Namibia City Life : Windhoek – ‘Air Basin Surrounded by Rolling Mountains’

Namibia is an ideal destination for adventure, but if you are not in the adventurous mode to experience it, a road network that is maintained will make the journey a pleasure!

Windhoek is Namibia’s capital city and lies in the heart of the central highlands in an airy basin surrounded by rolling mountains. It is the cleanest, most relaxed and safest capital cities in Southern Africa, the perfect place to round up or launch a Namibian holiday.

At the arrival in the cosy capital of Windhoek, there is an impressive combination of innovative modern constructions and old German colonial buildings. Many shops have German owners and you meet German speaking Namibians everywhere.

It’s a bustling, cosmopolitan city with good hotels, sophisticated shops and great bistros. There is a  harmonious blend of  European and African cultures and overall friendliness.

State buildings range from the Parliament of Namibia to the newly founded Hero’s Acre on the road to Rehoboth. The Heroes’ Acre is a modern, state of the art national symbol that was inaugurated by His Excellency, Dr Sam Nujoma, on 26 August 2002.

It was built to foster the spirit of patriotism and nationalism and to pass on this legacy to the future generation of Namibia. The Heroes’ Acre took 13 months to construct covering 732.9212 hectares. It houses 174 graves.

Day tours are available to Katutura, the Windhoek museums, the National Library,  National Art Gallery, National Archives, National Art Gallery and the Botanical Gardens.

Or you can admire the German colonial architecture of the Alte Feste, (1892) In Robert Mugabe Avenue.this is one of the oldest buildings in Windhoek, with its cornerstone laid in 1890. It served as a military headquarters in 1915 and then as a hostel for the Windhoek High School in 1935. In 1957 it was declared a national monument.

It now houses state museum, where the historic independence collection, reflecting events leading up to the independence of Namibia can be seen.  You can also see the Tintenpalast parliament building and the Christuskirche, the city’s landmark church.

 

Shop for African crafts and curios and splurge on local game such as springbok or kudu at the city’s fine restaurants. The bi-monthly Windhoek Street Market has local crafts every second Saturday.

An opportunity to buy diamonds and other semi-precious stones or Herero dolls. There is also a range of wooden hand-carvings, karosse rugs, jewellery and liqueur chocolates manufactured in Windhoek as well as Swakara garments.

A little seaside resort of Swakopmund is ideal. There is a strong Germanic flavour to its boarding houses and bars, and it is surrounded by a desert that is great for quad-biking, dune buggy racing and sand-boarding.

It was the German merchant and adventurer Adolf Luederitz from Bremen, who bought the bay of Angra Pequeña from Nama Chief Joseph Fredericks in 1883 for 10 000 Reichsmark and 260 guns. The bay is today known as Luederitz Bay. Later when diamonds were discovered – German authorities branded the area between Lüderitz and the Orange River a ‘forbidden area’.

The diversity of Namibia is a rich blend of traditions and cultures. The population is composed of several different ethnic groups, including the San, the Khoi-Khoi, the Herero, and the Ovambo as well as the small European population, largely Germans and Afrikaners.

Visit the kraal, or homestead, of indigenous semi-nomadic pastoralists, the Himba, in the Kaokoland region of northern Namibia, to learn about tribal customs and desert survival techniques.

Namibia is the fourth largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa and the world’s fifth largest producer of uranium and is set to become the largest exporter of uranium by 2015.

Currency: Namibian dollar N

Electrical Plugs: 50Hz

Languages: English is the sole official language of Namibia. German, Afrikaans and Oshiwambo became recognised regional languages.

You need a passport and a visa
The luxury Desert Express runs between Swakopmund and Windhoek, a 19-hour 30-minute journey which includes several stops which give travellers the opportunity to watch lions feeding, see the Namib Desert,stroll in the sand dunes admiring the stars! ExploreMotherlandAfrica#

300 days of Desert Sunshine in South-West Africa – Namibia

Wedged between the Kalahari and the South Atlantic, in the south-west of Africa between the Orange river in the south and the Kunene river in the north - Namibia boasts deserts, seascapes, bushwalking and boundlessness. Blessed with rich natural resources, a solid modern infrastructure, diverse cultures and an annual quota of 300 days of sunshine, it is a beautiful country of vast potential.

It’s an arid, rough land, the world’s 34th largest country, a different world, but still inviting, strangely familiar and easy to travel. Namibia is a photographer’s dreamland, a land of contrasts and clear colours. It’s not for those, who like busy beaches and have fun in crowds. It’s one of the most scarcely populated countries on earth after Mongolia. But if you love nature, stillness, grandiose landscapes, desert and expanse, Namibia’s for you.

But Namibia isn’t just silence and wide open spaces.  There is dune buggy racing, horse racing, and dune skiing.

Africa, Namibia, Kolmanskop, Ghost TownNamibia has a colourful and turbulent history. Because Namibia has one of the world’s most barren and inhospitable coastlines, it was one of the last African countries to be colonised. In the mid-19th century, German missionaries opened up the interior, paving the way for traders who came later. The distinctive German  traditions and architecture and traditions come from the  1884 annexation of the country by Germany

As a nation, however, Namibia is relatively young, having gained its independence from South Africa after prolonged struggles only in March of 1990

 

Essentially a desert country, Namibia offers contrasting landscapes. The Namib Desert – believed to be the oldest desert in the world – is a vast swathe of high dunes and desolate plains with an awe-inspiring sense of space. The wind-whipped coast with innumerable shipwrecks stretches all along the hostile Namib desert. The dune fields are approximately 150 kilometres wide with some dunes as high as 300 metres. It is the oldest desert

It is the oldest desert on the earth with a unique flora and fauna. Millions of years ago the Orange river washed diamonds into the sea. Currents, waves and the wind transported them into the sand dunes of the Namib, thus creating a source of natural wealth for Namibia.

Spitzkoppe, Namibia, Rock, Rock Arch

You can climb some of the world’s highest sand dunes and a must
Avid rock climbers  should venture into Spitzkoppe located betweem  Swakopmund and Windhoek known as the Matterhorn of Namibia.

You can visit the Namib Naukluft Park, the fourth-largest conservation area in the world, where oryx stroll over apricot-, ochre- and fawn-coloured dunes tufted with grasses. The oryx antelope has become perfectly adapted to the climate. Springbok, kudu, ostrich, baboon, mountain zebra and leopard are also found here.

Zebra, Wild Animal, Wildlife, Namibia

Although apparently empty, the Namib teems with life, much of it unique to this landscape. The number of insect species is estimated at 20.000. Also among the reptiles some of the species – like the transparent Palmato Gecko – are endemic. And in Namibia, all the southern African snake species can be found, some of them poisonous like the Puffadder, Black Mamba, Green Boomslang, Cape Cobra and Spitting Cobra.

Elephant, Namibia, Etosha National Park

You can watch rare desert-adapted elephants as they browse the trees in the dry beds of the Ugab and Huab Rivers in northern Namibia, or dig down into the earth with their tusks in search of water.

These trees from the “dead Vlei” have been dead over 600 years. Or you can explore the mysteries of the vanishing ghost towns of the Namib desert.

Because Namibians believe in being up close and personal, you’re encouraged to walk or ride through the desert, but you can also take a bird’s eye view…

Namibia is one of the best game countries in Africa. Early in the 1900s, people started to take the protection of wildlife seriously and game reserves, like the 20.000 SQ km Etosha National Park, was established. Today a total of about 120.000 SQ km, some 15% of the entire country, fall under nature conservation, not to mention the many private nature and game reserves.

Namibia is a gem for those in search of wildlife and wilderness. It’s a country of compelling beauty, abundant sunshine, and unconfined space. This feeling of tranquillity and stillness combines with a landscape which is singular in its colours, full of contrasts of light and shade.

Animals, Impala, Africa, Etosha, Namibia

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