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Christus Church, a Windhoek landmark

Windhoek [16] is Namibia's capital and largest city (population ~250,000). It is in the geographic centre of the country at an elevation of 1,600 m. This is the city where most safaris travelling through Namibia begin, and also the first point of entry in Namibia should you arrive by airplane.


English is spoken throughout Namibia (it is the country's official language and is also the medium of instruction in most schools), although in many urban areas Afrikaans (similar to Dutch) is used as a lingua franca, as 50% of the Namibian population speaks Afrikaans. German is widely used in tourism and business. Oshiwambo is spoken by 50% of Namibians as a mother tongue.

Radio and television is also predominantly in English.

Other languages include Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Damara/Nama, Setswana, SiLozi, and Rukwangali.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

The B1, which runs from the north to the south and the B2 (Trans-Kalahari) which runs from the east to the west through Namibia are the primary land routes into Windhoek. Northern towns served by the B1 include Oshakati, Otjiwarongo, and Okahanja. Southern towns include Rehoboth, Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz. From the west the B2 connects Swakopmund and from the east it connects Gobabis.

By combie[edit]

This is the easiest way to get to Windhoek for people without a car. Combies run from everywhere in Namibia, and through some combination of different routes, one can always find their way to Windhoek. The Engen petrol station north of downtown (Rhino Park) is the rank for southern and western destinations such as Mariental, Swakopmund, Keetmanshoop. For northern destinations such as Otjiwarongo, Oshakati and Rundu go to Hakahana Service Station, Katutura. However, it is easier to arrange for a minibus to take you (check opposite SAA in Independence Avenue).

Combies/Shared Taxis run directly from Cape Town, the long distance taxi terminal on top of Cape Town station on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 11am. Cost: 650 rand 17 hours.

By plane[edit]

If you're arriving in Namibia by airplane, this is most likely to be via Hosea Kutako International Airport. The airport is approximately 40km out of town, so give yourself plenty of time to travel to the city centre. A taxi to the city center will run you about $300-$350N (as of April 2018). Many 4x4 rental companies offer free pick-up and drop-off to the airport so it's worth enquiring about this if you plan on renting one.

Windhoek also has a municipal airport called Eros. This is the main airport for all domestic flights - so travellers making a connection between international and domestic aircraft should also allow at least one hour for the travel time between the two airports.

By train[edit]

Windhoek's train station is in the city centre, just off Bahnhof Street.

TransNamib [17], via their StarLine passenger service, operates trains from Windhoek to destinations all over Namibia. Some routes are

  Windhoek-Otjiwarongo-Tsumeb (Discontinued as of 2009)
  Windhoek-Gobabis (Discontinued as of 2009)
  Windhoek-Swakopmund-Walvis Bay
  Tsumeb-Ondangwa (daily)
  Windhoek-Keetmanshoop ; this train used to continue on to Upington in South Africa but no longer does so. However there are trains that continue from Keetmanshoop onwards to Karasburg twice a week.

There are no dedicated passenger trains in Namibia, apart from the luxury Desert Express [18] tourist train. The StarLine scheduled service described above conveys passengers via special coaches hooked on the back of freight trains. These passenger coaches offer comfortable airline-style seating with air-conditioning and (sometimes) video entertainment. Vending machines provide refreshments on long journeys. Note, however, that Namibian trains are considered a relatively slow method of transport. Much detailed and relatively up to date information can be found on the Namibia page of

The Desert Express is a luxury tourist train that traverses Namibia regularly, taking tourists to such destinations as Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Etosha National Park. Buses are used to transport visitors from train stations to the various sights.

By bus[edit]

Intercape [19] runs a bus service to and from Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa and Livingstone in Zambia. It's about 24 hours to either city. Book a few days in advance at least to be sure that you have a seat. As at February 2009 the cost was about R700 for either ticket.

AT&T Monnakgotla Bus run biweekly buses to and from Gaborone, departing from the Thuringerhof Hotel. Transport can be arranged to and from Maun and Ghanzi via bus transfer (ask for "Ghanzi" and you'll be dropped off at the junction. The writer's transfer bus arrived within 60 seconds).

Mushima Investment runs buses to Joburg (Su & Wed) and Cape Town (Th & Su).

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

There are a number of car rental agencies operating in Windhoek:

By 4x4[edit]

It is highly recommended that you rent a vehicle with high road clearance if you plan on driving non-B routes, as almost all roads aside from these are gravel and rutted. The extent of rutting is unpredictable, as it depends on the last time the road was graded and on local conditions (rain, windstorms), so it is difficult to obtain up-to-date information on road quality. In addition, flash floods can occur, which can wipe out sections of track road, so think carefully about what best suits your needs depending on your season of travel and your own experience driving on unsealed roads. There are dozens of rental companies that specialize in 4x4s throughout Windhoek, and most major international companies provide 4x4s / SUVs as well. That said, nearly all "C" roads can be easily traversed in a 2WD SUV. Some D roads may have sandy sections where you will want, or need, 4WD. Those traveling to more remote areas (e.g. Kaokoland) will certainly want a 4x4. Please keep in mind that sometimes "D" roads are higher quality than "C" roads, and some C roads are even high-quality pavement, making the road name nomenclature somewhat difficult to understand.

By taxi[edit]

Public buses exist in Windhoek, but it is probably easier to take taxis if you are there for a short time. There is also a system of shared taxis which are similar to combies in South African cities. Taxis primarily run between the townships and the main industrial/commercial areas of the city. Routes are not fixed like a bus route or the combie routes in South Africa. This gives some added flexibility, but also means that fares between given destinations may not always be the same. You can get in or get out wherever you want along the "route".

To catch a taxi just flag it down by holding your arm out and waving your hand down towards the ground. It's a casual gesture, so don't stick your arm straight out like a sign post, and don't wave your arm around like you're calling for help. The fare for destinations that are on the "route" or close to the route is N$12, destinations more "out of the way" are charged at N$24. Non standard destinations cost around N$36. Tell the driver where you want to go when you get in or before you get in. If the destination is too far off their route, they will tell you they're not going there so you'll just have to wait for another taxi. This can be common during rush hour. It will take some time to figure out what these informal routes are.

Most taxis cruise along Independence Avenue south of the intersection with Fidel Castro Street. The easiest place to catch them is in front of the Gustav Voigts Centre/Kalahari Sands Hotel.

If you feel uncomfortable taking shared taxis, there are on-demand taxis which allow you to hire the entire car to yourself. Most of these taxis have to be pre-booked via telephone; they'll come and get you wherever you are. In the city, they can be found behind the Tourist Information Office at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Fidel Castro Street (opposite Gustav Voigts Centre/Kalahari Sands Hotel) and on the northern-side of Wernhill Park shopping mall. They also tend to gather at popular restaurants and nightspots. Make sure you agree on the price before taking them; most will ask for at least N$50 to go anywhere around Windhoek. These taxis also can take you out of Windhoek, and especially to the airport; it's just a question of how much they are going to charge. A typical fare to the airport is N$300 (per car, not per person!) but some drivers may demand a bit more (e.g. N$350) (April 2018). Some will ask for outrageous rates like N$900 -- do not agree! A trip from central Windhoek to Klein Windhoek, where many restaurants are, will run N$60-N$70 one-way. It is fixed price, not metered.

Here are some taxi company numbers:

  • Lima Transfers: +264-(0)81-127-3232 (Eduard)
  • Dial-a-Cab: +264-(0)61-223-531
  • ETK Cabs: +264-(0)81-279-8128 (Lod; Hilton uses this company.)

On foot[edit]

Most hotels and hostels are centrally located close to the city centre, so you can easily walk to most shops, restaurants, clubs and sights.

See[edit][add listing]

Robert Mugabe Ave.
  • Parliament of Namibia Formerly the legislative assembly during the apartheid days, this is now the home of the National Assembly. There is also a new building next door for the National Council. [20]
  • National Gallery of Namibia
  • Dictator street names Though Namibia isn't a dictatorship, there are a few dictators with whom Namibia's first President was quite friendly during the days of the struggle for independence (and still is). There is one in downtown Windhoek: Robert Mugabe Ave. You will also find Fidel Castro St. in downtown Windhoek, named after the Cuban revolutionary leader.
  • Christuskirche In the middle of a big traffic circle where Robert Mugabe Ave. and Fidel Castro St. meet, at the gates of the Parliamentary compound. The old Lutheran church.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Wildlife Conservation. Go on a Cats Unlimited expedition just outside of Windhoek and help with the conservation of big cats and other mammals. Cats Unlimited, (), [3]. Cats Unlimited conservation expeditions N$11999.  edit


The University of Namibia (UNAM) [21] and the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) [22] are located in Windhoek. There is also the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre where you can take classes in everything from French to photography.

Buy[edit][add listing]

For excellent and affordable game meat go to Readi Bites meat market. They usually have oryx and kudu, sometimes springbok and zebra, just ask (tel.232728). They have no fancy display, you go in ,order at the counter and they cut it freshly for you. It is located at Bohrstrasse in the Industrial area. They also have excellent chakalaka braaiwors.

There is a craft market in Post Street Mall in central Windhoek, though prices are quite high. For cheaper prices, go to the craft market in Okahanja, which is about an hour north of Windhoek. You can hitchhike to Okahanja or catch a combie.

There are a number of arcades and small shopping centres in the centre of Windhoek. Between them you can find pretty much anything you need. There is also a larger mall called Maerua Mall in the south end of the city (Jan Jonker Road), easily accessible by taxi.

For arts and crafts you can visit Jennys Place located at Bougain Villa 78 Sam Nujoma Drive, Klein Windhoek. Telephone +264 61 269152. It is the largest arts and crafts shop in Namibia. They sell everything from paints, face paints, canvases, beads, ribbons, costumes, scrapbooking supplies, brushes, spraypaint, decoupage, wooden blanks, pewter and the occasional oddity such as glow in the dark spraypaint, gifts and decorations. They also provide a variety of art classes such as painting, card making and scrap booking. It has a calm and tranquil atmosphere and a great place to meet other crafters.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • PepperCorn, Shop 59, Maerua Mall (opposite the cinema), +264 61 254-154. 9AM-10PM. . Try to get a seat in the lounge and have a drink before and after the meal.  edit
  • Joe's Beer House, 160 Nelson Mandela Ave, +264 61 232-457. M-Th 4PM-late, F-Su 11AM-late. If you are looking for the place all tourists go and the waiters will tell you when the tip is not sufficient, this is the place to go. The food is really good though. Get a Zebra steak or an ostrich kabob to round off that game drive. Be aware that the meals served are extremely large and don't come with many vegetables.  edit
  • La Dolce Vita, Kaiserkrone Center Windhoek. Has pizza and pasta dishes and salads served in another shaded courtyard.  edit
  • Luigi and the Fish, 320 Sam Nujoma Dr (Klein Windhoek, on the way to the airport), +264 61 256-399. 6PM-10PM. A nice restaurant and bar, many travellers here. It describes itself as having the biggest menu in Namibia, with a mix of game, beef, pork, seafood, pizza and vegetarian dishes.  edit
  • NICE (Namibian Institute of Culinary Education), Storch St. (Windhoek), +264 61 370-710. Lunch M-F, Dinner M-Su. Excellent place to eat. Has many choices of meals, ranging in extravagance and creativity. Basically a classroom of fine Namibian cooking. Bon appetit!  edit
  • Pick'n Pay, Wernhil Center. For those who want to cook on their own, this is the largest supermarket with probably the best prices and selection downtown.  edit
  • Sardinia, 47 Independence Ave, +264 61 225-600. 9AM-11PM. Italian restaurant with great pizzas, hot dishes and excellent ice cream.  edit
  • Tim Sum, (Wernhil Park Shopping Centre in the Post Street Mall Windhoek), +264 61 232-312. until 6:30PM. Offers a excellent range of Taiwanese vegetarian foods. N$25–35.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Joes Beer House A trip to Windhoek is incomplete without visiting this unique beer garden! It is always packed with locals and travellers. It has an excellent menu and reservations must be made in advance.
  • The Wine Bar Located on a hill overlooking Windhoek with fantastic sunsets, perfect for that romantic occasion. The staff give excellent service and have good knowledge of the wines being served. You may also purchase wine here.
  • Blitzkrieg Bunker Bar A loud rock and metal bar. Despite the risqué name, a perfectly friendly place with laid-back staff and a good crowd. Writing anywhere on the walls with a marker pen is not discouraged.
  • Bump Located in the Southern Industrial section of Windhoek, Bump features a spacious outdoor area, mid-sized dance floor and a large bar. Although the music is often limited to house and rave music, the service is friendly. Popular with the Afrikaner crowd.
  • Wirtshaus Windhoek or Zum Wirt or Zum Wirts - they keep changing their name!, 101 Independence Avenue (Turn right after exiting Kalahari Sands Hotel), +264 61 245-518. 11AM - midnight. A huge thatched roof structure (inhabited by an odd combination of locals and ladies of the night), and behind that a lovely beer garden (popular with tourists in particular). Reasonably priced food and drink and you are sure to meet interesting company!  edit
  • Cheztemba Nightclub for locals, open Wed-Sun. Fri-Sun entrance is 30 namibian dollars. Small beer for 16 dollars. Popular with locals and the only place to go out Sunday because other places are closed or dead quiet. Located in corner of Independence Avenue and all the taxi drivers know it.
  • J & J and Gamblers Probably most popular gambling houses in Windhoek. J & J is behind Cheztemba and Gamblers is located close to Angola House and American Embassy in Independence Avenue. Big (750ml) beer 11 namibian dollars, you cant find cheaper beer even in Katutura. J & J can get a bit rough time to time but security is good.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Cardboard Box Backpackers Hostel, 15 John Albrecht St. (at the corner of John Meinart), phone: +264 61 228-994, [23]. Has a bar and a swimming pool; close to downtown. Also the site of the Cardboard Box Travel Shop. Dorms N$120, camping N$80.
  • Chameleon Backpackers Lodge & Guesthouse 5-7 Voight St. phone: +264 61 244-347, [24]. Has a mix of dorm and private rooms with a bar, swimming pool and booking desk for Chameleon Safaris. Close to downtown. Dorms N$170
  • ParadiseGarden Backpackers (ParadiseGarden Hostel & Camping), 5 Roentgen Street, Windhoek, Namibia (At the corner of Beethoven street and John Meinert street turn right into Beethoven street. Roentgen street is the first street on your left.), +264 81 2809208 (), [4]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. German owner. Has travel information desk, free WiFi and secure parking, well-equipped kitchen, laundry service, a large and clean swimming pool, located within a 15-minute walk from Windhoek downtown. English, Spanish and German spoken. Camping N$130, dorm N$190, rooms starting from N$450. (-22.5637,17.0718) edit


  • The Olive Grove Guesthouse, 20 Promenaden Road, +264 (0)61 239199 (), [5]. A small upmarket accommodation establishment situated close to Windhoek city centre in a quiet, peaceful area.  edit
  • Jan Jonker Accommodation, 183, Jan Jonker Road Windhoek, City Centre, +264 (0)61 221236 (), [6].  edit
  • Hotel Casa Blanca, 52 Fritsche Street, Pioneers Park, +264 (0)61 249623 (, fax: +264 (0)61 249622), [8].  edit
  • Galpinii Guest House (b&b), 45, Prinsloo Street, Pioneers Park, +264(61)242630 (fax: +264(61)247654), [9].  edit
  • Klein Windhoek Guest House, 2 Hofmeyer Street, Klein Windhoek, +264 (0)61 239 - 401 (fax: +264 (0)61 234 - 952), [10].  edit
  • Jordani Bed and Breakfast, 55 Hamutenya Wanehepo Ndadi Street, +264 (0)61 220141 (), [11]. checkin: 14h00; checkout: 10h00.  edit


  • The Olive Exclusive all-Suite Hotel, 22 Promenaden Road, +264 (0)61 239199 (), [12]. This intimate boutique hotel in a tranquil corner of Windhoek embodies the very essence of chic comfort.  edit
  • Protea Hotel Furstenhof Dr. Frans Indongo Street. Luxury Hotel Downtown with a pool and beautiful view of the City.
  • Kalahari Sands 129 Independence Ave. Luxury hotel downtown with a casino and a small shopping centre.
  • Windhoek Country Club Luxury resort and conference centre in the south end of the city.
  • Heinitzburg Luxury resort looks like an old castle above the city
  • Hilton Hotel Rev. Michael Scott St., Luxury, certainly when compared to the alternatives, new modern, well equiped, excellent service, city center location.


The area code for Windhoek is (061). When calling Windhoek from outside Namibia do not put a '0' between the country code and the area code.

It is cheaper to buy mobile phone starter packs than rely on roaming. Starter packs, including SIM cards and airtime, can be purchased throughout the city at less than N$20. They will work throughout Namibia, except 'Switch' CDMA cards that only work in Windhoek.

There are a number of well-equipped Internet cafés in Windhoek.

  • Internet Cafe, Wernhill Center (2nd floor above Pick 'n Pay, near Post St Mall entrance). Large number of computers with good connection speeds. Also has a few terminals for Skype calls. N$12 for 30 min.  edit


Windhoek's Zoo Park and Independence Avenue, the city's main street.

There is a laundry facility at the corner of Sam Nujoma Dr. and Hosea Kutako Dr. They charge by the weight of clothing and will usually have it done within two days. You can pay in advance for a fixed number of kilograms at a lower rate if you plan to be around for a while.

There is a grocery store (supermarket) in the Wernhil Centre (at the Western end of the Post Street Mall which starts opposite the Central Post Office in Independence Avenue - look for the red clock tower and turn down the mall). Supermarkets in Namibia have just about anything you might want from back home, though the brand names may be different.

There is also a small outdoor market on the north side of Wernil next to the taxi rank and a souvenir market opposite South African Airways (Independence Avenue). This is a good place to shop for souvenirs and wood carvings. Prices here will be a lot cheaper than in the shops. Feel free to negotiate.

Keep in mind that many places - shops, restaurants, and internet cafés included - are closed on Sunday or stay open only until 1 PM. Note also that alcoholic beverages (beer and wine are also available in shops) isn't sold after 19:00 (weekdays) and after 13:00 on Saturday (through until Monday morning)

There are three free-to-air television stations (NBC TV, One Africa TV and TBN religious station), with CNN news each afternoon 13:00 - 14:00 on NBC TV, local news on NBC TV at 19:00 - 19:30 and local news on One Africa TV 19:30 - 20:00. One Africa TV also relays BBC World news in the mornings until approximately 10:00.

Radio Stations in English include NBC (92.6), Radio Wave (96.7), 99FM (99.00) and Kudu FM (103.5).

Radio Stations in German are NBC German Service (94.9) and Hitradio Namibia (99.5)


  • Us-flag.png United States of America, 14 Lossen St, +264 61 295-8500 (fax: +264 061 295-8603), [14].  edit
  • Eg-flag.png Egypt, 10 Berg Street, +264 61 221501 (fax: +264 61 228856), [15].  edit
  • Ve-flag.png Venezuela, 6, Ausspann Plaza, 2nd Floor, Dr. Agostihno Neto Road, Private Bag 13353, Windhoek, "+264 (, fax: +264 61 227-804).  edit

Get out[edit]

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This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!