Outjo is the gateway town to the western side of Etosha National Park. The town was founded by Germans under the command of Colonel Theodor von Leutwein in 1897 as a small military base in order to explore the northern area of German South-West Africa. The local historical museum (Franke Haus Museum) details the campaign of Major Viktor Franke in Ovamboland.
The town lies near Gamkarab Cave, known for its stalactites and stalagmites and its pietersite. The caves are on private ground and not open to the public. Situated on the C38, Outjo is also the last frontier before going into Damaraland and Kaokoaveld (C40 towards Kamanjab).