Orientation

Set among low hills, Windhoek enjoys dry, clean air, and a healthy highland climate, which means in winter the nights are cold.

It’s not a big city and is eminently walkable; add to this a mixed population, a pedestrian-friendly city centre, a relaxed, relatively hassle-free pace and an utterly cosmopolitan outlook and Windhoek makes for very pleasant exploration indeed.

Central Windhoek is bisected by Independence Ave, where most shopping and administrative functions are concentrated. The shopping district is focused on the Post St pedestrian mall and the nearby Gustav Voigts Centre, Wernhill Park Centre and Levinson Arcade. Zoo Park, beside the main post office, provides a green lawn and shady lunch spots.

North along Independence Ave are the industrial expanses of Windhoek’s Northern Industrial Area. To the west and northwest are the high-density townships of Khomasdal and Katutura, which are slowly developing into amenable neighbourhoods, but still have several pockets of serious poverty. In other directions, middle- and upper-class suburbs such as Klein Windhoek and Eros Park sprawl across the hills that encircle the city, affording impressive views.

Immediately beyond the city limits, the wild country begins. Approximately 40km to the east lies Hosea Kutako International Airport, completely surrounded by the encroaching bush. Just to the west is Daan Viljoen Game Park, where wild animals roam in the shadow of the capital.