Ovamboland, also referred to as Owamboland, was a Bantustan in the old South West Africa (present-day Namibia), intended by the apartheid government to be a self-governing homeland for the Ovambo people.
The term originally referred to the parts of northern Namibia inhabited by the Ovambo ethnic group, namely the area controlled by the traditional Ovambo kingdoms in pre-colonial and early colonial times, such as Ondonga, Ongandjera, and Oukwanyama. Owambo, like other homelands in South West Africa, was abolished in May 1989 at the start of the transition to independence. The region is now commonly referred to as The North but the term Ovamboland is still in use. More than half of the entire population lives here on just 6% of the Namibian territory.
Communal tourism here is still in the fledgling stages. However, an increasing number of indigenous people are starting to take fate into their own hands by getting actively involved in the tourism industry. One such example is the Ongula Traditional Homestead Lodge near Ohangwena. Built within the boundaries of an active homestead, Ongula is the first lodge in Namibia to introduce visitors to the authentic, traditional lifestyle of the Ovambo, the largest cultural group in the country. Stopping over at Ongula is a definite “must” when travelling the area north of Etosha National Park!