Regions & Attractions
Northern Region of Namibia:
A large percentage of Namibia’s inhabitants live in the Owambo regions of
Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto, this is nowadays referred to informally
as the Four O regions. The major portion of the four regions consists of
communal land where the majority of the inhabitants live from subsistence
Life on the vast plains of these essentially agricultural regions depends on the
seasonal efundja, the floods that feed the rivers and oshonas.
The origin of these waters is the highlands of Angola. The essentially flat
landscape is characterised by huge spreading Marula trees and sporadic stands of
the tall makalani palm. Sap is tapped from the growing tip of the stems of these
palms and let to ferment into a potent drink called palm wine. The fruit of the
makalani palm takes two years to mature and has a white, bony kernel. Referred
to as vegetable ivory, the hard kernel is suitable for carving into small
ornaments, jewellery and curios.
Tourism in this vast flat region, typified by oshanas, makalani palms and herds
of cattle is virtually non-existent, although the area has a rich and
interesting cultural and historical tradition.
Places to see in the Owambo Region
Nakambale Museum, a community based tourism institution established at Olukonda
in 1995 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Namibia. Excursions can be
undertaken to site of interest such as the Oponono Lake, Omandongo Mission
Station, Onoolongo cattle post and the Ombagu grass plains. Visitors are treated
to traditional Owambo food, music and dancing. A good option for learning about
Owambo culture firsthand is to visit the Uukwaluudhi Traditional Homestead and
Tsandi. A visit can be made to the historical Omuguluwombase where the guerrilla
warfare waged by SWAPO forces for Namibia’s independence was launched.
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Southern Region of Namibia:
Quivertree Forest & Giant's Playground
A much-favoured topic for photographers, the Quiver Tree Forest can be viewed on
the farm Gariganus, some 14km north east of Keetmanshoop. About 300 specimens of
this prehistoric tree, Aloe dichotoma, also referred to as Kokerboom, reach
skywards with graphically forked branches. On average about 3-5 meters tall, the
trees are rewarding subjects to photograph, especially at sunrise or sunset.
They product bright yellow flowers during the winter months, and their trunks
are smooth and shiny with light silver-grey bark, which peels and forms
intricate diamond-shaped patterns as the tree matures.
Across the road from the Quiver Tree Forest is Giant's Playground, an impressive
jumble of massive dolerite boulders between 160 million and 180 million years
old. Wandering through the maze of boulders is an interesting excursion, but
care must be taken not to become lost in the extensive rocky labyrinth.
Namib Desert - The Desert Horses
An intriguing feature of the Sperrgebiet is the legendary desert horses seen
from the road when travelling between Lüderitz & Aus. There are several theories
regarding their origin. One is that they are descendents of the horse stud
belonging to Baron von Wolf, who built Duwisib Castle, 160km north east of Garub.
A more likely theory is that they are descendents of horses left behind when the
German Schutztruppe abandoned Aus during the South West African Campaign in
1915. About 100km east of Lüderitz, a signpost indicates where to turn-off to
Garub, a maintained water point where the wild horses can be observed and
photographed as they come to drink.
The Kalahari has plentiful game with wandering Antelopes, especially the hardy
Oryx, Wildebeest, Ostrich, Cheetah, Wild Dog, Brown Hyena and Kalahari Lions.
Smaller mammals also do well here including Meerkat, who live in fascinating
well ordered communities. In the red sands of the Kalahari, some Bushman still
roam in harmony with the land, as their ancestors have done for thousands of
Here you can rendezvous with a local Bushman community for interactive visits,
which include a walk into the bush to explain how to survive in this harsh
place. You will not understand their fast and complex clicking language so a
translator is provided. This encounter is not patronising and leaves you feeling
enriched for having met these lovely people. Stay a couple of nights in the
Kalahari for a solid encounter with the elements of the semi-desert, and witness
a night as black as it can get, the stars in all their glory or a moon as bright
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