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Capital City Windhoek

ID: w181056 View large map

Located in Namibia :: Central Namibia  :: Windhoek
Category: Places :: Capital City


With a population of more than 325 000 people, the capital is the country's largest city and its social, economic and cultural centre. Its origins date back to 1849 when the Oorlam Captain, Jan Jonker Afrikaner, settled at the site of the strongest spring in the area. It's unclear where the name Windhoek originates from, but one theory is that Afrikaner called it Windhoek (Afrikaans for windy corner) as the area experiences windy days for more than 70% of the year. The Namas called it "/Ai-//Gams" (Fire Water) and the Herero named it "Otjomuise" (Place of Steam), after the vapour escaping from the hot springs in the area.

Captain Afrikaner built a stone church which was also used as a school but the settlement was destroyed during the war between the Nama and Herero. In 1884 South West Africa was declared a German protectorate and on 18 October 1890 Major Curt Von Francois laid the foundation stone of a fort in Windhoek, from where the Schutztruppe could maintain order. The strong springs in the area provided water for drinking and irrigation, and Windhoek formed a buffer between the warring Herero and Ovambo.

After the War of Resistance ended in 1907 development accelerated as people migrated from the countryside to the city and soon there was also a large influx of European settlers from Germany and South Africa. The German influence can still be seen today.

Traveller Description

Windhoek is a beautiful, friendly, modern city that's well worth a couple of days of your time. The historical city centre is easily explored on foot and there are other attractions worthy of a visit.

• The Independence Museum was erected in 2014 and showcases Namibia's history of anti-colonial resistance and the national liberation struggle.
• Christuskirche near the Independence Museum is the oldest Evangelical Lutheran church in Namibia. This beautiful church was built in the Gothic revival style with Art Nouveau elements.
• Alte Feste is the original fort built by Curt von Francois and is the oldest building in Namibia. A statue of a soldier on a horse, Reiterdenkmal, which commemorated the German people who died during the Namibian War of Resistance, was removed from its position in front of the fort in 2013 and replaced with a Genocide Memorial. A statue of Sam Nujoma, founding President of the Namibia nation, was erected on the same hill overlooking the city.
• Tintenpalast ('Ink Palace') houses the parliament and gets its name from the high amount of ink used by the members of parliament, this building was completed in 1913.
• The Parliament Gardens are one of the most beautiful gardens in Namibia and the perfect place for a relaxing stroll or a picnic.
• The National Botanical Garden displays Namibia's plants in a 12-hectare nature reserve. Note, it's closed on weekends and public holidays.
• Heroes’ Acre is Namibia's official war memorial. Built on one of the hills just south of Windhoek, it was designed to foster a spirit of patriotism and nationalism.
• The Gibeon Meteorites Display showcases 30 pieces of a large meteorite weighing more than 15 tons, said to be over 600 million years old.
• The Namibia Craft Centre is situated inside the old breweries complex on Tal Street and houses Namibian arts and crafts, bookshops, a restaurant and coffee shop. It is the city’s tourist hub.

Address :  Central Namibia
Cellphone Reception :  Good Main Cellular Network :  MTC. LEO

Destination Information
Police Hospital Doctor Embassy Tourist Information Office Petrol Diesel Gas Refill Laundromat Shopping Mall Shopping Centre Bank ATM Foreign Exchange Internet Cafe Lodging Camping Butchery Bakery Liquor Restaurant Pharmacy Airport Car Rental Tyre Repair Tyre Sales Mechanical Repair Towing Service
Facilities :  Tour Services
Police Telephone :  +264(0)61 209 3111/ +264(0)61 209 3359
Hospital Telephone :  +264(0)61 203 3111/+264(0)61 203 9111/+264(0)61 433 1000/+264 61 22 9246 (Mediclinic Emergency)
Doctor Telephone :  +264(0)61 411 150(Central Family Practice)
Embassy Telephone :  +264(0)61 205 7111(South African Embassy)
Tourist Information Telephone :  +264(0)81 222 1448
Towing Service Telephone :  +264(0)81 244 1991(R & R Recovery Windhoek)
Petrol Type :  LRP/ULP
Diesel Type :  50ppm Diesel

Other Facilities :  Gymnasium. Sportgrounds/Showgrounds. Auto Dealer. Auto Spares. Auto Specialist Service. Court. Government Services. Hostel Services. Municipal. School/s. Weather Station. Commercial Offices. Physiotherapist. Veterinarian/Animal Hospital. Theatre/Cinema. Bar/s. Carwash. Courier Service. Insurance/Financial Services. Photocopying Services. Plumbing Services. Architects. Computer/IT Services. Fast Food. Research Services. Upholsters. Radio Station.

Game Viewing Game Drives Quad Bikes 4WD Trails Tours and Excursions Hiking Trails Guided Walks Mountain Biking Horse Trails Fishing Swimming Canoeing Makoro Trips Boat Trips Bird Watching Hot-air Balloon Flights Stargazing Photography
Night Drives, Picnics, Wine Tasting, Donkey Trekking, Donkey Cart Drives, Camel Rides, Animal Feeding, Golf, Diving, Snorkelling, Surfing, Sandboarding, Water Skiing, Sea_Kayaking, Sailing, White Water Rafting, Whale or Dolphin Watching, Scenic Flights
More Activities :  Sky Diving. Camping Safaris. Desert Excursions. Hunting. Ice Skating.
Notes on Activities :  (Some activities may be offered nearby).

Travelling Information
Closest Main Route :  B1, B6, C28

There are a number of embassies and consulates in Windhoek. Go to to see if your country is represented in Namibia.

Take note: Garage or Petrol cards will no longer be accepted as a legal tender for purchase of fuel, spares or repairs in Namibia. Cash, Debit and Credit cards are accepted at most fuel stops in the larger and touristy towns. Just always take extra cash with in case they only accept cash!

The hospital number for the Windhoek Central Hospital is +264(0)61 203 3111/+264(0)61 203 9111
The hospital number for the private Roman Catholic hospital, open 24hrs is +264(0)61 270 2227/+264(0)61 270 2143.
The contact number for the Medi-Clinic hospital in Windhoek is +264 (0)61 433 1000/ +264 61 22 9246 (Mediclinic Emergency department).

Windhoek meets all a traveller’s requirements. There are modern, well-stocked grocery stores, specialist shops selling camping and travel gear, banks for foreign exchange, and much more.

Also try these numbers: +264(0)81 244 1991 (R & R Recovery Windhoek); +264(0)61 217 421 / +264(0)81 128 3458 (24/7 Recovery Windhoek).

There are a number of embassies and consulates in Windhoek. Go to to see if your country is represented in Namibia.

 Travel Tip!

You are not allowed to take photographs of government buildings in Namibia, even if there are no signs to this effect. Opening hours of museums may be restricted to office hours so it’s best to confirm these before planning your day.

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