RUNDU is the capital and largest town of the Kavango East Region located in the northeast of Namibia along the Kavango River. Not only is it the capital of the Kavango East Region but is also the second largest town in Namibia, in terms of the population.
It lies in an important strategic position as the gateway linking a number of important Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries with Namibia’s port of Walvis Bay. In terms of its population, Rundu occupies the second place in Namibia with an estimated ±72 000 people.
All road traffic from Namibia’s neighbouring countries of Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana must route through Rundu to reach the port of Walvis Bay.
This strategic role is supported by the international standard airport at Rundu and is further enhanced by the Trans Caprivi Highway, which is one of Namibia’s main roads.
The Kavango East Region is one of the poorest regions in Namibia with a HDI of 0, 5, but the city is geographically located at a strategic crossroad and has, since peace and stability returned to Angola, lots of potential to develop to a bustling border town.
As a frontier-town, Rundu is a commercial city which attracts cross-border business. The economy of greater Rundu is both urban and rural with a prevalence of service economy, in particular trading.
The majority (82%) of the business operations fall into the non-formal sector with 80% trading as sole proprietors.
Rundu has 74km of tarred roads and 5km of gravel roads. The water network system is well equipped to cater for the needs of the residents and businesses.
The national water utility company, NamWater, supplies bulk water to the Rundu Town Council which provides the water to its residents.
The electricity system is run by the Nored Electricity Company. Most residents of Rundu have opted to have the prepaid electricity counter meter system installed.
Regarding the businesses, the Town has many garages, three big supermarkets, bottle stores, many retail shops, clothes shops, furniture shops, banks, restaurants and bars, hotels and lodges, Internet and computing facilities shops, a photo lab etc.
For your security, traffic and police officers are present 24hours in the town and many of the shops have their own security guards.
Concerning the communication, Telecom Namibia and Nampost have a shop and the cellular network is well working all over Rundu thanks to MTC (mobile network). You can also find many places to buy recharge vouchers for your cell phone and also an MTC shop and cell phone repairs shops.
Rundu is situated next to one of the most important routes in the SADC region, the Trans- Caprivi highway. This road links various African countries north of Namibia to the port of Walvis Bay. By car you can take the road B1 from Windhoek to Katima Mulilo via Rundu.
Rundu is about 700km from Windhoek and 500km from Katima Mulilo. Minibuses and star liner busses run from Windhoek via Grootfontein to Rundu proceeding on to Katima Mulilo and Victoria Water falls, chartered aircraft’s can also be hired.
Things to see in Rundu include a visit to the Mbangura Wood Carving’s Co-operation which is part of a Government Development Scheme. This scheme markets traditional drums and lovely handmade furniture. You can also enjoy a fishing night or a bird-watching excursion offered by most of the lodges and hotels in Rundu, this is an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Approximately 30km east of Rundu you can visit the Kavango Museum at Sambyu, a Roman Catholic Mission Museum which exhibits Crafts and Woodcarving from Angola and Kavango. Along the lake Ncwa, 2km from Rundu, you could visit the Maria Mwengere Culture Centre for a donation of N$5, where you can discover the typical Kavango culture.
Apart from being a rest and stop over point, Rundu is also the ideal departure point to many tourism attractions and adventures in the Namibian bush. Some of the attractions you simply must visit:
At about 600km west of Rundu there is the very famous Etosha National Park;
In direction to Caprivi, east of Rundu, you will have to stop at Popa Falls (225km) and visit the Mahango Game Reserve and the Khaudom Game Park which are very beautiful and housing a big variety of wild animals;
you can also drive further in direction to Katima Mulilo via Kangola and visit the private Mudumu National Park (direction Lynianti, 52kms of gravels road);
the well-known worldwide, Victoria Falls have also to be seen, you can go there by private plane or by the road via Caprivi Region and in direction to Zambia or Botswana or Zimbabwe (which is the best place to enjoy these wonderful falls).
Entertainment in Rundu inevitably draws one to the Rundu Beach. As one of the most beautiful and popular bays for entertainment during the weekend, it is most frequented spot for recreation and relaxation during Christmas and New Year. It can be compared to the Swakopmund beach and Walvis Bay resorts in terms of the visitors and activities that take place. Rundu Beach has a parking area, toilets, braai, picnic facilities and a jetty.
If you wish to have a drink, play or dance you can go to in the centre to Gambling House and Amusement, Backstage closed to Omashare River Lodge, New world Pub, Casa Mourisca, Ozzy’s Beer House. You can also find many other Bars with nice atmosphere and local and typical music everywhere in Rundu, but for a local experience the Rundu most popular nightspot is the pleasantly integrated Sauyemwa Night Club beside a tree sporting coloured lights in the Sauyemwa suburb, south west of town.
Things to buy as a momento of your visit should definitely include the unique wood carvings. The Kavango people have developed woodcarving skills and arguably produced Namibia’s finest wood work animal figures, masks; wooden mugs for beer and boxes are carved in the light wild teak hardwood and make excellent souvenirs.
Along the road to Grootfontein you can find people who sell toy trucks, airplanes and helicopters. The San people sell craft work mainly bows, arrows, quivers and ostrich eggshell necklaces.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015