Travel to Windhoek – Modern Capital City of Namibia
Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia, is a mixture of colonial architecture, glass fronted high rise buildings, shopping malls and local townships. Its inhabitants combining a multitude of different peoples and cultures make it a fascinating city to visit.
It was probably about 160 years ago that the first Oorlam Nama, led by Kaptein Jonker Afrikaner, settled in what is today’s suburb of Klein Windhoek where water bubbled from the ground at a temperature of more than 70 degrees Celsius. They simply called the place ‘hot springs’. Not far from there German Schutztruppe Commander Curt von Francois built the Alte Feste fort in 1890. Since then Windhoek has been the seat of varying administrative bodies governing the area of today’s Namibia. The traces and the influence of German colonial times and later on South African mandatory rule are in evidence everywhere in the capital.
In downtown Windhoek it is often the many examples of German colonial architecture under the dazzling blue African sky which are selected as subjects for photos: the equestrian monument commemorating the casualties of the 1904 uprising; behind it the Alte Feste fort, lined by palm trees; Christuskirche (Christ’s Church) in front of the well-kept gardens of Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the House of Parliament; and the neatly preserved railway station northwest of the city centre.
In the pedestrian area of Post Mall Street you come across a fountain, without water, which features pieces from the famous meteorite shower of Gibeon. Should you be looking for souvenirs – this is where you find them: the well-stocked street market around the fountain is a treasure trove of wood carvings, baskets and plenty more. Scores of shops in the city specialise in high-quality jewelery, gemstones, minerals, leather goods or carpets made from Karakul wool, to name but a few.
The history of Namibia’s many people and present-day life are reflected in the nation’s art. A permanent exhibit and changing exhibitions in the National Gallery or the Omba Gallery give a general idea of the work of Namibian artists. The history of the country and its people come across vividly in the Alte Feste, the National Museum and the Owela Museum. Pick up a ‘Walking Safari’ map from with either of the Windhoek Tourism Information offices.
Railway enthusiasts will be drawn to the TransNamib Museum at the railway station. Namibia’s exciting geology and its mineral riches are on show at the Museum run by the Directorate Geological Survey of Namibia.
There is also African bush savannah right on Windhoek’s doorstep. Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, west of the capital in the Khomas Hochland Mountains, offers several hiking trails through its hilly, park-like scenery.
Concerts, musicals and ballet performances produced in Windhoek as well as neighbouring countries (mostly South Africa) are staged at the National. Much more intimate, is the atmosphere of the Warehouse cabaret theatre in the Old Brewery. The Warehouse offers local and international theatre and cabaret productions as well as concerts.
Public transport within the city consists mainly of taxis, while a bus service provides transport to and from residential areas. A well-constructed and regularly maintained road network from Windhoek provides access to the majority of towns, nature reserves and parks within the country.
- A peaceful and relaxing city to unwind in at the start or end of a Namibian safari
- Browse for souvenirs in some of the cities colourful art galleries, sidewalk stalls and open-air street markets
- Take a walking tour around some of Windhoek’s historical buildings and monuments