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Windhoek

Namibia

1/5 Some of the highest dunes in the world
Some of the highest dunes in the world
2/5 The craggy mountains of the Naukluft against the red dunes of the Namib - surreal colours, no matter what time of day
© Wolwedans The craggy mountains of the Naukluft against the red dunes of the Namib - surreal colours, no matter what time of day
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4/5
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Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, was established as a town in the mid 1800s by Nama settlers from South Africa

Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, was established as a town in the mid 1800s by Nama settlers from South Africa. The area was originally known as /Ai//Gams (the / indicating one of the clicks of the Nama language) for the numerous hot springs. Today, Windhoek bears the influence of its erstwhile South African and German colonisers and has a distinctly continental feel, complete with geraniums on the balconies. Wrapped around low hills, under a hot desert sun, the town is attractive, well-kept and surprisingly cosmopolitan. It is pleasant to walk around the main shopping areas where sidewalk cafes and restaurants are juxtaposed with vendors selling curios.

In contrast to many other African countries (except South Africa) is the range of distinctive people that walk the streets of Windhoek. The Herero women in their weighty Dutch-influenced skirts and floral print head-dresses are incongruous next to the tall, statuesque Himba in full ochred splendour, or the diminutive San. Namibia is also home to distinctive groups of mixed race peoples – the Basters. The German and Afrikaans influence remains very evident here and while English is widely spoken, it is seldom the first choice.

Windhoek is a pleasantly hassle-free city and a nice place to spend a day or two either end of a safari. There are some lovely places to stay and it is worthwhile sampling the good food (game being a speciality) and interesting crafty markets and shops.

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A few of our favourite places to stay:

Olive Grove

The Olive Grove is one of those places that you can feel

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View other places to stay in Windhoek

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Who to talk to

Catherine Ronan

Rumour has it that Catherine Ronan used to be a spy. We find this slightly hard to believe as she loves nothing more than to divulge her travel secrets and infect other people with her enthusiasm.

How we can help you

At Natural High, we've had long experience putting together trips in Africa that really work. Whether it's intimate bushcamps in out of the way places, or a private lodge in one of Africa's top-billing wildlife areas, light mobile camping or remote island escapes, we know there is a lot to choose from. We're absolutely confident that we can recommend the right places for you.

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