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.
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 rates are 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.
Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains. It is 1,680m above sea level, 650km north of the Orange River and 360km from the Atlantic seaboard. Whether due to pure luck or a brilliant stroke of Germanic planning, the city is situated in almost the countries epicenter. This location has obvious benefits when it comes to governing a country the size of Namibia, and also makes it the ideal place to start and plan any Namibian travel.
During the day the city centre has a European cafe culture, German cuisine dominates, but Namibian influence can be found in the quantity and quality of meat on offer, (vegetarians be warned, Namibia is carnivorous country!) Saying that, the streets are choc-a-bloc with people of all ages and cultures, all bearing a wonderful sense of pride, hope and ambition.
Nightlife in the city centre has grown with the population, with a decent amount of restaurants, bars and night clubs. There is still a fair amount of nightlife happening outside of the city centre, in the suburbs and in township areas. During South African occupation the city was divided into three areas; the central suburbs for the whites, Khomasdal for the coloreds and Katutura for the blacks. Katutura and Khomasdal have a vibrant nightlife and over the weekends the partying is non-stop. For the uninitiated visiting one of these disadvantaged areas can be extremely daunting (and unsafe), but with a little local guidance you could be in for the time of your life.
Most importantly Windhoek is home to Namibia’s brewing industry, and for the less active Windhoek is a great place to while away the time while sipping (or gulping) a cold beer. There are also a number of private hospitals, a state run hospital, doctors, surgeries, banks, (with 24hr ATM’s) pharmacies, supermarkets, bakeries, and clothes shops. There is a large shopping mall at Maerua Mall, (complete with indoor swimming pool and gymnasium) and a smaller one on Post Street Mall, (Town Square) and at Wernhill Park, all worth a visit, especially if you’ve had enough of looking at curios. There are also 2 industrial area, Northern and Southern, handy for bulk buying or car parts and repairs.
Windhoek’s (and Namibia’s) sense of progress since Independence, is emphasized by the presence of new offices, combined with expanding and bustling building and commerce industries.
|Languages spoken||Afrikaans, German, English|
|Currency used||Namibian Dollar (NAD)|
|Area (km2)||645 km²|