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Otjiwarongo in 2016
Otjiwarongo in 2016
Official seal of Otjiwarongo
Otjiwarongo is located in Namibia
Location in Namibia
Coordinates: 20°27′51″S 16°39′10″E / 20.46417°S 16.65278°E / -20.46417; 16.65278Coordinates: 20°27′51″S 16°39′10″E / 20.46417°S 16.65278°E / -20.46417; 16.65278
Country Namibia
RegionOtjozondjupa Region
ConstituencyOtjiwarongo Constituency
 • TypeMunicipal
 • MayorBennes Haimbondi[1]
 • Total28,249
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Area code(s)067
The Central Business District of Otjiwarongo

Otjiwarongo (Otjiherero: beautiful place)[3] is a city[4] of 28,000 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 situated 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. Some of Namibia's best-known private game farms and nature reserves are located in and around the town.

Otjiwarongo is one of Namibia's towns with a large population of German-speaking people. German influence is also evident in its Germanic buildings. The school "Donatus School Otjiwarongo" (D.S.O.) was once known as "Deutsche Schule Otjiwarongo".


The San and Damaras where the first settlers of the area, the Damaras from the /Geio-Daman clan lived in the area from as early as 1390. The Damaras also named the city #kanubes. German Namibians first settled in Otjiwarongo in 1900. A bloody war was fought in the area between the Hereros and the Germans in 1904 where many of the Herero people died. This happened sometime before Otjiwarongo was established as an administration point for the Germans and officially became a town. A narrow-gauge railway was built from Swakopmund on the coast, to the Otavi copper mine which helped Otjiwarongo become a prosperous agricultural centre. The three tribes where separated like in many of Namibia's towns, where each lived in a separate neighborhood: Ovambo Location, Damara Location and Herero Location respectively. The three locations together made up the suburb of Orwetoveni.

Economy and infrastructure[edit]


German Class Hd Locomotive no. 41 plinthed at Otjiwarongo railway station

Otjiwarongo has a well-developed road network. It is situated at the junction of the national road B1 that passes north–south through all of Namibia, the C38 to Outjo and further into Kunene Region in Namibia's north-west, and the C33 to Karibib, connecting the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Roads in town are likewise well-maintained, making Otjiwarongo one of the few Namibian towns that has tarred roads even in the townships.

Otjiwarongo is connected to the national railway grid, run by TransNamib. Otjiwarongo railway station is situated downtown, connecting Otavi and the junction at Kranzberg, and branching off to Outjo. In front of the railway station stands the historic Locomotive No 41, originally brought from Germany to haul ore between Tsumeb and the port at Swakopmund.

The town has an air strip. There are plans to develop an international airport.


Pink fluorite specimen from the Okorusu Mine near Otjiwarongo. Size: 6.4 x 6.0 x 1.1 cm.

B2Gold mine, an open-pit gold mine established in 2014 and owned by B2Gold, is located approximately 70 km (43 mi) northwest of town. 48 km (30 mi) to the north there is the Okorusu fluorspar mine, a well-known source of fluorite specimens for mineral collectors. The mine is a potential resource for rare-earth elements.[5] Together, mining contributes about 20% of the town's economy.[6]

Health facilities[edit]

Otjiwarongo District State Hospital is the biggest hospital in the town and very soon a Referral State Hospital will be built, it is mostly used by the middle and low income residents. A number of private clinics and hospitals are also present in the town, including a branch of MediCity Private Clinic.


The main interest for tourists is Otjiwarongo's proximity to the Waterberg Plateau Park. Otjiwarongo is home to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, an internationally recognized organization dedicated to ensuring the long-term survival of the cheetah through research, conservation and education. Also about 50 miles from Otjiwarongo is Okonjima, the home of the Africat Foundation, a cheetah and leopard rehabilitation centre.[7]

On the edge of town is the Crocodile Ranch, one of the few captive breeding programs for the Nile Crocodile that has been registered with CITES.[8]

Built 15 km outside of town, the Omatjenne Dam provides artificial recharge of local groundwater.[9]


Otjiwarongo is governed by a municipal council that currently has seven seats.[10]

The 2015 local authority election was won by SWAPO which gained five seats and 3,901 votes. One seat each went to the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA, 454 votes) and the United Democratic Front (UDF, 442 votes).[11]


There are about 15 schools in Otjiwarongo, three private schools and twelve public schools. All schools final exams for grade 10 and 12 are regulated by the Ministry of Education, Arts & Culture. The schools of Otjiwarongo attract more and more non-resident students. The town also has a community library that caters for reading needs of the towns residents.

There are a number of institution for higher education in the town, as well as the MTI and COSDEC vocational training centres and a convent. The University of Namibia and the Namibia University of Science and Technology had plans to build satellite campuses in the town. The two institutions already have their regional centers in the town where distance students interact with the two institutions respectively.

Public Schools[edit]

Private Schools[edit]

Previously the German school Regierungsschule Otjiwarongo was in the city.[13]


About 90% of the town's residents speak and understand Afrikaans. About 75% speaks English and 35% German. Other languages includes indigenous languages like Otjiherero, Khoe-Khoe and Oshiwambo.


Mighty Gunners FC is the town's major football team. Life Fighters (Okahirona) also returned to the Namibia Premier League in 2017 after more than a decade. Mokati Stadium, the smaller of two stadia in Otjiwarongo, is located in Orwetoveni and it is the main football stadium in town. There are also grounds for basketball, netball, and tennis. The largest, Paresis Park also known as "The Show Ground", is located in the upper suburb of the town. It is the towns biggest sport ground and one of the biggest in Namibia. It has two soccer fields and two rugby fields. There are also grounds for hockey, tennis, netball and cricket. The park is also used to host sport tournaments and business events such as the Otjiwarongo Trade Show. In 2011, it hosted the main event of the 21st Independence Celebrations of Namibia.[14]


Living conditions[edit]

In many of Otjiwarongo's townships residents live in shacks. In 2020 the city had a total of 6,251 of these informal housing structures, accommodating more than 50,000 inhabitants,[15] more than the most recent (2011) census reported as total population figure.


Otjiwarongo has a semi-arid climate (BSh, according to the Köppen climate classification), with hot summers and mild winters. The average annual precipitation is 457 mm (18 in).

Climate data for Otjiwarongo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32
Daily mean °C (°F) 24.5
Average low °C (°F) 17
Average precipitation mm (inches) 100
Source: World Climate Guide.[16]

Twin cities[edit]

Canada Dundas, Ontario, Canada
France Ensisheim
Netherlands Heusden
Botswana Mochudi/Kgatleng
Namibia Katima Mulilo
Namibia Khorixas
Namibia Okakarara
Namibia Windhoek
Namibia Bethanie
Namibia Keetmanshoop

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.otjiwarongomun.org/?page_id=11 Website 2017
  2. ^ "Table 4.2.2 Urban population by Census years (2001 and 2011)" (PDF). Namibia 2011 - Population and Housing Census Main Report. Namibia Statistics Agency. p. 39. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  3. ^ Viljoen, J.J.; Kamupingene, T.K. Otjiherero woordebook / dictionary / embo romambo. Gamsberg. p. 59. ISBN 0868481955.
  4. ^ "Local Authorities". Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN). Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  5. ^ Okorusu Mine at Mindat.org
  6. ^ Hartman, Adam (May 2019). "Evolution of Namibia's mining towns". Mining Journal supplement to The Namibian. pp. 26–33.
  7. ^ Jackman, Brian. "BBC - Science & Nature - Articles - Big cat watching in Africa". bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 March 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
  8. ^ "Otjiwarongo Namibia". The Cardboard Box Travel Shop. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  9. ^ Omatjenne Dam Archived 13 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine at NamWater.com.na
  10. ^ "Know Your Local Authority". Election Watch (3). Institute for Public Policy Research. 2015. p. 4.
  11. ^ "Local elections results". Electoral Commission of Namibia. 28 November 2015. p. 7. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015.
  12. ^ https://allafrica.com/stories/201710170296.html
  13. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag 4. Wahlperiode Drucksache IV/3672" (Archive). Bundestag (West Germany). 23 June 1965. Retrieved on 12 March 2016. p. 32/51.
  14. ^ http://www.nbc.com.na/article.php?id=5445 Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Otjiwarongo to host the 21st Independence Celebrations
  15. ^ Nghinomenwa, Erastus (12 August 2020). "Namibia's ghetto life: Half million live in shacks countrywide". The Namibian. p. 1.
  16. ^ World Climate Guide
  17. ^ Shooting in Namibia fraud trial, BBC News, 25 August 2005

External links[edit]