Is fully geared
up to meet the demands of the business and tourist. The city is one
of Africa's most popular international conference centres. The road
system is well signed and easy to navigate, and the traffic is quite
orderly. You'll find clean streets, groomed gardens, bistro cafes,
modern shopping malls, good restaurants, and accommodation to suite
your budget. The official language
of the country is English, but Afrikaans remains the 'Lingua Franca'
plus you'll find German spoken by many.
The city nestles
in a valley having the Eros Mountains to the North and East, while
the Auas Mountains forms the borderline of the South and Western side
of the city. The altitude of 1650 meters is comparable to that of
Johannesburg. Temperatures in the summer can approach 40°c
and most people can be seen drifting into any of the large modern
air-conditioned shopping malls. During the winter months night-time
temperatures can drop below zero, and the air at this altitude is very
dry. You may want to apply lip-balm and use a skin
moisturizer after showering.
a pleasant mixture of the city's historical buildings alongside modern high-rise
office complexes. You'll find old German-style building having steep snow-roofs
alongside modern high-rise office complexes. The city has plenty of modern shopping malls and sensible controls
regarding street traders. The African curio market area in The Post
Street Mall is orderly and tourist friendly and well
worth a stroll through. Have some fun. You'll enjoy the bargaining spirit
of the local vendors. It's usually courteous and often
There are quite a few points of interest which can be
seen lower down on the page with links to detailed descriptions.
Windhoek - What's in a name?
Until about 50 years ago when the demand on drinking
water was much less than today, the underground water at Windhoek was tapped
by artesian wells and came out of the ground at temperatures so hot that it
was channeled through a series of coolers before being distributed into the
city's piped system. The demands from an expanding population lowered the
water table, and in modern times Windhoek's water is mainly supplied from
the S. Von Bach Dam situated at Okahandja.
Before the white man came to Namibia. the Nama people
referred to the area as Ai-Gams which means "fire water". The Herero poeple
called the area Otjimuise, meaning "place of smoke" referring to the steam
that rose form the hot springs.
When the Oorlam Warlord Jonker Afrikaner, who
originated from the Klaver district of the Western Cape Province of South
Africa settled here in 1840 he named the area Windhoek. There was a larger
settlement in what is now Windhoek proper, and a smaller settlement in what
is now referred to as Klein (small) Windhoek.
The Germans renamed the area Windhuk in 1903 and at
the time they also referred to the two areas as being separate and know as
Grosse and Klein WIndhuk.
Following the 1st World War the South Africans, who
were given the mandate over the territory, renamed the area Windhoek in 1919
and it has remained so until today.
As with most cities worldwide, Windhoek also has a minority criminal
element that tends to prey on visitors, so before proceeding with your
journey please read the following ►Your
Awareness and Safety
Road Distances from Windhoek