Windhoek

Windhoek

Things to do - general

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.

Country Namibia
Languages spokenAfrikaans, German, English
Currency usedNamibian Dollar (NAD)
Area (km2)645 km²

Sports & nature

There are plenty of things to do in Windhoek! Explore the oldest building – AlteFeste of the city that houses two excellent museums namely the State Museum and the Owela Museum. Get a glimpse of colonial past of Windhoek at these museums that have a well documented record of everything.

Take a trip to Daan Viljoen Game Park, which is a hour’s drive from the main city of Windhoek and is an ideal place to enjoy a picnic lunch with your family. The game park is also a birds watchers’ delight as there are more than 200 species of birds that are found here. Some of the other wildlife that you can spot here includes blue wildebeest, eland, baboons, mountain zebra, springbok, and gemsbok.

Indulge in activities like hot air ballooning and enjoy a birds’ eye view of the city or go hiking and explore its national parks. Going on a safari is another activity that you can enjoy here!

Shop for local crafts like handmade masks, African sculptures and handcrafted wooden statues, necklaces, bracelets and pendants that make for some great souvenirs to take back home!

Partake in the festivities of the local festivals that are celebrated with great zeal and happiness or head to some nearby place for some added fun and frolic!

Sightseeing in Windhoek
Windhoek was the former stronghold of the main opposition to German colonization. A modern city at an altitude of 11650m, its distinct colonial architecture shows the overwhelming German influence.

Shopping in Windhoek
Shopping in Windhoek is all about buying local crafts that are popular among both tourists and local as well! Some of the things that you can buy in Windhoek include handmade masks, African sculptures and statues handcrafted from wood, necklaces, bracelets and pendants that make for some excellent souvenirs to take back home!

Activities in Windhoek
Hot air ballooning and safaris are some of the outdoor activities in Windhoek that you can enjoy here!

CunoHoffmeister Observatory
Located 15km south of Windhoek, the observatory is located in the mountains Auas. It is considered one of the best observing sites in the vault of heaven.

Wildlife Impressions
A 4km from Windhoek on Sam Nujoma Drive towards the airport is a large complex dedicated to reptiles, birds and wildlife.

Goreangab Dam
Located 11km north-west of Windhoek, is an artificial lake in a green setting. You will practice the dipping, water sports, picnics etc.

The Lutheran Church Christuskirche
Avenue located in the same, it dominates the city center. Its construction dates from the early twentieth century and lasted three years.

Near By Places in Windhoek
Swakopmund is an interesting place near Windhoek that you can visit on your day trip! Situated at a distance of 361kms from Windhoek, Swakopmund snuggled between the sand dunes and the ocean is a perfect getaway with its pleasantly cool climate.

Eating Out in Windhoek
Eating out in Windhoek won’t be a problem as the city with its varieties of restaurants offers a sound culinary experience to its visitors! If you want to savor some pork or fish then head to Am Weinberg Restaurant in Windhoek that serves some excellent pork and fish dishes served with combination of vegetables and sauces that will tickle your taste bud.

Festivals & Events in Windhoek
Windhoek Carnival in April and Oktoberfest in October are the two prominent festivals in Windhoek, which the city celebrates with great fanfare and enthusiasm.

Nightlife info

With most visitors to Namibia heading into the wilderness on safari, nightlife tends to be concentrated around the camp bar. Most of these are convivial, if quiet, and you’ll find staff ever ready to come and share a drink with you. The majority of towns will have a little pub, many attracting a crowd of local farmers supping on pints of beer and chewing the fat over a plate of biltong. For more serious party opportunities, head to Windhoek, Walvis Bay or Swakopmund, all of which offer a variety of activities after dark. Windhoek, as you’d expect, has the most to offer and benefits from a growing range of cigar bars, jazz clubs, arty cafes, cinemas, theatres and clubs. Visit during Windhoek Karnival in March or Oktoberfest to get the best of the action.

Joe’s Beerhouse
is a local institution, which serves up a game-heavy snack selection, washed down with local beer. It’s fun and friendly, with boozing sessions extending into the small hours. Also worth a visit is Club Thriller, which is located in a rough part of town and is best done as a group. Beyond the unnerving weapons search at the door, you’ll find upbeat African tunes and a friendly crowd. At La Dee Da’s nightclub, you can dance to African beats beneath Namibia’s largest national flag. Swakopmund’s night scene is concentrated around several lively late-night pubs, often filled with most overland groups. The old train station has been renovated into a casino if you fancy a flutter.

Taal Indian Restaurant
A great selection of Namibian and South African beer available throughout the year.

Warehouse Theatre
Jazz with some international names coming to play.

Chez N'Temba
This is the most popular club in Windhoek. If you really want to experience the culture and have a blast while doing it, this is the club for you!

Funky Lab
This is the funkiest club/bar there is in town. it has the hottest people all dressed in their best. the best day to come to funky lab is on a Thursday night when all shots are only N$5.00. The most happening club/bar in town: everybody who is cool and hip comes to Funky. It has a sophisticated look and the atmosphere is just right. There are all types of music being played and it is very safe.

TajPomodzir
Also for good Congolese and Zimbabwean music, don't hesitate to visit Club TajPomodzir.

ObsessionZ
For Sophistication and Elegance. ObsessionZ is the trendiest upmarket night spot in Windhoek.

Club Thriller
For funkiness, Club Thriller cannot be beaten!

Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre
On the corner of Sam Nujoma Drive. Shows french Films and other international films.

Taal Indian Restaurant
A great selection of Namibian and South African beer available throughout the year.

Culture and history info

The capital city of Namibia, Windhoek, is traditionally known by two names: Ai-Gams and Otjomuise. Ai-Gamswhich from the Nama people refers to the hot springs that were once part of Windhoek, while Otjomuise means a place of steam that was given by the Herero people. The city is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains.

There are many theories on how Ai-Gams/ Otjomuise got its modern name Windhoek. There are those who believe the name Windhoek is derived from the Afrikaans word Wind-Hoek, meaning "corner of wind," while others think that the Afrikaners named Windhoek after the Windhoek Mountains, at Tulbagh in South Africa, where the early Afrikaners settlers lived. Windhoek was the point of contact between the warring Namas, led by Jan Jonker Afrikaner, and the Herero.

The early settlements of Windhoek came about because of the water from the hot springs. In the mid-1800's Jan Jonker Afrikaner, a Nama leader, named the area Winterhoek, after the farm in South Africa where he was born. Windhoek is a corruption of Winterhoek. Jan Jonker Afrikaner settled near one of the main hot springs, located in the present-day Klein-Windhoek, an upper-class suburb of Windhoek.

Afrikaners built a stone church in Windhoek which was also used as a school. Hugo Hahn and Heinrich Kleinschmidt (Rhenish missionaries) started working there in the 1840s and were later succeeded by two Wesleyans. Windhoek prospered, but wars between the Nama and Herero eventually destroyed the town.

Windhoek was founded on 18th October 1890, when Von Francois laid the foundation stone of the fort, which is now known as the AlteFeste (Old Fortress). Windhoek developed slowly, with only the most essential government and private buildings being erected.

After 1907, development accelerated as people migrated from within country to the city and also some emigrated from outside the country. There was also a larger influx of western settlers arriving from Germany and South Africa.

The German colonial era came to an end during World War I when South African troops occupied Windhoek. For the next five years, a military government administered South West Africa. Development of the city and the nation later to be known as Namibia came to a virtual standstill.

The city’s development gained momentum after World War II as more capital became available to improve the area's economic climate. With Namibia's independence from South African administration in 1990, the city experienced a new wind of change that led to accelerated growth and development.

The city center is characterized by a large number of German style buildings, a lasting reminder of Namibia's early colonial history. Windhoek has Namibia's only international airport. During South African occupation the city was divided into: Windhoek for the whites, Khomasdal for the colored and Katatura for the blacks.

Despite the large increase in population over the last few years the city center is extremely clean, and trouble free. Most tourists do not consider Windhoek to be an African city because of the name. Windhoek is home to Namibia's brewing industry.

Arebbusch Square

Arebbusch Square

Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue, Windhoek
Arebbusch Square is located within Arebbusch Travel Lodge. This is a new Namibia up market 3 star Wi More info
Auas City Hotel

Auas City Hotel

Centaurus Street, Windhoek
Auas City Hotel is strategically located near the CBD. This affordable hotel in Windhoek is near the More info
Auas Safari Lodge

Auas Safari Lodge

Auas Valley, Windhoek
Auas Safari lodge is nestled in an expanse of African savannah. This African safari Lodge in Namibia More info
Avani Windhoek

Avani Windhoek

129 Independence Avenue, Windhoek
AVANI Windhoek Hotel and Casino is located in the vibrant heart of Windhoek. This is Namibia’s busy More info
Hillside Executive

Hillside Executive

93A Nelson Mandela Avenue, Windhoek
Hillside Executive Accommodations is located in heart of Klein Windhoek. This is a self catering acc More info
Hilton Windhoek Hotel

Hilton Windhoek Hotel

Windhoek
Hilton Windhoek Hotel is located in the heart of Namibia’s capital city. This 5 star hotel in More info
Hotel Uhland Windhoek

Hotel Uhland Windhoek

147 Uhland Street, Windhoek
Hotel Uhland is located in a central location in Windhoek. This hotel is just 15 minutes walking dis More info
Maison Ambre Guesthouse

Maison Ambre Guesthouse

5 Irle Street, Windhoek
Maison Ambre Guesthouse is nestled within the hills of Klein Windhoek valley. This offers a green ga More info
Midgard Estate

Midgard Estate

Okahandja, Windhoek
Midgard Country Estate is an ideal family hide-away. It offers luxury accommodation in Windhoek and More info
Olive Exclusive

Olive Exclusive

22 Promenaden Street, Windhoek
The Olive Exclusive All Suite Hotel is the first ultra-luxurious sanctuary of its kind in the Namibi More info
Puccini House

Puccini House

Puccini Street, Windhoek
Puccini House Windhoek is only 400 meters from the city center. This is a tranquil guesthouse that o More info
Rivendell Guesthouse

Rivendell Guesthouse

Beethoven Street, Windhoek
Rivendell Guesthouse is located in Namibia’s capital city Windhoek. This budget accommodation in Win More info
Villa Moringa

Villa Moringa

Joseph Mukwayu Ithana Street, Windhoek
Villa Moringa is an exquisite modern, stylish, and high – class Guesthouse. Villa Moringa Guesthouse More info
Windhoek C. Club

Windhoek C. Club

Western Bypass, Windhoek
Windhoek Country Club Resort was developed as a resort within the city. This 4 star Namibia hotel in More info
2 Day Sossusvlei Tour

2 Day Sossusvlei Tour

Namib Naukluft, Windhoek
Stuck in Windhoek and looking for a perfect adventure for an African safari tour in Namibia? The 2 d More info
3 Day Etosha Safari

3 Day Etosha Safari

Etosha, Windhoek
3 day Etosha safari takes you to one of the most famous National Parks in Namibia. This 3 day Africa More info
3 Day Sossusvlei Safari

3 Day Sossusvlei Safari

Windhoek
3 days of pure adventure and adrenaline rush on this African safari to Namibia, The 3 days Sossusvle More info
Budget Namibia Tour

Budget Namibia Tour

Etosha, Windhoek
The 6 day budget Namibia tour combines the most visited Namibia national park with the most popular More info
Namib Desert Safari

Namib Desert Safari

Namib Naukluft, Windhoek
This is a 3 day African lodge safari in Namibia to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The 3 Days Nami More info
Namibia Botswana Vacation

Namibia Botswana Vacation

Etosha, Windhoek
This is an 11 day Namibia Botswana vacation. This Namibia Botswana vacation takes you to three count More info
Namibia Camping Tour

Namibia Camping Tour

Windhoek
Cheap Namibia camping tour is a 7 day African camping tour to Namibia. Cheap Namibia camping tour is More info
Namibia Family Safari

Namibia Family Safari

Windhoek
The budget Namibia family safari is a 10 day camping family adventure in Namibia. The budget Namibia More info
Namibia Honeymoon Safari

Namibia Honeymoon Safari

Windhoek
Self drive Namibia honeymoon safari adventure is a 12 day African honeymoon tour. It is meant for th More info
Namibia Safari Tour

Namibia Safari Tour

Etosha, Windhoek
The 3 days Namibia safari tour takes you to Etosha National Park. This time saver African safari tou More info
Northern Namibia Tour

Northern Namibia Tour

Etosha, Windhoek
On this Northern Namibia tour you will be introduced to the Big cats. This is at Africat Foundation. More info
Southern Namibia Safari

Southern Namibia Safari

Namib Naukluft, Windhoek
Southern Namibia budget safari takes you to most of the Attractions in Southern Namibia. This 7 day More info
Tok Tokkie Tour

Tok Tokkie Tour

Windhoek
Tok Tokie tour gives you an opportunity to have a leisure walk across one of the oldest desert in th More info
Travel Package Namibia

Travel Package Namibia

Namib Naukluft, Windhoek
This African safari tour in Namibia gives you the best of landscape formation in Namibia. The 5 day More info
Trip Namibia Safari

Trip Namibia Safari

Etosha, Windhoek
Trip Namibia safari is for those looking for pleasures of the Atlantic coast. This Namibia safari to More info

Unfortunately there are no car rental offers at this location at the moment.