ecosystem to develop best practices in research, education and ecology and create a sustainable model from which all other species, including people, will benefit. As Namibia has the largest and healthiest population of cheetahs left in the world, CCF's International Research and Education Centre is based in Namibia, near Otjiwarongo.
- Waterberg Plateau, ☏ . While visiting the Waterberg Plateau you will have the chance to see many different species of birds over 200 different species have been recorded here including spectacular black eagles and Namibia's only breeding colony of Cape vultures. The scenery is fantastic and there are several short, self guided bush walks and two longer hikes if you are feeling energetic.
Otjiwarongo has a well developed downtown with most basic services such as ATMs, grocery stores, pharmacy, etc.
- Theo's Spar, 9 Hage Geinngob St, ☏ . General Grocery needs
- Badenhorst FH Pharmacy, 24 Hage Geingob St, ☏ .
- Omaue Namibia, 5 St. Georges St, ☏ . Affordable curios and also tourist information center.
- First National Bank (FNB), 7 St Georges St, ☏ . Bank, ATM & Foreign Exchange facilities
- Kameldorn Garten (Diagonally opposite the Shell gas station). Mon-Fri 0730-1800, Sat 0730-1300. A pleasant café/bistro, with tables outside in the shade, breakfasts and light meals, coffee, drinks.
- Theo's Spar Coffee Shop, 9 Hage Geinngob St (Coffee shop inside Theo's Spar grocery store), ☏ . Light meals and refreshments.
- Casa Forno, Ramblers Road. Italian restaurant with many outdoor tables. Steak 160 N$, pizza 100 N$, starters 70 N$, draft beer 30 N$.
- Bush Pillow Guest House, 47 Son Rd, ☏ . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:00. Upmarket guesthouse in a quiet neighborhood. US$ 45.