Otjiwarongo is a large town and the biggest business centre for the Otjozondjupa Region. It is situated in central-north Namibia, lying on the Trans-Namib Railway and its location is at a crossroads for the railway and the B1 road, with links between Windhoek, the Golden Triangle of Otavi, Tsumeb and Grootfontein, as well as Etosha National Park. Another interest to tourists is it's convenient proximity with Waterberg National Park. The name Otjiwarongo means 'Pleasant Place' or 'Where Fat Cattle Graze' in Otjiherero.
As with many other Namibian towns, Otjiwarongo developed around a Rhenish missionary station, after an 1891 treaty between German missionaries and the Herero Chief Kanbazembi. A German military garrison arrived in 1904 and the town was officially founded in 1906, with the implementation of a narrow-gauge railway from Swakopmund to the mines at Otavi and Tsumeb.
This area is also known as the cheetah capital of the world. Okonjima Main Camp and it's satellite lodges and camps are only 50 miles away, committed to the long-term conservation of Namibia's large carnivore's, notably cheetah and leopards. Accommodation at these camps is of a high standard and guests are always enthralled by close up viewings of the big cats.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is also based in Otjiwarongo. Another important conservation project in the area is the Bushblock project. Operated by the CCF the project cuts down invader bush then compacts it into brick sized logs. The logs make excellent fuel and burn at a high temperature for up to an hour and a half.
An unusual attraction is Namibia's first croc farm, The Crocodile Ranch, one of the few captive breeding programs for the Nile Crocodile, and is registered with CITES. The ranch exports the skins, but sells the meat locally.
The hotels all have bars and restaurants with take-away facilities in and around the main street. The town has all the usual amenities associated with a large town, including shops, petrol stations, banks and ATM's, pharmacies, accommodation providers and a hospital. It is also a favourite refreshment stop for the many accommodated and camping tours en-route to Etosha National Park.
Also in town is Locomotive 41, originally bought from Germany to haul ore between Tsumeb and the port at Swakopmund. It was retired from service in 1960 when the 0.6 narrow gauge was replaced with a 1.067m gauge.
To the south of Otjiwarongo are the twin peaks of the Omatako Mountains. (Omatako is Herero for buttocks!)
A small private safari lodge north of Otjiwarongo
Lodging located on the property used by the CCF. Excellent option if you want to learn about cheetah's and their conservation
A friendly well run guest house in the town of Otjiwarongo
Mid sized hotel in Otjiwarongo offering both lodge & hotel style accommodation. All the usual facilities including a pool, air-conditioned rooms and a restaurant
A large, well stocked, privately owned game reserve. Excellent for sightings of wild dogs and other endangered species
Situated to the north of the Waterberg Plateau (which is unusual as most lodges are toward the south) this highly recommenced lodge offers spacious comfortable rooms and plenty of activities
Situated on a private game reserve this is one of the oldest lodges in Namibia and has seen several historic events including the signing of an agreement pivotal to Namibia gaining independence. Offers a range of suites & luxury rooms.
Okonjima Main Camp is the oldest and most affordable of the lodges at the AfriCat foundation.
Without a doubt one of the best lodges in Namibia, add leopard and cheetah viewing to stunning accommodation and well prepared meals and this place is a complete winner
A private two bed room suite, comes complete with own swimming pool, lounge and kitchen. Private chef and meals can be arranged or guests can visit Bush Camp.
Large private complex, includes all modern luxuries. Enjoyed by international movie stars and corporate moguls - but available to any group wanting to stay!
accommodation and private game reserve only 4km south of Otjiwarongo
A large game farm which numbers the rare White Rhino amongst its species.
Small 8 room guest farm with an emphasis on conserving the natural eco-systems
The NWR run camp situated on the slopes of the plateau. Fairly standard and slightly overpriced accommodation, the old police station which has been converted to a restaurant is a scenic (if not taste) highlight.
Excellent choice for walking and visiting the highlights of the area
On the same property aw the Waterberg Wilderness Lodge but situated higher up the mountain offering excellent views