247 kilometres north of Namibia's capital city, Windhoek, and over 176 km north of the nearest large town, Okahandja, you will find Otjiwarongo. Otjiwarongo is the capital town of the Otjozondjupa Region and is the major gateway to the northern regions of Namibia. The town was established in 1892, and is considered one of the oldest towns in the country. Its name, Otjiwarongo is derived from the Herero language meaning the beautiful place. Major roads, traveling north out of the town, lead to Tsumeb, Grootfontein, Kamanjab and the famous Etosha National Park, all of which are within 230 kilometers.
The area around Otjiwarongo was once home to the Herero people who referred to it as the place of the fat cows, and still today some of the biggest cattle breeding enterprises are situated in the Otjiwarongo area. This is due to the relatively high rainfall that the area receives as well as good pastures and fertile soil. People visiting the town are welcomed by its appearance, the town looks looks green (especially when compared to other towns in Namibia), prosperous and neat. Visitors have a full range of facilities including supermarkets, banks, hotels, restaurants and the ever popular beer garden.
A relatively new attraction in Otjiwarongo is the crocodile farm near the eastern border of town, where visitors can observe and photograph crocodiles up close and learn more about these fascinating reptiles. The old steam engine No. 41, which was built in 1912 by the Henschel Company in Kassel, Germany can be viewed in front of the train station. The engine used to run on the narrow gauge railway line from Swakopmund to Otavi. Some of Namibia's most reputable private game farms and reserves are situated in the Otjiwarongo area, one of these is the Okonjati Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, visitors can watch elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions and various other animals. At Okonjima, visitors have the opportunity to view the big cats like cheetahs and leopards up close.
Okonjima is the home of the AfriCat Foundation, which is dedicated to the protection of African big cats. Both game farms are situated south-west of Otjiwarongo, less than an hour's drive from town.
Just east of Otjiwarongo at the Waterberg Massif, several farms have joined to form the Waterberg Conservancy. The Waterberg Conservancy is a game and nature conservation area that covers over 200 000 hectares of land. The Cheetah Conservation Fund CCF, which is specifically dedicated to the survival of cheetahs, has established an information centre at the conservancy.