Tsandi - that, which is at the centre

Tsandi - that, which is at the centre

01 July 2019 | Tourism

Anybody, who has been to Ovamboland before, will know that all four of the O-regions lie in an unbelievably huge and flat expanse. Tsandi is the word for the expression “that, which is at the centre” in the Oshivambo dialect and it is truly situated smack in the middle of that huge Sandveld found stretching from near Ruacana and the general Ombalantu-area down to the northern fringes of the Etosha pan northwest of the rest camp Okaukuejo in the park. While it now presents a totally different sight with all of the hundreds of pans being dry on account of the drought, it does offer the advantage, that you can drive anywhere you want to go, which after good rains would prove a much bigger feat, when all the pans, iishana and dongas.

The road to Tsandi and its surrounding area makes for some very interesting sights as you approach the town having come down the district road (D3616 is a gravel road) past the Olushandja Dam and passing through Onesi. Along the way you will regularly encounter some pretty massive Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata).

The small town is found in the Omusati Region southwest of Outapi along the main road D3612 (also known as M123), which connects Outapi with Tsandi and leads onwards to Okahao (then only known as M123) and further to Oshakati to close the full circle. The residence of the Uukwaluudhi Royal House is found here and as one of the oldest villages in the Uukwaluudhi Kingdom Tsandi has developed into the trade centre of the constituency. The town has the typical quaint appeal of most northern villages, where the old traditions are gradually replaced by modern life and thus offers you an open market where traditional trading and slaughtering takes place, while next door you can take care of your daily shopping in a modern supermarket.

Apart from its own appeal, Tsandi is also worth a visit as you can drive to the Omgulumbashe memorial, which is found 22 kilometres along the D3633 (a gravel road) and does not only sport a huge replica of Namibia’s Founding President Dr Samuel Nujoma in the pose of a fighting soldier, but actually has a separate memorial honouring the start of the struggle for Namibian independence. It shows a military order group around its commander Johnny Otto Nankudhu - his fighting name was Koshiwanda - at the exact spot where logs had been placed such, so as to function as a place where the fighters could gather and plan. The first clash took place between the South African police and a contingent of PLAN, the military wing of Swapo, on the 26th August 1966.

As is the case in all of Ovamboland, it is really up to visitors to decide what they would like to see or experience. The local folk are more than happy to oblige and refer you to somebody, who will introduce you to the local way of life and their cultural background. Tsandi Lodge is no more than three kilometres outside town as you drive back towards Outapi, while in town you will find Ongozi Guest Lodge.

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