Namibia’s Omusati Region: after the rains

Two weeks ago, I visited the Omusati Region, a beautiful rural area in the far north of Namibia, on a work trip. Formerly known as Owamboland (together with the neighbouring regions of Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto), this piece of land stretches across vast sandy plains that are used mainly for subsistence farming by the local Owambo people.

The Omusati Region in the north of Namibia after the rains. These flood plains are called 'oshanas' in Oshiwambo.
The Omusati Region in the north of Namibia after the rains. These flood plains are called ‘oshanas’ in the Oshiwambo language.

The timing of my visit could not have been better: this flat semi-arid landscape, which had been suffering the devastating effects of a severe drought for years, finally received some much-needed rain. It was amazing to see how quickly a bit of water can transform a landscape. Water is life, and rain a true blessing from above!

Here are a few special moments I captured during my recent visit to the Omusati Region:

The Omusati Region in the north of Namibia. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
A Makalani palm tree, which is typically found in the north of Namibia. Its seeds look like small coconuts and its fruits can be eaten – I’ve been told that these fruits are also used to brew ‘Ombike’, a potent local liqueur.
Two survivors of the drought enjoying some fresh grass.
Two survivors of the drought enjoying some fresh grass.
One of the many tall anthills next to the road.
One of the many tall anthills I saw next to the road.
The Omusati Region is named after the Mopane trees in the region. 'Omusati' means 'mopane' in the Oshiwambo language.
The Omusati Region is named after the Mopane trees in the region. ‘Omusati’ means ‘mopane’ in Oshiwambo.
Traditional Owambo huts in the Omusati Region of Namibia. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
Traditional Owambo huts in Namibia’s Omusati Region.
Beautiful green 'mahangu' (millet) fields. Mahangu is the Owambo people's staple food.
Beautiful green ‘Mahangu’ (millet) fields. Mahangu is the Owambo people’s staple food.
A boy showing off freshly caught African bullfrogs in the Omusati Region in the north of Namibia. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
A boy showing off freshly caught African bullfrogs. Just look at the size! Some people regard this as a real delicacy. I politely declined but rewarded him for the unique photo opportunity.
Here time stands still and you wait for the cattle to cross the road first. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
Here time stands still: you wait patiently for the cattle to cross the road.

The Omusati Region is in the far north of Namibia, bordering Angola. The easiest way to reach it is via a 60-minute flight from Windhoek Eros Airport to Ondangwa Airport and rent a car.  The distance from Ondangwa to Outapi (which is the capital of the Omusati Region) is about 125km. 

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Two weeks ago, I visited the Omusati Region, a beautiful rural area in the far north of Namibia. The timing of my visit could not have been better: this flat semi-arid landscape, which had been suffering the devastating effects of a severe drought for years, finally received some much-needed rain. Click the pin to read the post from www.GrooveisintheHeart.co.za

Linking this post to Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road TakenTravel Photo Thursday and Faraway Files

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18 thoughts on “Namibia’s Omusati Region: after the rains

    • June 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm
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      Yes, indeed. The rain makes Namibia even more beautiful than it already is and was a cause of great joy all around, after the terrible drought.

      Reply
  • March 21, 2017 at 10:34 am
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    It is amazing to see what the rains can do to these arid regions. Vegetation thrives when there is little humidity in the soil. Namibia is definitely a very interesting place to visit, but seeing so much poverty makes me sad. You caught some very beautiful pictures after the rain.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2017 at 8:33 pm
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      Thanks! It was really fascinating to see how quickly water transformed the region. But yes, the poverty in the rural areas is hard to see…

      Reply
  • March 10, 2017 at 9:05 am
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    Thank you for giving us such an interesting insight into the life of Namibia. Love your style of writing, so glad I discovered your blog via Faraway Files. Looking forward to read more as Africa is an unknown part of the world for me. 🙂 xoxo, nano | http://www.travelwithnanob.com

    Reply
    • March 13, 2017 at 7:59 am
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      Thanks for the visit, Nano! And thanks for the lovely feedback. I hope to be writing another post soon

      Reply
  • March 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm
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    How do they cook the frogs I’m curious! I’ve tried frog legs in France, but passed on the frog and eel stew that was popular in parts of Croatia when we visited there! A beautiful picture of the boy who is clearly quite proud of his catch. I’m loving seeing and learning about a place I know little about – thank you so much for sharing it with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    Reply
    • March 5, 2017 at 10:52 am
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      I was told they just boil the frog… but I’m sure they add some secret spices too! Thanks for your lovely feedback. I’ll be visiting Omusati again later this year for work and am looking forward to seeing more!

      Reply
  • March 3, 2017 at 10:34 am
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    Wow those bullfrogs are huge! I would have given them a miss too. Love the beautiful and unique landscapes of Namibia. Thanks for joining us on #farawayfiles Birgit

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    • March 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm
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      Thanks, Katy. This is the first time I travelled so far north in Namibia. This wonderful country keeps surprising me – so many contrasts and so much to see. And then the people are so welcoming too!

      Reply
  • March 3, 2017 at 9:24 am
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    Thank you so much, Birgit. These beautiful photos once again show how true it is that rain is a blessing. Pula, Pula, as we say in Tswana!

    Reply
    • March 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm
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      There was such a wonderful atmosphere of joy and gratitude among the people. I was really touched by it all.

      Reply
  • March 3, 2017 at 8:11 am
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    Those bullfrogs certainly would be meaty. They’re so huge at first sight I thought they were catfish. They eat bullfrongs in Laos but they were alive when I saw them at the market. I’m not sure they would look that long strung up. Thanks for the glimpse into this part of the world.
    budget jan recently posted…Stumers Creek Dog Friendly Beach at Coolum AustraliaMy Profile

    Reply
    • March 3, 2017 at 12:54 pm
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      Yes, at first I couldn’t believe they’re real! They were freshly caught, cleaned and ready to cook! I guess it’s all in the mind, for all we know the frog meat really is very delicious 😉

      Reply
  • March 3, 2017 at 4:31 am
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    This is an interesting insight into this part of the world. I am amazed at how different it is. The ant hills are unique. Plus, those bullfrogs are huge! Where I grew up, we used to call the local frogs bullfrogs. I am sure it is not the same species. #TPThursday
    Ruth recently posted…Champagne: 9 Reasons to Visit this Region in FranceMy Profile

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    • March 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm
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      Ha ha! I’ve never seen such big frogs either. Goodness! What I love about Namibia is its wide open arid and semi-arid spaces, the dramatic contrasts and interesting vegetation. So very different, yes. Its beauty is strangely alluring – it just touches you on a different level.

      Reply

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