It is the first place and last place you see when you go on a Namibia holiday and with its historical charm and its unique culture, Windhoek is full of life and personality, and one of the best places to do a little urban exploring.
Well-known for being the business hub of Namibia and for having some of the most spectacular architecture, Windhoek is not only the perfect stopover for travellers, but it is also a place of adventure and you can easily spend a day of more here walking the streets, seeing the sights, and indulging in some local shopping.
Windhoek has come a long way and although it is a historical city in the visual sense, in every other way, the city is very much modern.
The city is just about in the centre of the country, which is why it is a popular stop for those who are travelling and need a central point from which to rest and plan between their travels. Within the city, there are plenty of exceptional accommodation options, including upmarket lodges and hotels, as well as cosy guesthouses, and there are also a number of fine dining restaurants and cafes where you can indulge in the flavours of the unique local cuisine.
The Windhoek vibe is like no other and while it might be a built up modern city, it has quite a few local attractions that you should make the time to visit, if you are going to be in the city for a while. Most who come to Windhoek generally only spend a day or so here before embarking on the next leg of their holiday. But for those who plan to stay a little longer than a day, visits to the local museums, the nearby wildlife parks, and the various historical landmarks are a must.
If you are planning a stay in Namibia’s capital city, we’ve created a helpful guide that you can use to plan the perfect trip. From figuring out when to go, to deciding when you are going to visit, here’s our short but complete guide to Windhoek.
When is the best time to go to Windhoek?
It might be the capital city, and it might be situated in the middle of country, but Windhoek is not spared from the intense summer heat that can be a little too overwhelming for some. The best time to visit Windhoek is during the colder and drier months, which are June, July and August. During these winter months, the days are clear and beautiful, and mostly warmer than you’d expect for winter. The chill really sets in at night, so when you travel to the city in winter, be sure to bring along something warm to wear.
Travelling during the winter months also means you have a better chance of seeing wildlife in any of the parks you choose to visit, whether they are close to the city or a little further away.
Another wonderful reason to come to Windhoek in winter is that it will allow you to comfortably walk the city streets and sit outside a café, without the heat leaving you exhausted. These are some of the simple pleasures of visiting Windhoek, and something to keep in mind when you are travelling to the city.
While the winter months are the best for visiting, summer has its charm too. Summer nights can be rather magical, so travelling in September, October, November, December, January, and February, are very much worth it if you want to make the most of the summer. These months also bring rain and thunderstorms, which can make any holiday quite memorable.
How to get to Windhoek
Seeing that it is the capital city of Namibia, it is the easiest place to get to. All Namibia holidays, unless you are driving in from South Africa or Botswana, start in Windhoek because this is where the country’s main airport is. International flights arrive at Hosea Kutako International Airport, and from there it takes a 45 minute drive to arrive in the city centre. Windhoek is well connected to most of the world, and it is also well connected to most of the country, with all of the major roads leading to and from the city.
When you arrive at the airport, you will be able to rent a vehicle to get around with, or if you are travelling as a part of a guided Namibia safari, you will be collected at the airport and transferred to wherever your tour begins.
What type of traveller will enjoy Windhoek?
Because Windhoek still has its small town feel, it is the kind of destination that will appeal greatly to those who want a more rustic but urban holiday experience. Very rarely do visitors to Windhoek choose to only see the city, which means this destination is perfect for those who also plan to have a safari trip as a part of their stay.
Windhoek itself might not be a place of adventure, but it is a place of history and culture, and those who get to spend some time here are going to have a holiday they will remember fondly forever.
Go to the National Botanical Garden of Namibia
Home to flora that grows exclusively in Namibia, if you are an amateur botanist, this is absolutely the one place that you need to spend some time. The National Botanical Garden of Namibia covers a 12 acre stretch of land, behind Christuskirche, another attraction you should visit, and there is so much to see here that it can easily take a day to see it all. In the gardens there are a couple of fun hiking trails that you can walk without a guide, and there are all sorts of wildflowers, quiver trees and bottle trees. The garden is also home to a variety of beautiful native birds.
Go to the Craft Centre
Going home without a memento from your trip to Namibia would be unthinkable, and one place that you can stock up on a few things to remember Namibia by is at the Craft Centre. Here you will find a selection of big and small shops, all selling uniquely African items that will become the perfect gift or something you can keep in your home, to look at and think fondly of Namibia. Here at the Craft Centre, you can also look forward to entertainment and great food.
Go to Christuskirche
It is hard to miss Christuskirche as it stands out as an antique landmark in an otherwise modern city. The name translates to Christ Church, and it is the unofficial symbol of the German Lutheran Church. The building was constructed in 1907 and it is made out of quartz sandstone. As a city landmark, the building is the perfect starting point for your walking tour of the city. With the building in close sight, you will never get lost.
Go to the National Museum of Namibia
Windhoek is home to quite a number of museums and they are all great places to learn more about the country’s history and the cultures of the many different peoples who make up this fascinating nation. At the National Museum of Namibia, you will be presented with a comprehensive history, one that will give you an open and honest account of how Namibia in its present form came to be. There is much to see here and if you want to learn a little bit more than what is on offer, you can explore some of the other museums that are dotted all over the city.
Go to Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve
A wildlife sanctuary just 24km out of the city, and offering city views, the Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve can become the first place where you can see wildlife when on your Namibia safari. The nature reserve also offers wonderful accommodation and it is home to kudu, eland, klipspringer, blue wildebeest, zebra, leopard, and more.
At Namibia Safaris, we help our guests experience the very best of what Namibia has to offer, and just about all of our tours will have you spending some of your time in the wonderful city of Windhoek.
You can contact our helpful team today to plan your Namibia getaway or browse the pages of our website for more information.