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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Windhoek

   

The Central Plateau is the region found between Windhoek and Etosha. Hosea Kutako International Airport is based 40km outside of Windhoek. Its location and that of the capital city makes it a perfect base from where to launch your holiday. From here, you can venture into any direction your heart desires, be it the Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon or Swakopmund.

Windhoek, the administrative, judicial and legislative capital of the Republic of Namibia, is located centrally in Namibia at a height of 1650m above sea level. It is surrounded by the picturesque hills, namely Auas, Eros Mountains and the Khomas Hochland.

Windhoek is an attractive, cosmopolitan city that has been referred to as the cleanest city in Africa due to its well-kept and maintained urban infrastructure. It is a brilliant blend of culture, scenery, top-class accommodation, arts & crafts and the Namibian version of city life. The main street, Independence Avenue, spans from Windhoek central right into the Katutura location.

Many streets have been renamed after prominent Namibian figures and heroes such as President Sam Nujoma, Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi and Mandume ya Ndemufayo. The inner city sports pavement cafes, lusty beer gardens, fountains, the beautiful Zoo Park, and a number of well-stocked shopping centres, banks, shops and boutiques. Sporting facilities such as sports fields and gyms, hotels and numerous accommodation establishments in Windhoek are of high-quality standards, while superb restaurants offer various traditional dishes such as Italian, German, Abyssinian, Indian and Portuguese cuisine, inclusive of a Namibian-style food with gemsbok, kudu, and springbok and seafood from the Namibian coast. The strong German influence, still prevalent in Windhoek, is evidenced by the German bread, chocolates, meat products such as traditional sausage and cold meats.

And don't forget the highly acclaimed excellent tasting beers, which are still brewed in accordance with traditional German purity laws. Annual highlights in Windhoek include the WIKA (Windhoek carnival) in April and the agricultural and industrial show in September, while entertainment comprises theatres, music bands playing, some cinemas and some smaller museums.

The Hosea Katako International Airport is where you'll likely start and end your Namibian adventure. If it is your first visit to Namibia, landing at this airport is quite an experience as the city is nowhere in sight but after a picturesque 40km drive, you will arrive in the capital. Enjoy Windhoek for a day or two setting off on your journey through the country. Join a city and township tour, explore the history of the city, stay at a wellness centre outside of town and search for arts & crafts at the craft markets.

History

The name Windhoek is derived from the word ‘Winterhoek’, a mountain range in the Cape near Tulbagh, from where one of the early inhabitants, the Nama captain Jonker Afrikaner originally hailed from. Having started as a modern city from 1890 onwards, Windhoek is a relatively young city. Although held back at times by drought, the hardships of the First and Second World Wars, the Spanish influence in 1918, political dominance from outside such as Germany during the German colonial period (1884-1915), and during the South African mandate and colonial periods (1915-1948; 1948-1990), the city has been developing continuously and at a rapid pace. This has added to the distinctive shape of this modern capital. German colonial architecture is sided by modern, cosmopolitan high-rise buildings, which in turn carry the postmodernist stamp of the 1980’s and 90’s. Being the administrative capital of the country, all government ministries have their head offices in Windhoek, and numerous foreign embassies, high commissioners, NGO’s and international organistations make Windhoek the representative capital of Namibia.

Interesting Ifacts

The Namibia Dollar – introduced in September 1993 - is the local unit of currency in Namibia. The N$ is still linked to the South African Rand, which also is a legal tender in Namibia.

Namibia gained independence on the 21st March 1990. Until 1915 Namibia was a German colony and known as South West Africa – during World War I, it was captured by South African forces.

The colours displayed in the national flag are red, white, blue, green and gold. The colours and their symbolism:

  • Red - The people and their heroism
  • White - Peace
  • Blue - The sky and the ocean
  • Green - Vegetation
  • Gold - Namib Desert


Highlights

  • Avis Dam
  • Daan Viljoen Game Park
  • Alte Feste (1890)
  • Christuskirche (1910)
  • Reiterdenkmal (1911)
  • Liebich House
  • Heroes Acre
  • Tintenpalast (1913)
  • Old Windhoek Brewery (1902)
  • Kaiserliche Realschule (1909)
  • Turnhalle (1909)
  • Windhoek Station (1911)
  • Three Historical Castles: Heinitzburg – 1914; Schwerinsburg – 1913; Sanderburg – 1917-19
  • Ovambo Campaign Memorial
  • St Georges Cathedral (1924)
  • State House (1959)
  • Zoo Park
  • Old Location (1912-1959)
  • WWI and II Memorial
  • Kudu Sculpture
  • Municipal Buildings (1964)
  • State herbarium gardens
  • Supreme Court Building (1995)
  • Reserve Bank Building
  • Wildlife Impressions
   
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