Day 10: Ghanzi - Windhoek

Windhoek Travel Blog

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Fidel Castro Street, Windhoek
The past six days had been pretty much how I had envisaged Africa: friendly people, stunning landscapes, lots of wildlife. However, as it turned out it was only a teaser of what was yet to come, as we entered the prime destination of our trip: Namibia.

The difference with the border crossings between Zambia and Zimbabwe, or Zambia and Botswana was striking. Here the customs buildings were neat and tidy and welcoming, while customs and immigration went smooth and efficient.

We arrived in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, just after midday. Windhoek was a strange experience in several ways. Of the five countries we will be passing through this trip, Windhoek is the only capital city we visit.
Robert Mugabe Ave, Windhoek
But apart from a capital city, it was also the first proper city we'd been to this trip. Places like Livingstone, Maun and Kasane were basically one-street towns that had expanded by the influx of tourism. But Windhoek was a real city, set up to be the capital of the country, initially by the Germans and later the South Africans.

And while I generally don't care much for cities, it was nice being in one again. ATMs, proper coffee, internet, mobile phone reception - all the modern needs we had gone without for the past week.

Windhoek doesn't boast all that many sights, but we had a nice stroll through the centre of town looking at the German built Christuskirche and the nearby National Museum, which is the oldest standing building in Windhoek... just over 100 years old.
Christuskirche

Windhoek was shaped by the Germans, who bought it from the Portuguese (who had colonised Angola in the north), but after the first world war it fell under control of South Africa. Namibia only gained independence in 1990 and such it is the youngest country in Africa.
The Western world never really cared for the South African occupation but the country had unexpected help from Cuba, and this is probably one of the very few cities in the world where you will find a “Fidel Castro Street”. It gets even better though, as one block further down you find “Robert Mugabe Ave”. Interesting choice of street names. In my country streets are usually named after dead painters rather than dictators.

I always try to visit a barber while travelling. Mainly because my receding hairline simply looks better when kept short, but also because it is often a fun experience.
dinner at Joe's
I found a barber shop called The African Trend, where I was first greeted with the usual laughter. A couple of hours later I had my head clean shaven and had had my e-mail and caffeine fix.

A night in the city also meant that we'd be sleeping in a hostel tonight. Two nights in a row in a proper bed - I couldn't believe my luck!
We shared a dorm with Rudy, Sally and Paola, while the rest of the group bunked up in the other dorm.

For the last section of our tour five more girls would join in Windhoek. We met up with them at the hostel and all went out for dinner together at the famous restaurant “Joe's”,
Windhoek's liveliest and most famous restaurant. This is a huge place, with a great interior, and huge portions.
On the menu are many endemic animals, so naturally I opted for something local with the Bushmen sasote; a kebab with ostrich, zebra, kudu, buffalo, crocodile and, erm, chicken.
streets of Windhoek
Something in me tells me I didn't have all those animals on my plate though, as several pieces tasted rather the same, and there was nothing there which even remotely resembled the crocodile which I have had before.
Rudy who sat opposite of me had the same dish, but different pieces of meat. A bit of a disappointment, really.

But the atmosphere was excellent. It was great eating at a table again, after a week in the bush. Riaan and Juliana played the perfect hosts by buying us a few rounds of drinks.

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Fidel Castro Street, Windhoek
Fidel Castro Street, Windhoek
Robert Mugabe Ave, Windhoek
Robert Mugabe Ave, Windhoek
Christuskirche
Christuskirche
dinner at Joes
dinner at Joe's
streets of Windhoek
streets of Windhoek
National museum
National museum
Christuskirche
Christuskirche
National Museum
National Museum
the streets of Windhoek
the streets of Windhoek
getting a haircut
getting a haircut
getting a haircut
getting a haircut
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delete
Riaan getting us a metre beer
Riaan getting us a metre beer
my dinner, saw it running in the w…
my dinner, saw it running in the …
Riaan and his bushknuckle
Riaan and his bushknuckle
Joes
Joe's
Windhoek
photo by: v10