Namibia's bustling cosmopolitan capital city Windhoek is the place where most safaris and adventures through the country begin and many travellers find themselves spending at least 24 hours in the city.
When planning a trip to Namibia one will inevitably end up spending at least 24 hours in the capital city of Windhoek, either before or after the tour.
Centrally located and home to the country's international airport, the city of Windhoek has the largest population in the whole country with over 300 000 people calling it home.
While the city is relatively clean and safe in comparison to other major cities, visitors are warned that Windhoek is very different to the rest of the country and one is advised to lock all valuables away in a safe and not to walk around the city centre with expensive items, such as cameras and cell phones, on display. Like most other cities in the world.
Far busier than anywhere else in Namibia, some travellers may find the city difficult to take in especially after the silence and peaceful atmosphere of the other locations.
With a short amount of time available to explore the city it is important that you plan your time here carefully, allowing enough time to visit all the major attractions.
Taking a short drive or walk around the city centre, one will notice the clear evidence of the city's German heritage with a number of German style buildings standing proudly as a reminder to Namibia's colonial history. One of the buildings worth seeing is the old fort, known as Alte Fest, which was once built to stand as the stronghold of German colonialism and is now the National Museum. Other buildings of interest are the parliament buildings; Christuskirche and Tintenpalast.
After a morning of wandering around the city, visitors may want to spend some time in one of the quaint German style cafés or head out of town for a walk through the DaanViljoen Game Park.
Located just 18 kilometres west of Windhoek, the desert hills of the DaanViljoen Game Park are rich in non-dangerous game animals including Zebras, Springboks and Warthogs and visitors may enjoy being able to stretch their legs and get some fresh air and exercise while exploring the reserve.
At night a visit to one of the restaurants or bars provides a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the city's culture. Joe's Beer House with its eccentric décor and vibrant atmosphere is a popular restaurant and definitely worth a visit.
Joe's Beer House is also a great place to sit and sample some of the local beers and enjoy a delicious German meal.
For the food lovers, the Homestead is considered the best restaurant in the city. Serving up delicious meals including Zebra, Crocodile and Oryx, dining at the Homestead will give visitors the opportunity to sample some of the meat that the country is so proud of. Namibians are definitely a meat eating populace.
After a day spent taking in the sights and sounds of the city it is time to retire to a comfortable hotel or B&B and relax. Windhoek offers a wide range of accommodation options from bed and breakfasts to backpackers and luxury hotels and all travellers will be able to find something to suit their budget.by Katie Edge