Windhoek Info & Attractions & Tours
INTRODUCTION TO WINDHOEK:
An African capital with a difference; dubbed as the 'Cleanest City in Africa', Windhoek is the Capital City of the Republic of Namibia, a country described as one of Africa's most vibrant and successful sovereign states.
Situated in the country’s central Khomas Region, Windhoek is nestled in a basin surrounded by scenic mountains in the central highlands of Namibia, Windhoek can be better described as a 'Working City'. It is a thriving active, administrative, commercial and industrial centre, serving as the melting pot and hub of most economic and technological developments and activities in the country.
Whether enjoying the continental flair of Independence Avenue; browsing through the numerous shops; exploring the historical buildings or searching the markets for that special Namibian memento – we know that you will enjoy the harmonious blend of African and European cultures and traditions that make our capital city.
Around 1840, Windhoek became the headquarters of the Nama-Oorlam Group under Jonker Afrikaner in central Namibia. The name Windhoek dates back to 1844, when it was used in a letter written by Jonker Afrikaner, it is thought that in a moment of nostalgia, he named the place Winterhoek after the farm in the Cape where he was born. German colonial administration was established in 1890 when Major Curt von Francois established a military post in Windhoek. During this administration the town was known as Windhuk, which later became Windhoek.
WHAT TO DO IN WINDHOEK:
ALTE FESTE MUSEUM
The Alte Feste (Old Fort) originally designed as a military stronghold now guards our heritage. The museum houses both permanent and temporary displays portraying the early history of Namibia, the independence process (United Nations, elections etc), and displays of the national symbols of Namibia. The museum gives an excellent introduction to the sometimes complex history of Namibia. The Alte Feste is open Monday to Friday from 09h00 – 18h00 (17h00 in winter) and on Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 – 13h00/14h00 – 18h00 (17h00 in winter). Closed on public holidays.
Owela is a traditional African game played with pebbles and is found throughout the African continent in a delightful variety of designs. This museum offers an insight into the cultures and traditions of the people of Namibia with displays covering traditional village life, natural history and our environment. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 09h00 - 18h00 (17h00 in winter) and on Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 - 13h00/14h00 - 18h00 (17h00 in winter). Closed on public holidays.
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY MUSEUM
Situated on the outskirts of the city near Eros Airport and the Safari Hotel the Geological Survey Museum depicts Namibian mining and geological activities. An excellent collection of maps; ore examples; photographs; minerals; fossils & meteorites well displayed and offering an insight into the fascinating geology of Namibia. The Geological Survey Museum is open Monday to Friday from 08h30 – 12h30 and from 14h30 – 16h30.
It is advisable to phone in advance.
TRANS-NAMIB RAILWAY MUSEUM
For the rail enthusiast this museum offers a nostalgic look at the history of railways and transport in Namibia. Housed in the historical Windhoek station building one can view class 32-00 diesel-electric locomotives, armoured rail cars, funkey rail trollies and many artefacts of cultural and socio-political interest. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 09h00 –12h00 and 14h00 – 16h00. Closed on weekends and public holidays.
NATIONAL ART GALLERY
The National Art Gallery offers a range of temporary art and crafts, including historical, traditional and contemporary art. Exhibits include both Namibian and international artists. The Gallery Shop offers the opportunity to buy art from rural artists. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 09h00 – 17h00 and on Saturday from 09h00 – 14h00. Closed on Sunday, Monday and public holidays.
NAMIBIA CRAFTS CENTRE
Situated in the Old Breweries building in Tal Street this centre offers a wide range of crafts from all corners of Namibia – be prepared to spend some time browsing the variety of stalls (baskets, wooden sculptures, pots, jewellery, semi-precious stones, stunning needle work, African frames of unique design). The centre also houses the Craft Café and Ombo Art Gallery with exhibitions of fine art and sculptures of international as well as Namibian artists. The centre is open Monday to Friday from 09h00 - 17h00 and on Saturday from 09h00 - 13h30. Closed on Sundays and public holidays.
POST STREET MALL
Located in the centre of town the open air Post Street Mall Market has a variety of crafts from all over Africa. Spend some time browsing your way down the mall – en route you will also encounter a display of meteorites!
PENDUKA CRAFT VILLAGE
Penduka is a non-profit making development project, working with women groups in the rural and underdeveloped areas of Namibia. The women of Penduka (many disabled) make high quality products like table linen, bedroom furnishing, bags etc. The project is situated outside the city on the banks of the Goreangab Dam. Visit the craft shop, the busy workshop, stroll through the traditional village on the banks of the dam or enjoy a cup of coffee or a traditional dish at the Penduka Coffee Shop. The project is open Monday to Saturday from 08h00 – 17h00. Closed on Sundays and public holidays.
This beautiful old church is a striking landmark in central Windhoek. Standing as a monument to peace, work began on the Christuskirche - Church of Christ - in 1907. The three bronze bells in the Gothic spire bear the inscriptions: “Glory to God in the highest”; “On earth peace” and “Goodwill toward men” – the bells ring out across the town to remind the inhabitants of the city of this message. The chancel is decorated by three stained-glass windows, donated by the German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II. Guided tours are conducted on Wednesday and Saturday from 11h00 - 12h00. Meet at the Gemeindeburo – one house down from the corner of Peter Muller & Lüderitz Streets – just down the road from the church. You can also collect the key from the Gemeindeburo on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday between 07h30 – 14h00; on Tuesday between 10h00 – 14h30 and on Friday between 07h30 – 13h00. A key deposit is requested. Closed on public holidays. Sunday service times are posted on the door.
ST GEORGE’S CATHEDRAL
The Cathedral Church of Saint George the Martyr. Saint George’s is the smallest cathedral in use in the southern hemisphere, if not in the world! There is usually somebody at this quaint little House of God from Monday to Friday between 08h00 – 12h30. Sunday service times are posted on the door.
The residence of the former colonial governor and administrator general, the building is now the official residence of the President of the Republic of Namibia, Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba. Please note: for security reasons photographs are not permitted.
Standing majestically in well-established gardens the ‘Palace of Ink’ watches over the city. It has housed a series of successive governments and the corridors and chambers echo with history. Today it is the seat of government of the young Republic of Namibia. The Tintenpalast is open Monday to Friday from 10h00 – 12h00/14h00-16h00. Closed on weekends and public holidays. For a guided tour please phone in advance and ask for Eric on (061) 2882607. Please note that this building may be closed to the public without notice for parliamentary purposes.
Situated in the centre of the city this small park is a favourite amongst Namibians to whom green grass and fountains are a rare treat. The Chinese Pavilion symbolises the friendship between the people of Shanghai and the people of Windhoek while the Witbooi memorial commemorates the lives of those lost in battles fought between the Schutztruppe and the legendary Nama chief, Hendrik Witbooi.
NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
The National Botanical Garden strives to protect and promote the sustainable utilisation of Namibian flora and to function as an educational and recreational nature facility for both Namibians and our visitors alike.
A number of self guided trails meander through the garden. The most common plants are identified and have been placed in their natural environment rather than in artificial landscaping. The garden boasts one of the densest stands of Aloe littoralis, the symbol of the city of Windhoek as well as fine examples of Euphorbia virosa (milk bush family) and Pachypodium lealii (bottle tree). The garden is open Monday to Friday from 08h00 – 17h00.
(OPENING HOURS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS:
Excursions are offered in and around the City. The following half and full day excursions can easily be arranged.
City centre attractions such as well kept buildings, dating back to the colonial era, standing shoulder to shoulder with modern high rise buildings; view points over the city; historic buildings & monuments; arts & crafts from a mix of local cultures; suburbs including Katutura and Khomasdal. In short: - Namibia yesterday - today - tomorrow
CITY TOUR & PENDUKA:
(Half Day Excursion)
City Tour of Windhoek’s historical buildings & monuments e.g. the Tintenpalast (Parliament Buildings), Reiterdenkmal (Monument), Alte Feste (oldest building) and the Christuskirche, as well as the suburbs of Khomasdal, Katutura & Ludwigsdorf. Visit the Penduka Women’s Project at the Goreangab Dam. Penduka is a non-profit making development project working with women’s groups in the rural, underdeveloped areas of Namibia. The word PENDUKA means “Wake up and become aware of yourself”.
GOCHEGANAS NATURE RESERVE & HEALTH SPA:
(Full Day Excursion)
A classic ‘Out of Africa’-style day at the GocheGanas Nature Reserve & Health Spa with all the frills: game viewing activities, relaxation, excellent meals and optional Spa treatments. Enjoy Namibian hospitality at its best, walks, bird watching, an unforgettable sunset with a cool drink in your hand and a refreshing dip in the swimming pool.
(From 3 hours)
Charter flights are offered to various destinations in 5-seater Cessna 210 aircraft.
Early morning flight via the Khomas Highlands and the Naukluft Mountain Range to the Sossusvlei area, situated in the Namib Desert. Get a bird’s eye view of the highest dunes in the world amidst scenic landscapes in the oldest desert of the world.
Sossusvlei with 4x4 drive: Early morning flight via the Khomas Highlands and the Naukluft Mountain Range to the Sossusvlei area, situated in the Namib Desert. A guided 4x4 drive takes the passengers along some of the highest dunes in the world to the Sossusvlei and the Sesriem Canyon. Lunch is enjoyed at a lodge built in Bedouin-style. Return flight to Windhoek.
Flight to the coastal resort of Swakopmund, wedged between the oldest desert and the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the Natural History Museum, as well as the unique Aquarium of the Ministry of Fisheries. After lunch, at a local restaurant, continue to Walvis Bay for a visit to the harbour and the lagoon with its seabird colonies. Return to Swakopmund airport via the dunes, where you have the opportunity to climb and experience the dunes, before boarding the aircraft for the scenic afternoon flight to Windhoek.
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK:
Visit one of Africa's largest game parks. Excursions range from day flights with a game drive, to package tours including accommodation, meals and game drives. Please specify your wishes when placing your booking.