Windhoek , Namibia - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Windhoek

Windhoek

Windhoek

Country: Namibia

Region: Khomas Region

Population:  325,858 (2011 estimate)                                                                              

Dialing Code: +264

Currency: Namibian dollar (NAD), South African rand (ZAR)

Time zone: SAST (UTC+2)

Windhoek is Namibia's capital and largest city. It is in the geographic centre of the country at an elevation of 1,600m. This is the city where most safaris travelling through Namibia begin, and also the first point of entry in Namibia should you arrive by airplane.

It is a vibrant, European-esque city that mixes local culture with a very modern vibe. Here you will find lots of malls and a dozens of artisans selling their goods on the streets. There is a lot to take in, so take your time to properly explore the city when you visit. 

Information & Facts

Activities

Kick off your adventure by making a quick stop to the famous Christ church with a guided tour of the historic church, which has a clock tower and stained glass windows. A lot of Namibins pay t get married here because of the beautiful architecture and because it overlooks the city and while you are here, you can see the nearby Sam Nujuoma Statue.  The first president of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, is permanently watching over the city in statue form on the other side of Christians Church.
 
Other hotspots include the National art gallery, Alte Feste, Dean Viljoen game reserve, owela museum, Heroes’ Acre, Zoo Park amongst others.You can also get your shopping done at the malls or numerous street sellers you will see on your trip. Also see
 
  • Parliament of Namibia Formerly the legislative assembly during the apartheid days, this is now the home of the National Assembly. 

 

  • Dictator street names Though Namibia isn't a dictatorship, there are a few dictators with whom Namibia's first President was quite friendly during the days of the struggle for independence (and still is). There is one in downtown Windhoek: Robert Mugabe Ave. You will also find Fidel Castro St. in downtown Windhoek, named after the Cuban revolutionary leader.

 

  • Christuskirche In the middle of a big traffic circle where Robert Mugabe Ave. and Fidel Castro St. meet, at the gates of the Parliamentary compound. The old Lutheran church.

Climate

Windhoek has a semi-desert, arid climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures tend to drop dramatically at night. Windhoek is blessed with sun almost every day of the year. December is the wettest month of the year. The region is susceptible to drought, and a serious drought hits every decade or so.

The most popular time to travel to Windhoek is between March and October, in particular between April and June, when rainfall is lowest and temperatures are mild. Winter is also best for game viewing, because animals tend to congregate around water, and are easier to spot.

Eating Out

Joe's Beer House  is the place all tourists go and the waiters will tell you when the tip is not sufficient, this is the place to go. The food is really good though. Get a Zebra steak or an ostrich kabob to round off that game drive. Be aware that the meals served are extremely large and don't come with many vegetables

  1. ·         PepperCorn, Shop 59, Maerua Mall (opposite the cinema).
  2. ·         La Dolce Vita, Kaiserkrone Center Windhoek. Has pizza and pasta dishes and salads served in another shaded courtyard. 
  3. ·         Luigi and the Fish, 320 Sam Nujoma Dr (Klein Windhoek, on the way to the airport),
  4. ·         NICE (Namibian Institute of Culinary Education),
  5. ·         Sardinia, 47 Independence Ave is an  Italian restaurant with great pizzas, hot dishes and excellent ice cream. 
  6. ·         Tim Sum, (Wernhil Park Shopping Centre in the Post Street Mall Windhoek), Offers a excellent range of Taiwanese vegetarian foods.

Getting Around

There are a number of car rental agencies operating in Windhoek

There is no public transit in Windhoek but there is a system of shared taxis which are similar to combies in South African cities. Taxis primarily run between the townships and the main industrial/commercial areas of the city. Routes are not fixed like a bus route or the combie routes in South Africa. This gives some added flexibility, but also means that fares between given destinations may not always be the same. You can get in or get out wherever you want along the "route".

To catch a taxi just flag it down by holding your arm out and waving your hand down towards the ground. It's a casual gesture, so don't stick your arm straight out like a sign post, and don't wave your arm around like you're calling for help.

Kids Attractions

 Windhoek’s place to be when it comes to kiddie’s party time has got to be the i-Fun park. Directly across the road from Arebbusch Travel Lodge, more than 930 children hosted their birthday parties their last year.

 Activities you can have at i-Fun park include: Go Karting, Laser Tag, Playground, Water ground, Mini golf and so much more

Language

English is the official language and is widely spoken. Older Namibians in the South are more likely to speak Afrikaans or German.Afrikaans is spoken by many and is the first language of the Coloureds and the Afrikaners. English is spoken as a first language by the remaining English families, and German is spoken by the Namibians of German descent

Money

The Namibian Dollar (NAD; symbol N$) is in note denominations of N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1, 50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. It is linked to the South African Rand (R) on a 1:1 basis (South African Rand = 100 cents). The South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia.

Night Life

Depending on your mood and taste, you might want to choose a bar, a club or a beer house. If you’re not sure what your options, popular nightlife options to visit on your nightly adventures include Chopsi’s , Joe’s Beerhouse, the ware house theatre, the loft, Pharaoh’s lounge and bar 

Shopping

For excellent and affordable game meat go to Readi Bites meat market. They usually have oryx and kudu, sometimes springbok and zebra

There is a craft market in Post Street Mall in central Windhoek, though prices are quite high. For cheaper prices, go to the craft market in Okahanja, which is about an hour north of Windhoek. You can hitchhike to Okahanja or catch a combie.

There are a number of arcades and small shopping centres in the centre of Windhoek. Between them you can find pretty much anything you need. There is also a larger mall called Maerua Mall in the south end of the city (Jan Jonker Road), easily accessible by taxi.

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