Off the beaten track in Windhoek
by Georgina Parkinson
Whether you’re based in Namibia for a safari holiday or you’re planning to enjoy a tailor-made South Africa holiday and you fancy extending your stay to take in some of Africa’s other gems, a stop-off in Windhoek is highly recommended. This cosmopolitan city has a distinctly Western vibe and offers an intriguing blend of urban adventure and familiar Namibian hospitality with an array of sights and attractions thrown in for good measure.
Getting off the beaten track in Windhoek
Namibia’s capital looks like many other cities from a distance, but once you get up close and personal, you’ll soon discover its many selling-points and stand-out features. Away from the tourist trails in Nairobi and Cape Town, Windhoek is the perfect spot for a chic, cultural city break and can easily be added on to a personalised safari or beach holiday. If you’re eager to explore the best Windhoek has to offer, it’s best to get off the beaten track and use local knowledge to seek out the best sights. Here are some ideas to inspire you when planning your sightseeing adventure in Windhoek:
City living is part and parcel of a trip to Windhoek and no trip is complete without a whirlwind tour of the best bars, restaurants, shopping malls, museums and galleries. Spend your days taking in some culture at St Mary’s Cathedral, the National Museum of Namibia, Alta Feste Museum and Christchurch, before blending in with the crowds of officer workers heading for a post-work drink and then winding down with some traditional delicacies in a restaurant with views of the impressive skyline.
For an entirely different take on Namibia’s capital city, head out to the outskirts and visit Katutura. This once run-down, poverty-stricken shanty town is now a thriving suburb and gives an insight into life in the past, day to day life in the city and the turnaround in Namibian society. Katutura was established in 1961 and has since blossomed; there are various tours available which enable you to learn more about this iconic area of the city, learn about the history of Namibia and meet people who live and work in Windhoek.
Just a short drive from the city, you can experience a whole new side of Namibia with an exhilarating safari drive in Daan Viljoen Game Park; here, you can expect to see all kinds of amazing wildlife species, including wildebeest, mountain zebra, springbok, kudu and impala. If you’re eager to enjoy a close-up, why not try a hiking safari or follow one of the main walking trails?