Windhoek is a small bustling city in an airy central highland basin surrounded by mountains at an average altitude of 1720 metres (5,590 feet). This gives the city a comfortable mild to warm climate, with some very hot summer days, but cold winter nights.
Many of Windhoek's historical buildings date back to German colonial rule and so does much of its cuisine, culture, dress and educational institutions.
It also has the colour, sounds and tempo of a modern African city. Pavement displays of African drums and wood-carvings from the north, contrast with extravagant shops offering sophisticated leather garments and Namibian gemstones. You can buy clothing, silver and glassware imported from Europe, or casual, colourful clothes from West Africa.One thing you will notice is that Namibian city women take great care with their appearance, especially their hair. The hair styles are extremely inventive and are often amazingly intricate, many being enhanced by beautiful hair extensions.
Windhoek is conveniently situated in almost the exact centre of Namibia, which has obvious benefits when it comes to governing a country as large as this. Its international airport also makes Windhoek an easy place to start a Namibian safari.
Namibia's official language is English, but German is spoken widely in the main centres and commercial farming areas. There are also numerous tribal languages spoken. Windhoek's population is estimated at about 200 000 people, which by global city standards is extremely small.
Some of Windhoek's accommodation takes advantage of the beautiful hills, and out of town lodges are an option to staying in the city.
The Windhoek region has summer rains that start as early as October / November and with them comes the wind. These are referred to as the 'small rains'. The 'main rains' are from January to April with the highest rainfall usually in February. The average rainfall is 375mm per annum, but Namibia experiences a severe drought more or less every decade.
The winter months of June, July and August are mild, sunny and cloudless, but nights can become quite cold, although temperatures seldom drop below zero. Frost may occur in low-lying areas between April and October. March and April are the calmest months in Windhoek.