Namibia: Places to Explore

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Windhoek

The pleasant if provincial little capital city of Windhoek lies almost exactly in the center of the country and is surrounded by the Khomas Highland and the Auas and Eros mountains. With its colonial architecture, sidewalk cafés, shopping centers, and shady parks, it's by no means a hardship to spend a day or two here.

It's very likely that you'll have to take a connecting flight through Windhoek on route to your safari destination, so you'll likely spend at least one overnight here.

Settled by the Germans in the 1890s, it's an easy town to explore on foot (though summers are blisteringly hot). Main sights, which are clustered around the downtown area, include the National Gallery (where you can often purchase works in the temporary exhibits), the remarkably good craft center, and some old German architecture. The city has a population of about 250,000 and growing, most of which resides in the largely black township of Katutura. If you have a few free hours, a visit to Katutura makes an interesting half-day expedition that gives visitors at least an idea of how the majority of urban Namibians live. Windhoek is also home to the country's brewing industry—a holdover from its days as a German colony—and visits to breweries of all sizes are possible.

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