Eenhana: Proudly shaping its Future

01 July 2019 | Tourism

Frank Steffen

“So are you writing in Tourismus Namibia, that we Africans are dying of hunger and need to be felt sorry for?” are the challenging words uttered by Matheus David of the small town Eenhana in the Ohangwena region, when the author of the article explained, that the magazine would like to tell the world about the northern regions of Namibia. With this remark, David reflects what visitors will encounter regularly when visiting Ovamboland. These people are proud of what has been achieved and they are eager to modernize and become a truly independent player in the bigger scheme of things.

He and others were delighted to hear, that tourists will be encouraged to visit the area. “Yes they must come so that we can show them our beautiful places and teach them our ways”, was just one of several remarks made by the young people at the open market, commonplace throughout the region.

In the region of Eenhana some of the fiercest military clashes took place before Namibia gained its independence. It is against this background that the Eenhana Shrine has been erected on the eastern outskirts of the town, commemorating the contribution of the female PLAN soldiers - Swapo's military wing during the struggle for independence. In front of the memorial visitors will find a huge tomb, in which remains of soldiers were laid to rest, whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave close to town.

Considering its strategic military history, it now seems hard to believe that people these days describe Eenhana as being tranquil. Eenhana comes from the word calves in the Oshikwanyama dialect and is a reference to the calves that used to water at the small water pan where Eenhana is now located. Both, the people as well as the town's surroundings, which comprise of soft sand and lush green foliage, offer the weary traveller a pleasant place to rest in a unique environment. In this regard the “Woodland Campsites” () along the road to Okongo are an ideal place to spend the night.

Eenhana is situated along the C45 tarred main road which leads coming from Okongo to Helao Nafidi and Oshikango in the north or Ondangwa towards the south once you reach the intersection connecting to the B1 main road, which eventually leads down back to Windhoek. Eenhana essentially lies close to the Angolan border and almost half-way between Ruacana in western Ovamboland and Nkurenkuru in the Kavango-West region and serves as perfect replenishment station for the visitor as it provides access to modern amenities as much as traditional supplies. Since the completion of the tar road leading from Kamanjab, past Kaokoland proper up to Ruacana and onwards along the northern Namibian border to the Zambezi region (previously known as Caprivi Strip) and beyond to Botswana or the Victoria Falls, Eenhana has come onto its own.