In the Republic of Namibia, Windhoek is the largest city, as well as the capitol. It is a modern, well kept city. It is considered to be the social, political, economical, and cultural centre of the country, and almost every governmental body or large institution or enterprise is stationed there. With that being said, there are still plenty of things to do in Windhoek, and plenty of things to see on Namibia tours.
The first recorded settlements in Windhoek date back to 1849, and were said to be established because of the hot springs in the area. But for many years, Windhoek actually stood abandoned during the Nama-Herero wars. The Windhoek as we know it today was established in 1890 when Von Francois laid the foundation for the Old Fortress, or the Alte Feste. Since then the city has grown immensely, and considerable investment was brought to it with Namibias independence in 1990.
Windhoek, as it is known today, is a modern and clean city with a slight European vibe. It is considered one of the cleanest capitols in all of Africa. Here, local cultures mix with modern vibes to give the city a unique feel that is seen in few other places around the world. Dozens of local artisans fill the street, while at the same time skyscrapers fill the skies.
Unfortunately, Windhoek is not always seen as a tourism hotspot. But those who do not visit for at least a day or two are missing out on the unique culture and vibe that it presents. Windhoek is one of the only places in the world where you can watch office workers lounging around one minute, admire Neobaroque cathedral spires the next, and explore the German castles that seem oddly misplaced the next.
National monuments are one of the top things to do in Windhoek, as they scatter the city in celebration of Namibias greatest heroes. Other Windhoek tours focus on things like historical buildings and cemeteries, the Von Francois Fort, and the many museums scattered throughout the city.
As you stroll throughout the streets, keep your eyes out for vendors sell ostrich eggs - a big seller in Windhoek. Whether you are looking for painted or glazed eggs, ostrich egg jewellery, or even eggs turned into candles, you can find them all along the streets of Windhoek.
If you’re looking for more nature-esque things to do in Windhoek, you’ll want to take a side trip to the Zoo park. While not actually a zoo, this park is a great place to relax and set up a nice afternoon picnic. Here you can find tranquil scenery and loads of businessmen stopping to have lunch for the day. And if you’re looking to spot some local wildlife, just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city lies a unique dining experience at Goche Ganas. Located on 6000 hectares of Nature reserve, here it is not unlikely to spot giraffes on either side of the road!
Windhoek holds a population of approximately 2.3 million people and has year long sunshine with an average temperature of 24°C (75°F) in the hotter months and 14°C (57°F) in the cooler ones.
Because Windhoek is more modern than many parts of Africa, it often goes unnoticed for Namibia tours. But if in the area, Windhoek is definitely worth stopping by to experience the unique mix of African and European culture mixed with a little bit of Westernization as well.