Namibia safari tours offer wild adventures in desert landscapes, the awe-inspiring Fish River Canyon and among the savannas of Etosha Park. But, the country of Namibia also offers plenty of cosmopolitan comforts in its capital city, Windhoek.
Windhoek is a historic city that shows off the region’s unique mixings of cultures and lifestyles. The city as it is now was formally established by the Imperial German Army in 1890, taking over from Dutch Afrikaans settlers after the original settlement had fallen into neglect. Now, Windhoek stands at over 330,000 strong and growing. Afrikaans, German, Oshiwambo, Khoekhoe, Kwangali, Herero and multiple Bantu languages are all languages that can be heard and seen in the city.
Cultural experiences Windhoek offers include gourmet dining at an authentic castle, world class museums, incredible shopping, gorgeous historical sites and more. Read on to discover the most incredible sights you can see during your trip to Namibia as part of an African safari holiday.
“Christ Church” is a Lutheran Church established in 1910 by German colonialists. The church features Carrara marble imported from Italy, and its peaked steeple and clock were shipped directly from Germany. Emperor Wilhelm II gifted the church’s massive stained glass windows for its chapel.
Visiting the humble yet magnificent church offers both a trip to the past and a treat for those who appreciate gorgeous architecture. The church is also located near the Tintenpalast, Namibia’s seat of parliament, so visiting it allows you to also see the nearby Parliament Gardens and gorgeous government buildings.
Namibia Crafts Centre
Finding beautiful handmade crafts in traditional African markets can be a bit like panning for gold — the good stuff is there, you just have to know where to look. From that standpoint, Namibia Crafts Centre is a mine filled wall-to-wall with pure gold.
The outlet sells incredible finished handmade Namibian crafts, including woven baskets, pottery, leatherwork, needlepoint, paintings, embroidery, jewelry, hand-sewn garments and more. All displayed pieces reveal the origin of the piece and its respective artist. Prices are very reasonable, so you are almost guaranteed to find the perfect sentimental gift to take back home to someone you care about.
Whether you love local African favorites like Kapana or want to sample new twists on gourmet dishes from Germany and Britain, Windhoek has lots in store for your gastro-enjoyment.
Leo’s at the Castle is a must-visit for anyone interested in atmospheric fine dining. The restaurant is located inside the Hotel Heinitzburg, which itself is housed in an authentic European castle constructed by architect Wilhelm Sander. The patio overlooks Namibia’s skyline, making for a breathtaking and unforgettable experience.
Other great places to dine at include:
- The Stellenbosch Wine Bar and Bistro
- The Social
- Craft Cafe
- Sardinia Blue Olive
- O Portuga
- Old Continental Cafe & Take Away
Windhoek is alive with tourists and locals alike seeking good times well into the night. Joe’s Beer House has a wide selection of both Namibian and German beers, making it worth lingering at for hours if you are a beer lover. The Boiler Room @ The Warehouse Theatre spins live music and has dancing until the morning hours.
Museums and Attractions
There are far too many amazing attractions to mention when visiting Windhoek, but some of the most popular include:
- National Botanic Garden of Namibia
- National Museum of Namibia
- Trans-Namib Railroad Museum
- Owela Museum
- Mary’s Catholic Cathedral
- Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve
Book a Namibia Safari Tour Now to Experience Windhoek’s Wonder and Glamour
If you are interested in seeing Windhoek during your African safari tour, take a look at our sample Namibia safari tour packages, and then contact us to create your own custom Namibian safari experience today!
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui