This is the other main town of Owamboland, and in character it is very similar to Oshakati. There are Shell and Mobil fuel stations (24-hour), a couple of big supermarkets and even an outdoor market. Try the latter for fresh vegetables, and perhaps a cob of maize to snack on. As a last resort, there is always the aptly named Sorry Supermarket.
Getting thereBy air
Ondangwa is serviced by a weekly flight that links it to Mokuti (N$205) and Windhoek (N$705), and connects to Oranjemund (N$1,780). By road
Ondangwa is spread out along the main B1, and you'll find numerous local combi vans, sometimes referred to as taxis, stopping to pick up and drop passengers all along here.
Intercape Mainliner used to run a service between Windhoek and Oshikango, which stopped here, but as I write this is no longer operational. However, it might be worth checking the 'search' page on their website, www.intercape.co.za, to see if it's started up again.
If you need medicine there are several pharmacies including the Ondangwa Pharmacy, tel: 065 240361/240784. In an emergency, the police are reached on tel: 065 210111, the ambulance on 065 240111, and the clinic on 065 240305.
Where to stay
As with Oshakati's hotels, Ondangwa's cater mainly for business people. Most visitors will certainly wish to avoid the dubious 'private bar with sleeping rooms' next to the Caltex garage, leaving the choice of:Punyu International Hotel
(30 rooms) PO Box 247, Ondangwa; tel: 065 240556/240009; fax: 065 240660
One of the oldest hotels in the area, the Punyu is signposted off the main road near Ondangwa, north towards Eenhana. It has a central restaurant and bar, and each of its rooms has a TV, telephone and air conditioning.Nakambale Museum Restcamp
(3 huts, cottage and camping) c/o ELCIN, P Bag 2018, Ondangwa; tel/fax: 065 245668; email: email@example.com
Just 10km from Ondangwa, accommodation here is in traditional Owambo huts or in a missionary's cottage. While these are basic, they prove a point about life here a century ago, and this is reinforced by the availability of traditional Owambo food. There is also a campsite. Local guides are on hand to explain various traditional skills and practices. Cresta Lodge Pandu Ondangwa
(90 rooms) PO Box 2827, Ondangwa; tel: 065 241900; fax: 065 241919; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.cresta-hospitality.com
This four-star hotel geared to the business community is typical of business hotels throughout the world. En-suire rooms have twin beds and air conditioning, while facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant, bar and free airport transfers.
At Olukonda, on the D3606, about 13km southeast of Ondangwa, are some of the oldest buildings in northern Namibia – a Finnish Mission built here in the late 1870s. (As an aside, Finland seems to have maintained its links with Namibia, forming a significant contingent of the United Nations' UNTAG force, which supervised the country's transition to democracy in 1990.) Here you'll also find the museum restcamp (see above).