Windhoek is the landlocked capital city of Namibia and is the nation’s largest and most populace city. The modern African city sits at the bottom of the Windhoek basin and is surrounded by a rocky mountainous backdrop which adds to its allure. Because distances through the Namibian landscape are often vast it’s a good idea to spend the night in Windhoek before embarking on a long self-drive to Damaraland and Etosha in the north or Soussusvlei to the south. Luckily, Windhoek sits right in the middle of Namibia making it an ideal stop over point for travellers.
Windhoek is a culturally diverse city which is home to the Herero, Nama and Damara people as well as German settlers. It shares an interesting history with South Africa which once administered it on behalf of the British Empire post World War I. Despite the fact that Namibia is one the most sparsely populated countries in Africa, Windhoek is a clean, thriving and bustling city which is easy to navigate. The city centre houses a pedestrian friendly precinct lined with market stalls and restaurants.
It is a delightful fusion of German culture (in the form of breads, cake and beer) and and the colourful flair of the local Herero, Nama and Damara people. Guided tours of the surrounding attractions are a great way to take in the city’s fascinating history. Attractions to look out for during an overnight stay include the botanical gardens which houses an interesting collection of flora adapted to desert life, the National Museum and beautiful architecture.
The guesthouse and hotels that we like to use are the elegant Olive Exclusive Boutique Hotel and the historic Hotel Heinitzburg. The Olive Exclusive Boutique Hotel sits in a tranquil corner of Windhoek and is surrounded by beautiful olive tree groves. The Hotel Heinitzburg is a German styled castle built in 1914 and commands a breath taking view from its hillside residence. Both locations are steeped in luxuries charm and offer delicious gourmet cuisine.