Waterberg and Bushmanland
The area south-east of Etosha with the Waterberg Plateau in its centre is blotched with both cultural and natural attractions. Situated between the towns of Otjiwarongo, Tsumeb and Tsumke you will find black and white rhino at the Waterberg Plateau Park, the world’s largest underground lake, the largest meteorite, dinosaur footprints and living museums that introduce visitors into the history and lifestyle of the Herero and San people.
Waterberg Plateau Park and Other Natural Sites
The Waterberg Plateau Park is the main attraction in the Otjozondjupa Region. The 405 km² conservation area protects the fauna and flora surrounding the flat-topped Waterberg. Rising 200 metres above the savannah the red sandstone combines dramatic scenery with big game including black and white rhino, Cape buffalo, roan and sable antelope and tsessebe.
On a farm 20 km west of Grootfontein lays the world’s largest meteorite. The Hoba Meteorite crashed into the Namibian landscape 30 000 to 80 000 years ago. With and amphitheatre and a museum wall erected around it the 50 ton nickel and iron ball is now a major attraction of the Waterberg area.
Half way between Tsumeb and Grootfontein lays the world’s largest underground lake. Dragon’s Breath is a large rock cave that can be explored with ropes and caving equipment. The lake beneath has a surface area of nearly 2 hectares and has yet to be developed for mainstream tourism.
Museums and Cultural Villages
The area formerly known as Bushmanland is still a great place to learn about the traditional San lifestyle. The knowledge and culture of the San is among the oldest in the world. The hunter gatherers are known for their intimate knowledge of Southern Africa’s fauna and flora. On the Botswana border you will find Ju/’Hoansi San displaying traditional hunting techniques and some of the ancient secrets and customs. At the Living Museum at Grashoek you can meet traditionally dressed San demonstrating their unequalled survival skills. The Living Hunters Museum close to Tsumkwe is the only place where San are still allowed to hunt with poisoned arrows. Witness the skilled hunters exercise their skill in their traditional land of the northern Kalahari.
A few towns are dotted around the Waterberg area with a variety of attractions. Grootfontein in close proximity to the Hoba Meteorite offers a museum in an old German fort. Otavi is close the the Ghaub Caves with stalagmites and San paintings. Tsumkwe is the main town in Bushmanland and is a good stopover for those visiting Khaudom National Park or the Ju/’Hoansi San communities.
Otjiwarongo is the largest town in the area and lays 250 km north of Windhoek. The Omaue Information Centre is valuable for tourists and the attractions include the Otjiwarongo Crocodile Ranch and the headquarters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund.