The Dan Viljoen National Park is one of the smallest in Namibia, but it is unique for the area because of its small lake in the middle. It is perfect place for short walks and trekking. The landscape is just amazing and it is very close to Windhoek so you can visit this place even if you have only one day.
It takes 10 hours to drive from Windhoek to Skeleton coast. The roads are bad. 2 days travel on a camping car are the minimum according to the local people. Price from 4000 N$ with guide. Or rent your own car.
The clock tower in Independence Avenue is a copy of the original Deutsche Afrikabank clock tower from 1908. But it's a nice construction. If you go downwards from the clock tower in the junction of Independence Avenue, you will find a shopping center. This is the main commercial area in the downtown.
Reiterdenkmal monument, man on a horse monument, was build in the early 1910s after the defeat of the Herero and Nama uprising. It symbolises the victory of the German Schutztruppe. Only fallen Germans are remembered with this monument. The monument is therefore not so popular by the Namibians, and will maybe be teared down a day in the future...
The monument is in front of the "Alte Feste" (Old Fortress).
The "Alte Feste" (Old Fortress) was completed in 1890 during the German colonization of Namibia, and is the oldest standing building in the city. It was the military headquarter in 1915. In 1957 it was declared a national monument. It now houses the state museum with independence collection.
The Hoba meteorit in Grootfontain, northern Namibia, is the largest known meteorit on the earth with its 60 tons of iron and nickel. It fell into the earth for 80,000 years ago, and is estimated to be 300 mill years old. Pieces of this meteorit is located in stands in downtown Windhoek.
The main park in the centre of Windhoek is called the "Zoo Park". But it's just a park, and not a zoo. A lot of young people are hanging around here. You will find the park in the middle of Independence Ave, Fidel castro street, Park street and Luderitz street.
These are to be said the largest known meteorite shower to fall to earth. It covered an area of 360km long and 110km wide.
There is some good info at the site in Windhoek where the meteorites are exhibited.
See previous tip for general info on Okapuka Ranch.
The Ranch is home to a great variety of game. You will be able to see the magnificent Gemsbok (Oryx) , Springbok, Sabel antilope, Waterbuck, crocodile, giraffe etc etc.
A very special/scary meeting was with a group of rhino. The game ranger actually got out of the vehicle - with these wild rhinos very close to us. These are huge animals and the first time I had a chance to see these animals at such close range.
This Ranch is only 30km from Windhoek, which makes it an easy daytrip. There is however good accommodation available, so an overnight is even better.
Many activities are on offer, and there is also a good restaurant and bar.
Game drives should be booked, as should all other activities. You are not allowed to drive in the reserve with your own vehicle.
Tours are conducted under the guidance of experienced Rangers. The Ranger with whom we han two different drives, were extremely knowledgable and we had a very pleasent experience.
The accommodation is good, and close to the main buildings (reception and restaurant).
A huge variety of fauna and flora is found on the ranch (which is 14000 ha), at the foot of the Otjihavera mountains.
The New Bookseller
This place could save your life. Or least a lot of time. This very well stocked bookstore sells the up-to-date road map for Namibia for a little over $5. Buy it! I tried 4 petrol garages before this. They do not sell maps there! You must have this map to weigh up your options as not all routes are paved roads in Namibia. They also sell postcards, but at slightly higher price than you can find around the corner.
After hours by appointment
081 2484248 or 081 2518164
Tintenpalast Park is just below the ‘Ink Palace’ which houses the different legislative assemblies. It is a little tropical oasis of tranquillity inside the heart of Windhoek. There are lovely steps leading up top the Parliament Building, fountains, beautiful flowers and palm trees. There are some nice wooden benches to sit on and a scenic path to walk around. Don’t be put off by the warning sign (pictured), you can loiter all you want. Just stay out of the flowerbeds!
I love the name of this place! It is called the Tintenpalast, which means "Ink Palace" in German. It is a large building that houses both chambers of the Namibian legislature, the National Council and the National Assembly. It was designed by the architect Gottlieb Redecker and built by the company Sander & Kock between 1912 and 1913 out of local materials as an administration building for the German colonial government of the time. It got its name from employees of the building from the vast amounts of ink the government used inside.
St. Mary’s is the Cathedral of the Catholic Church and seat of the Bishop for the Windhoek Region. There are 3 Bishops in Namibia. It is also a very active working church. Their services are:
Saturday evening Mass 18h00
Sunday morning Masses 07h30 09h00 10h30
Sun evening Mass 18h00
Tuesday morning Mass 06h30
Wednesday evening Mass 18h00
Thursday morning Mass 06h30
Friday evening Mass 18h00
Confessions: Saturday 17h00 or by appointment
These are photos of the only road map of Namibia endorsed by the Roads Authority. I found it in a bookshop (there is another tip on the bookshop), as they do not sell these at fuel stations. If you are going to drive yourself, especially 2-wheel drive, you MUST have and understand this map. Major roads in Namibia are not paved! The map indicates if it is a ‘sealed’ road, gravel, salt or sand. They are coloured by road type and you need to know before you go. Plan ahead or you may very well get stuck 100+ kms from civilization. I have driven for as much as 6 hours at one stretch without seeing another vehicle. The map also has fuel points clearly marked. One of the fuel points on the map north of Swakopmund would be easily missed if you were not looking at this map. In addition, if you want to stay only on sealed roads, you need to follow some interesting and longer routes. Here the map is indispensable. It also indicates accommodation (a long, but not complete listing).
Drive safe and educate yourself before you drive off.