Located on the Khomas Highland Plateau, at about 1600m Namibia's capital city, Windhoek, is for many tourists the starting point of their holiday. With just over 320.000 people it is the largest city in Namibia, and the social, economical and cultural centre of the country.
Being a vibrant city and the cleanest capital in Africa, it is well worth an afternoon of exploring. The "Alte Feste", the Christuskirche and the three castles of Heinitzburg, Sanderburg and Schwerinsburg, are some examples of the German colonial era.
In the historic "Old Breweries" building there is a buzzing art and crafts market where you'll find original and contemporary art from the San, Owambo, Himba and Herero and other African countries. It is the ideal place to get your souvenirs and gifts to take home.
There are many restaurants in Windhoek. But dinner (or just a drink) at the famous Joe's Beerhouse is well worth it. Enjoy the atmosphere and look at all the memorabilia collected by Joe, while endulging in the great and generous portions of German and Namibian food.
Between Okahandja, Omaruru and Otjiwarongo lies the beautiful 71.000ha wilderness area of Erindi. Originally meaning "place of water" in the Herero language, Erindi transformed from an overgrazed cattle farm in the 70's to a hunting farm and has now become one of the most gamerich areas in Namibia. Succesful conservation and rehabilitation programs have resulted in healthy populations of lion, leopard, cheetah, the once highly endangered African wilddog and the rare brown hyena. It also has one of the largest populations of black rhino in Namibia. Being a malaria free area makes it a perfect safari destination with children.
Erindi Game Reserve
Just a few hours drive from Windhoek to the West, near the town of Usakos, lies the Erongo mountain range. Erongo is actually an eroded and extinct volcano, active about 140 million years ago. To the west you find the Namib Desert and to the east a mix of woodlands and savannah. This mix in ecosystems has resulted in a remarkable variety of flora and fauna, some of it endemic or near endemic to Namibia. The area boasts a vivid array of birdlife, with species like the Damara rockrunner, the white tailed shrike and the Rüppells parrot.
The fantastic scenery, the stunning flora and fauna, together with some ancient rock paintings that are found in the area, make it an ideal place for hiking enthusiasts.
About 68km east of Otjiwarongo you'll find the Waterberg. The 405km² National Park, founded in 1972 is situated on the Waterberg Plateau and is elevated high above the Kalahari of Eastern Namibia. The area derives its name from the fact that part of the mountain absorbs rainwater like a sponge and forms natural springs that provide water year round, even in the dry season.
This area is of great historical significance as it was here that the Herero lost their last battle against the German colonial forces at the beginning of the 20th century, and fled to Botswana. Lots of Herero's lost their lives there due to the lack of food and water.
Due to the inaccesibility of big parts of the Waterberg area, many animals, especially endangered species like black and white rhino and sable antelope, were translocated here to protect them from poachers and predators.
With over 200 bird species and 25 mammal species it is a stunning area to explore on foot, with or without a guide.
Waterberg Plateau Park