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