Windhoek & Surroundings
The country’s capital and transport hub, conveniently located in the centre of Namibia.
International flights arrive at Windhoek, the country’s capital and transport hub, conveniently located in the centre of Namibia. A small city, more akin to a provincial town, it’s a pleasant spot to wander around for a couple of days, taking in the few modest sights, browsing the shops and sampling the local cuisine.
Windhoek is located between the Khomas Highland, Auas, and Eros
Mountains. It is 1,680 m above sea level, 650 km north of the Orange River and 360 km from the Atlantic seaboard. The population of Windhoek is approximately 342,000 people, a small but bustling city by global standards.
Windhoek described as a city with a ‘continental’ atmosphere. Its architecture of historical buildings dating back to German colonial rule as well as to its cuisine, culture, dress codes, and educational institutions. At the same time Windhoek has the colour, sounds and tempo of a modern African city. Windhoek is the economic, social, cultural, and political centre of Namibia.
Windhoek offers everything you would expect from a large city from medical facilities to shopping malls, museums and financial institutions and a good infrastructure.
Windhoek offers an eclectic variety of restaurants, coffee shops, organic produce catering for most tastes, from adventurous, gourmet to local specialties. A very popular restaurant is Joe’s Beerhouse, with the abundance
of traditional African character, great hospitality, and large portions. Here you can taste authentic cooking and take a try at zebra steak. There is a saying – You have not been to Namibia if you have not been to Joe’s. View our list of recommended restaurants.
One of the city’s most striking landmarks is the Christuskirche or Evangelical Lutheran Church. The design influenced by Romanesque, neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, and Kaiser Wilhelm II donated its stained-glass windows.
To the east of the church is the famous Tintenpalast, meaning Ink Palace. This is Namibia’s original Government Building, completed in 1914 in time for the first session of the Landesrat. Since then it has housed a series of successive administrations and governments. The building after Independence was renovated to accommodate the current Namibian Parliament. In front of the Tintenpalast is the Parliament Gardens, a great place for relaxing with a book under age-old trees.
An interesting excursion, not only for beer drinkers, is a tour of Namibia Breweries, the world-renowned company that brews Windhoek Lager. Brewery tours are conducted from Tuesdays to Thursdays and need to be booked in advance.
Tours undertaken by prior arrangement to Nakara where high-fashion Swakara garments produced for export, game skins are prepared, and leather
products manufactured. The best example of handiwork by Namibia’s craftspeople viewed and purchased at Namibia Craft Centre as well as street vendors.
The best way to experience and explore Windhoek and learn more about the diverse cultures, history, and traditions would be with a city tour
that will take you around Windhoek and the townships.
Windhoek offer a wide variety accommodation choice from luxury hotels, boutique guesthouses to beautiful lodges just outside the capital.
There are several recreation resorts and guest farms close enough to Windhoek in the central region for day and overnight excursions. These include the Daan Viljoen Game Park, Gocheganas Nature Reserve and Wellness Centre and N/a’an ku sê Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Okonjima Lodge is located halfway between Windhoek and the Etosha National Park, only a two-and-a-half-hour drive or a brief flight into the reserve’s private airstrip. Accommodation range from well-appointed private campsites to breath-taking safari lodges. Okonjima Nature Reserve is famous for the AfriCat Foundation with sightings of cheetah and leopard.
Since founded in 1991, AfriCat’s mission has been to make significant contributions to conservation, while trying to ensure the survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat. All of which can be seen during an environmental education visit to Okonjima.
Omaruru is a charming and attractive Namibian town and has about 15,000 inhabitants. Omaruru is located 242 km northwest from Windhoek. Omaruru produces several fine products including chocolate, cheese and wine. Upon entering Omaruru, you will notice massive artistic sculptures; this is the Tokoloshe root-carving project. These talented artists create a variety of animals and birds from suitably shaped hard wood tree roots they find.
The Kristall Kellerei is one of few Namibian spirits manufacturers and is one of four wine producers in the country. The Sand Dragon Restaurant is an art centre and restaurant located in a historic building on the main street. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner served 7 days a week either in the building or in the shaded garden.
Unlimited Home Industries produces a range of hand-made chocolates; they use original recipes and some vintage moulds dating back to the early fifties. In order to make a genuinely Namibian product they
use local ingredients such as dates, rosella, kumquat, oranges, choc-mint, and honey.
Erongo Mountain Winery situated along the Omaruru River and surrounded by the beautiful rugged mountains of the Erongo region. This innovative boutique winery is pioneering the Namibian wine industry, carving
out its legacy in the arid dry granite rock. The winery is open for tours and wine tastings. Their gourmet restaurant ‘The Jewel’ is the perfect addition to the winery, offering a unique opportunity to indulge in excellent
cuisine paired with their beautiful wines and liqueurs.
The Waterberg situated 230 km north of Windhoek and 50 km east of Otjiwarongo. The Waterberg Plateau covers a surface area of 400 km². It is an impressive Table Mountain, geologically and is historically of great
interest. The Waterberg Mountain forms the centre of the region and is a welcoming attraction to Namibia.
The Waterberg National Plateau Park declared a nature conservation area in 1972; the region hosts numerous private game farms and reserves including luxurious game lodges, self-catering options and campsites. The
Waterberg’s annual rainfall is around 400 mm, quite high for Namibia. The abundance of water results in a lush vegetation around the Waterberg subsequently, a diverse wildlife population also found around the mountain. More than 25 game and 200 bird species recorded as well as various reptiles. On the plateau dinosaur tracks found imbedded into the sandstone.
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