|Motto: "Your gateway to the North and beyond"|
|• Type||Local Authority|
|• Mayor||Cllr. Leonard Negonga|
|Elevation||3,540 ft (1,080 m)|
|Time zone||South African Standard Time (UTC+1)|
Ondangwa (also Ondangua), is a town of 11,000 inhabitants in the Oshana Region of northern Namibia, bordering Oshikoto Region. Ondangwa means the end of the Ondonga area (Ondonga is one of the kingdoms of Ovamboland). Located about 80 km (50 mi) from the Angolan border, Ondangwa is situated along the B1. It is one of the places of residence of the Kings of Ondonga. (currently King Eliphas Kauluma, father to the reigning king lives here). Most of the residents of the town speak Oshindonga.
Ondangwa is the district capital of the Ondangwa electoral constituency. It receives a mean annual of rainfall of 450 millimetres (18 in), although in the 2010/2011 rainy season rainfall was over 1,000 millimetres (39 in).
Before the Apartheid era
The name "Ondangwa" means "The end of Ondonga", due to the town's location on the border of the traditional Ondonga Kingdom of the Owambo people. The town is to this day still one of the residences of the Kings of Ondonga.
During the Namibian War of Independence, Ondangwa was a major theatre of fighting between the rebel movement South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) and the South African Defence Force (SADF).
Ondangwa has a semi-arid climate (BSh, according to the Köppen climate classification), with hot summers and warm winters (with mild days and cool nights). The average annual precipitation is 447 mm (18 in), with most rainfall occurring mainly during summer.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Politics and Government
Ondangwa's elected Town Council has a mandate to govern and administer the town and surrounding district, through planning coordination and partnership in the delivery of services.
Current challenges faced include the growing demand for housing due to rapid urbanisation, as well unemployment. TIPEGG, a government project to create jobs, is intended to assist in curbing unemployment in the town. The council has produced a development plan with guiding documents in the hope of facilitating investment. In order to combat the shortage of housing, the council has entered into a private-public partnership with Namibou, for the intended construction of roughly a thousand houses. It has also declared the aim of making the local government "an engine for sustainable development" in the region, and joined ICLEI in 2013.
Economy and Development
Ondangwa features a shopping centre, a large open market, and several tourism facilities.
Ondangwa remains an important transit point for Owambo contract workers going to or coming from the copper- and lead-mining town of Tsumeb, 170 miles (274 km) southeast. Moreover there is a 53 Battalion HQ at Ondangwa, just before the Ondangwa Airforce Base on the main Oshakati road in Sector 10. There are several schools in the town, among them Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Senior Secondary School. Some schools extend far from the town - for instance Ekulo Senior Secondary School. The most well-known football team is KK Palace and Volcano.
Since independence, the government has settled up an industry in the north, to create jobs and improve the poor infrastructure. Rössing Foundation, Kayec and Cosdec are the three vocational skills schools training young people in building maintenance, sewing, cooking, and Internet Technology.
In 2001, planning started on a railway line to link Tsumeb with Ondangwa, with extensions to Angola planned to follow. The rail line had its first official service on 11 May 2006. The passenger train Omugulugwombashe Star traveled once a week back and forth between Windhoek and Ondangwa before it broke down due to climatic conditions.
The town shares an airport with Oshakati. Ondangwa is linked to Oshakati and Oshikango by a tarred road. Rental car services are also available for tourists. Residents and car owners cars are often extra cautious and careful, mostly when crossing and driving in the town, because livestock permission in town are not strictly regulated by the government therefore cattle and goats roam around especially at night.
Attractions and features
Ondangwa is situated in amidst the dramatic scenery of the Kaoko and Damara regions, in the vicinity of Etosha National Park. The relatively pristine state of much of the local culture in the surrounding areas is balanced by the bustling markets and vibrant urban life of the town centre. For visitors, Ondangwa town has a variety of accommodation options, from camp sites to a range of hotels. Attractions include:
- The nearby Etosha National Park
- The dramatic vistas of the surrounding landscape
- Informal markets stocking everything from traditional clothes to local delicacies such as dried caterpillars and meat dishes.
- "Table 4.2.2 Urban population by Census years (2001 and 2011)". Namibia 2011 - Population and Housing Census Main Report. Namibia Statistics Agency. p. 39. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- Menges, Werner (26 May 2011). "Rainy season was one for the record books". The Namibian.
- "Ondangwa" at britannica.com
- Mvula, Toivo (27 September 2004). "School Renamed to Honour Ya Toivo". New Era. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013.
- Ashipala, Paulus (20 April 2012). "Safland steams ahead with property development". The Namibian.
- "Chinese rails for Oshikango railway". The Namibian. 13 November 2009.