Ovamboland 02 Ovamboland 01

Ovamboland oder 4-O-Region

"Ovamboland", former homeland of the Ovambo people north of the Etosha pan, was devided after the independence of Namibia into the districts Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto and is also called "Four-O-Region". Almost a million people live here, more than half the population on only 6% of the total area of Namibia. The Ovambo once came from east Africa and settled in this land in the 15th century. Almost all Ovambo are smsll-scale farmers and work the poor soil by hand. They mainly grow Mahango and Sorghum, both millet species. They also grow vegetables and maize and keep goats and cattle. The means of transport is the donkey.

The landscape is flat, monotonous and interspersed with small settlements. Between the fields and the kraals there are scattered trees, Mopane, Marula and Wild figs and every now and then one comes upon a Makalani Palm. After a year with good rains there are many ponds and puddles. The river in the area is called Cuvelai. It comes from the north and flows into the Etosha pan.


In the 60ties and 70ties of the last century, Ovamboland was scene of severe fighting between the SWAPO and South Africa's army, and the Ovambo bore the brunt in the liberation struggle of Namibia, which claimed thousands of victims. Since the independence the government tried to attract industry to the north to create jobs and improve the poor infrastrucutre. Before the independence nobody visited this area. And today the touristic offers are still in the beginning stages.

The B1 is the main axis through the Four-O-Region. It is tarred all the way. But to drive it can still be slow due to the goats, sheep and cattle crossing the road. Coming from the south, the B1 first leads to Ondangwa, a typically African place with cookshops at the roadside, bottle stores in tin huts and a lively market. In Olukonda a few kilometres south lies the Finnish mission Nakambale. The thatched mission church from the year 1889 is the oldest church in the north and now a National Monument.

Oshakati is the biggest town in the Four-O-Region, 35 km north of Ondangwa. This town is also authentically African, with a big market on the main road.

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