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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 09, 2019
Headline for Top 5 Things to Do in Windhoek – exploring Namibia's capital
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Top 5 Things to Do in Windhoek – exploring Namibia's capital

If you're planning a holiday to Namibia, you will probably be passing through Windhoek. Most people don't stay in the capital, but there's plenty of things to do if you change your mind. Here are our top 5.

1

Visit the Independence Memorial Museum

Learn all about the country's struggle for independence and the lead up to the termination of apartheid at the Independence Memorial Museum. The museum houses an extensive collection of artefacts, paintings, and informative exhibits that recount the story of resistance to the previous colonial regime and the struggle for freedom. The museum is open daily, and entrance is free for all. If you have time to spare, head over to the adjacent National Museum of Namibia, based inside a historical German fort, for an in-depth history lesson of this beautiful country.

2

Namibia Craft Center

Of all the things to do in Windhoek, the craft centre is probably the most relaxing and entertaining. It's located in the centre of town inside a brewery complex, near several international hotels like Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino, for example, so finding it is easy. The craft centre is filled with unique souvenirs and handicrafts ranging from hand-carved wooden carvings to jewellery made from ostrich eggshell and beaten copper. There's also a gallery inside which features the work of local artists. The prices are generally higher than what you'd find at roadside vendors, but the quality is much higher, and the market is clean and safe for long periods of browsing. Once you've stocked up on purchases, head over to craft café – which specialises in creating tasty dishes out of locally sourced produce.

3

National Botanic Garden of Namibia

Covering over 12 hectares of land, the National Botanic Garden provides a stepping stone for those interested in learning more about the country's natural flora. Unlike the typical botanical garden which features exotic walkways and landscaped gardens, the gardens here have been left in their natural state. This was done to conserve water and showcase the incredible wild beauty and of the country' indigenous flora. As a result, the botanical garden may appear parched for water during the winter months. Bird watchers will have plenty to keep them occupied here as the garden is home to over 75 species of birdlife. The botanical garden is open weekdays and entrance is free.

4

Katutura township

Located north of the Windhoek city centre is the Katutura township. The town has an unhappy history. During the 1950s, coloured residents living in a suburb of Windhoek were forcibly relocated to Katutura. Here, they were ordered to pay high rents for homes that were barely liveable in and to commute long distances to their inner-city jobs. Poverty is a major problem in the town but it's also the centre of a lively culture that shouldn't be forgotten. A visit to Katutura will give travellers an insight into the lives of the city's residents and the struggles they faced during apartheid.

5

Daan Viljoen Game Reserve

If you've got days to spare, visit the Daan Viljoen Game Reserve. Located 25 km from the city centre, it's nowhere as big as the Etosha National Park, but its travel convenience makes it a great option for those strapped for time. The reserve has no large predators, so visitors are safe to explore on foot via two open trails or they can opt for a bike ride or 4-wheel drive along the route. The Daan Viljoen Game Reserve is a sanctuary for the desert-adapted oryx, and steenbok; as well as giraffe and zebra. In addition, there are over 200 bird species that live in the park.

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