Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia. Windhoek means "windy corner" in Afrikaans and its location on a relatively flat plateau at an altitude of 5600 feet (1700m), may explain the origins of the name. Windhoek was founded in the 1890's by German soldiers who appreciated the natural springs the area offered and its location between two of Namibia's main tribes at that time, the Nama and Herero. Today, Windhoek has a multi-ethnic population of around 300,000 residents. Windhoek is the largest city, as well as the commercial capital of Namibia. Windhoek is located bang in the middle of Namibia.
Windhoek is a pleasant city, the city center is clean and well planned out. Most notable is its German architecture. It is home to the University of Namibia. The crime rate is not very high, but watch out for pickpockets. It can get very hot during the midday, especially in summer (up to 40 C), but it's usually dry, and it always cools down at night. You're likely to hear people speaking Afrikaans, German, English and a variety of local languages.
Travel to Windhoek
Most international visitors will arrive at Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International Airport, 30 miles out of town. Regional and domestic air passengers usually land at Eros airport, 4 miles out of town. Luxury buses operate regularly between Cape Town (20 hrs), Johannesburg (25 hrs), Victoria Falls (20 hrs) and Windhoek .
- Katutura Township - Katutura is Windhoek's liveliest township, you can take a bike tour or a walking tour.
- Christ Church - a lovely Lutheran church built in 1896.
- Windhoek castles -- "Sanderburg", "Schwerinsburg" and "Heinitzburg" offer up colonial architecture in lovely settings on the outskirts of the city. The Heinitzburg is now a luxury hotel and the other two are private homes.
- Alte Feste Fort - now the National Museum with exhibits on Namibia's struggle for independence (which finally came in 1990).
- Restaurants - Don't miss Joe's Beerhouse, and check out reviews for more restaurants
- Hotels, B & B's and guesthouses are plentiful in Windhoek - check out these listings.
- Shopping - you'll find craft markets around the Post Street Mall and my favorite Bushman Art and Museum gallery on Independence avenue. Excellent crafts are also sold on the road to Swakopmund.