Ondangwa - Where the Ondonga rule


Ondangwa - Where the Ondonga rule

05 November 2020 | Tourism

Ondangwa, previously also spelt Ondangua, is found in the Oshana Region – forming part of the four O-Regions of Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto – of northern Namibia. Originally a mission station of the Finnish Missionary Society established around 1890, it was established as a local seat of government in 1914.

Ondangwa is said to mean “the end of the Ondonga area”, with the Ondonga being recognised as one of the kingdoms of Ovamboland, which essentially comprises of the four O-Regions. It is one of the places of residence of the Kings of Ondonga and most of the residents of the town speak the Oshindonga-dialect. Ondangwa is located on the western edge of this kingdom and only 60 kilometres away from the Angolan border, along the B1 that leads from the southern border of South Africa and Namibia right up to the northern border with Angola. The town is the district capital of the Ondangwa electoral constituency.

The Ondangwa mission station was founded by August Pettinen in 1890, only 15 kilometres northwest of the Olukonda mission station, but in those years that was equal to two hours’ of travel on an ox cart. Apart from that the Finns had experienced a string of setbacks in the territories of other Ovambo tribes, such as the Uukwambi, Ongandjera and Okwanyama. Over time, especially during the time of South African rule, Ondangwa played an increasingly important part as an administrative centre, which it has remained to this day.

Ondangwa has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and warm winters. The Oshiwambo culture can be witnessed by visiting the town and its market places, but also by visiting some of the traditional villages that welcome visitors to their living museums. It is an ideal stopover for people who want to use the area as a transit station to Angola, or simply as a destination by combining it with a visit to the Etosha National Park further south.

Ondangwa has a fully services airport and rental car services are available to tourists. For accommodation you can choose between Ekamuti Lodge, Ondangwa Town Lodge, Protea Hotel, Oshoto Pension Hotel, Anot Guest House, Ondangwa Rest Camp and many others. Visitors should drive carefully as this is a typical rural area with own quaint driving habits, quite apart from cattle and goats frequenting the town and roads.

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