| Windhoek : Sights
Windhoek City Centre
On a stroll along Independence Avenue and in the Post Mall pedestrian zone with all its cafés and restaurants, boutiques and souvenir shops, one gets a good first impression of Namibia's capital.
The "Alte Feste" ("Old Fortress") was erected in 1890, originally from unburnt clay bricks by the German Schutztruppe under the command of Curt von François. Today it is a National Museum with a large number of exhibits and documents about the cultural history of Namibia. The Alte Feste Museum is open on weekdays from 9h00 to 18h00, on weekends from 10h00 to 12h00 and from 14h00 to 18h00. No entrance fee. Tel: 061 2934362.
The "Tintenpalast" (= Ink Palace) above Robert Mugabe Avenue is the seat of both chambers of the Namibian parliament, the National Assembly and the National Council. It was built in the colonial era and was inaugurated in 1913. The locals named it Tintenpalast in allusion to the numerous scribes and scribblers and their high ink consumption. Its gardens with their expansive manicured lawns and shady trees are a popular park where Windhoek's office workers like to spend their lunch break.
The Lutheran Christuskirche in the Neo-Romanic style stems from the year 1910. The colourful glass windows behind the altar were donated by Emperor William II. The church is open to visitors.
The OWELA Museum in Robert Mugabe Avenue is also worth a visit. It shows exhibitions on natural history and ethnology, e.g. about the Bushmen. For children there is a "Touch Room". Open on weekdays from 9h00 to 18h00. Free entrance. Tel: (061) 2934358.
|At the northern end of the town centre lies the Windhoek Station. In front of the colonial buiding stands one of the narrow-gauge engines which were in operation in the beginnings. The Transport Museum on the first floor documents the history of transport in the desert country of Namibia. Highly interesting! Small entrance fee. Open on weekdays from 9 am to 1 pm and from 2 to 5 pm. Tel: 061-2982186.
Windhoek's township at the northern end of Independence Avenue developed during the Apartheid era in the sixties. Visitors can explore it on their own (without fearing for their safety) or go on a guided Township Tour. The inhabitants are mostly welcoming and friendly.
Although there are areas with huts from corrugated iron and cardboard, Katutura nowadays looks quite proper. Highly recommendable is a visit of the Katutura Art Centre in Auala Street, which informs extensive and vividly about the history of Apartheid in Namibia and of the Township. Tel: 061-277300.
Daan Viljoen Game Reserve
This nature reserve (40 sqkm in size) lies 24km west of Windhoek at the foot of the Khomas Highlands around a small dam. Various antelope species, girafs and zebras. Ideal for hiking. The trails are well sign-posted, e.g. the 9km Bushwillow Trail or the 3km Buffalo Thorn Trail. At the restcamp there is a restaurant as well as bungalow accommodation and camping stands. Reservations:
NWR Namibia Wildlife Resorts
Private Bag 13267, Windhoek 9000, Namibia
Tel: +264 (0)61 285 7200
Fax: +264 (0)61 224 900