Wondering what to do in Namibia’s capital? Follow Margo Bishop’s top tips and you’ll be set for a fun few days…
hat to do: A city and township tour offers insight to Namibia’s chequered past, from the pre-colonial era to the present day. Perhaps visit the award-winning Nomad Africa Spa, perfect for some R&R. The more active visitor may enjoy a sundowner horse-riding trail with Equitrails, based just outside town at Elisenheim Guest Farm. There are also some great half-day wildlife experiences to nearby Okapuka Ranch or Naankuse Lodge.
Where to shop: The Namibia Craft Centre on Tal Street is ideal for finding great gifts and souvenirs. Roughly 40 enterprises sell their crafts here, ranging from framed photographs to photo books, clothing and jewellery. The Diamond Works is a great place to browse tanzanite or semi-precious stones, as well as their amazing diamonds. The Bushman Art Gallery offers a collection of African artefacts — everything from fetish and divination tools to musical instruments. Independence Avenue has undergone something of a revamp in recent years and now hosts a number of cafes offering locally-produced food. Don’t miss Cramer’s Ice Cream parlour! Cantos Jewellers is a family business situated in the small shopping arcade at the bottom of the Mutual Tower on Independence Avenue, and is the perfect place to find handcrafted pieces unique to Namibia.
Where to eat: Namibian cuisine consists of plenty of meat! Street food isn’t big in Windhoek, but you can grab traditional kapana (grilled meat) all over the city. Local fare can be found at Xwama Cultural Village. Joe’s Beerhouse is a famous game meat and beer experience, and those with a refined palate can try the Stellenbosch Wine Bar & Bistro, The Social or Sardinia Blue Olive. The Namibia Craft Centre has a lovely cafe which is perfect for a lunchtime break while enjoying your shopping experience.
Where to drink: Enjoy Windhoek’s top tipples –Tafel and Windhoek lager – by joining a brewery tour. Select restaurants and hotels stock locally produced wines, gin and aperitifs and The Hilton Hotel has a Sky Bar which boasts arguably the best sundown views in town. The Warehouse, next-door to the Namibia Craft Centre, is a music and theatre venue which also offers the Boiler Room bar and bistro, ideal for a more vibrant start to your evening. Alternatively, you could enjoy a sundowner at The Wine Bar on Garten Street; this boutique establishment offers a wide selection of award-winning South African vintages as well as an excellent menu.
Born into a world of conservation in her native Namibia, Margo Bishop has found her niche at ATI Holidays, a Windhoek-based tour operator.
For more on Windhoek, check out Annabelle Ventor’s exploration of the city in issue 81 of the print edition of Travel Africa, available here.