Otjiwarongo was established in 1892, and is considered one of the oldest towns in the country. The word “Otjiwarongo” is derived from the Herero language meaning the beautiful place with the inference that cattle could get fat grazing in this area.  The name is appropriate as Otjiwarongo is home to some of the biggest cattle-breeding companies in Namibia. German Namibians first settled in Otjiwarongo in 1900.  The area also became the theatre for the final battle of the  Herero Uprising of 1904 against the German forces.

The Hereros where the only African settlers in the town until 1906 when few amount of Ovambo and Damara tribes migrated to the town for settlement. This happened when 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 became a prosperous agricultural centre. The three tribes where separated like in many of Namibia’s towns, where each lived in a separate neighborhood such as Ovambo Location, Damara Location and Herero Location respectively.

Some historical highlights include:

  • Julius Doll opened the first shop in Otjiwarongo on September the 1st 1906.
  • The train station was officially opened on April the 2nd 1906
  • In 1937 the first aerial photo was taken.
  • The first N.G. Church was build in 1930. It is still standing and is used for church functions.

Today Otjiwarongo is a place of great diversity, challenges and potential. It is diverse in its people, cultures and it’s scenic beauty. It’s very location makes it different from any other town in Namibia. The town is strategically located so that one can enter from North, East, South and West.With a population of approximately 40,000 people. Otjiwarongo has a large diverse pool of human resources, ranging from semiskilled to highly qualified professional people.


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Municipality of Otjiwarongo
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