The capital of the Oshana Region
Oshakati is the capital and the administrative centre of the Oshana Region and has about 39,700 inhabitants, which makes it the largest town in north-central Namibia. Together with the towns of Ondangwa and Ongwediva it forms the second largest metropolitan area after Windhoek. This area, which consists of only 6% of the Namibias surface area, is home to over one million people, half of Namibia’s population.
The Oshana Region is situated north of the Etosha Pan and was called Ovamboland during South African administration.
During the Angolan civil war, which lasted nearly thirty years, Oshakati was an important base for the South African army. This had extensive consequences for the town, as the area was restricted military terrain with hardly any civil development. Furthermore the Oshivambo speaking people carried the major burden during the Namibia’s fight for independence. The region was the main location for battles between the South African Army and the SWAPO (freedom movement against the oppressing South African regime).
Hence no foreign visitors travelled into the area before the countries independence, also because of the missing infrastructure. The touristic development is still at its very beginning.