NAMIBIA LAND OF OPEN SPACES

WINDHOEK

Situated in the Central Highlands, Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia. With a much more relaxed atmosphere than most Western capitals, and inhabited by only 150,000 people, the influence of the German language and culture are still apparent. This attractive town is situated in a valley at an altitude of 1,650 meters, and has a highland climate, plenty of rain, and large variations in temperature from season to season. Centrally situated in the country it is the hub of the railway and road network, and the administrative centre. As with Swakopmund, it is wonderful to see such a cleanly kept city, due to the pride of its citizens.

Highlights

History: The city combines old colonial German architecture with some more modern pastel colored buildings. Local street vendors with their wares spread out on tribal cloths are a reminder that one is in Africa.

The Alte Feste is Windhoek's oldest building, a fort built by the Germans under Major Curt von Francois, and is now a museum. The Christus Kirche, a German Lutheran church, constructed between 1907 and 1910, is neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau-designed. The Windhoek Railway Station, built in 1912, is an example of Cape Dutch architecture. The Hofmeyer Walk is a scenic hours walk through the city and surrounds.

Arts and Culture: The capital is very active in this area. The National Art Gallery of Namibia has regular exhibitions as do Yebo Gallery and the John Muafangejo Art Centre. The NAGN's Permanent Collection contains historical and contemporary Namibian arts and crafts. The Namibia Crafts Centre in the old Breweries Building has the best pieces of handiwork by Namibian craftsmen on sale. Several commercial galleries and curio shops are dotted around the city. On the books and reference side, there's the National Archives of Namibia, the National Library of Namibia and the Windhoek Public Library.

The Warehouse also in the Old Breweries Building presents live music including blues, jazz and cabaret. The National Theatre of Namibia stages performances of ballet, opera and theatre as well as the Windhoek Symphony Orchestra.

Shopping: For the avid shopper, there's a wide range from pavements laden with African carvings and drums to elegant shops offering Swakara garments and Namibian gemstones in individually designed pieces of jewelry. Other shops sell imported goods from Europe such as clothing and silver and even West African garments are on offer.

Cuisine: There is nothing lacking on the cuisine side of the city with a variety of a la carte restaurants offering German, French, African, Chinese, Mediterranean and Taiwanese dishes. The country's premier beer lagers are named after the capital and can be enjoyed at a number of sidewalk cafes where Namibian-style breakfasts are served. The Thuringer Hof Beer Garden is also popular.

Accommodation
A wide range of accommodation options is available in the capital, best to discuss with your professional tour consultant what would be the best suited to you.

How to get there
By air

Two airports service Windhoek.  Excellent international air links exist with South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, UK and Germany.

SAFARIS IN NAMIBIA

WALKING TOUR IN WINDHOEK