With 250 000 inhabitants, Namibia's capital of Windhoek is the biggest city in Namibia and, in a way, the only city in the country. The attractive town lies at an altitude of 1650 metres in a beautiful valley bordered by the Eros Mountains in the north and the Auas mountains to the south. Towards the west stretches the Khomas Highland to the Namib and the coast.
The city is - for an African town - very clean and a bit provincial. Over the last years, however, the appearance of the city has changed considerably through the addition of monumental buildings, mainly the new Supreme Court and the gigantic State House south of the city centre, and acquired more of a cosmopolitan flare. But still one can find many buidlings in the Wilhelmian (Victorian) style of the era of German colonialism, which contribute to the charme of Namibia's capital.
The influence of German language and culture is noticeable in many ways. There are German restaurants in Windhoek, German bread, sausage, beer and the German carnival.
The city centre of Windhoek lies on both sides of the Independence Avenue, and can be explored by foot. The busy main road (formerly known as the "Kaiserstrasse") starts at the Ausspannplatz in the south and stretches up to the former township Katutura in the north.
Worth a visit are the "Tintenpalast" ("Ink Palace"), which houses Namibia's parliament, the Christuskirche (Christ Church) of the Lutheran parish from, built in 1896, the "Reiterdenkmal" from 1912 and the "Alte Feste" (Old Fortress); former headquarters of the Schutztruppe and today, Namibia's National Museum.
Windhoek has an international airport 45 kilometres out of town and a broad spectrum of hotels, guesthouses, safari and tour operators as well as car rentals.
Places of Interest
Photos: Top right the Lutheran Christuskirche and Rider's Monument. Left: Independence Avenue with colonial and modern buildings.