So what should you do if you only have 12 hours in Windhoek? You are on a long layover or maybe done with the business meetings you came for? Regardless you have some free time on your hands and would like to see some sites. This has happened to me quite often. It can become quite overwhelming trying to figure out the perfect one day itinerary for an unfamiliar place. Hopefully, this post makes things a bit easier.
My preference is always my own accommodation, after all its usually included, so its make sense. Sleep in, enjoy your breakie and be ready to take a taxi at 08:45 to Chameleon backpackers for their free walking tour.
Alternatively visit one of my favorite spots in the capital:
1. Olivias Kitchen, Am Weinberg Estate, Klein Windhoek. Stunning place. Their Instagram will convince you @oliviaswindhoek
2. Jonno’s Bistro. Auas Valley Mall. Excellent food and great vibe. This place is excellent cause Jonno’s always there. He’s on Insta @jonnosbistro
09:00-11:30 Free walking tour
I don’t believe it is common knowledge that Windhoek has a free walking tour. Almost everyday starting from Chameleon backpackers at 09:00. Off course it’s not completely free, usually the guide expects a small token of appreciation at the end, but its as free as it gets.
And its good, very good. It covers all of the most important sites in the city with local knowledge at hand should you have questions. The perfect way to take in the city and its sites. Insta @chameleonbackpackers
11:30-13:30 Kapana at Single Quarters
Done with the tour, its time for lunch and we are going local. After all you can’t claim to have been to Windhoek if you did not have kapana at single quarters. It is a short N$12 taxi ride from town to Katutura.
Kapana is a local delicacy. It is beef cuts grilled over an open fire spiced to your liking. You take your time tasting and socializing at the various stands until you find your flavor. Then add some tomato and onion relish, a junkie aka a vetkoek and is best enjoyed with an ice cold Coca-Cola.
14:00-17:30 Game drive Okapuka
Make your way 30km north of Windhoek to the Okapuka Game Ranch. The best game drive within 20mins of the city. They have various big game, great bird watching and knowledgeable local guides. Visit their website to see the various options and give them a call to book yours.
Budget Alternative: Hiking at Daan Viljoen Game Park
If a game drive does not suit your pocket, a more budget friendly option is a visit to Daan Viljoen Game Park. The park is short 25km West of Windhoek and is home to several large game species such as mountain zebras, giraffe, kudus, klipspringers, blue wildebeest, springbok and many others. It also has more than 200 species of birds and a multitude of flora. Of interest is the several hiking trails that criss cross the small park. Unlike other parks in Namibia you are allowed to leave your vehicle and explore at your own pace.
18:00-19:30 Sundowners at the Hilton Skybar
Head back to the city to the Hilton hotel in the center of town. They have a rooftop bar with a panaromic view of the city skyline. Less and less so as more buildings spring up around it, but still a good view. Most importantly there is an unhindered view towards the west where the sun sets. Order your favorite cocktail and enjoy!
19:30-22:30 Dinner at Joe’s Beerhouse
Windhoek’s most popular restaurant ever since I can remember. Joe’s Beerhouse serves meat, more meat and then some meat on top of that meat. This includes beef, chicken, pork and various game like oryx, kudu, zebra and springbok. The food is amazing, portions are liberal and very affordable.
Equally amazing is the decor. Very unique and one of the reasons I always take visitors there. You can spend hours working your way through all of it. Truly special. Head to their website and do a virtual walk through to see for yourself. Oh and I forgot to mention they serve a variety of ice cold local beers, ask for their specialty the 1meter beer😉 Head to their IG account for latest specials & events @Joesbeerhouse
So there you go, a complete 12 hour itinerary for Windhoek the capital of Namibia. Better than any red bus tour, promise 🙂
Enjoy your travels & be safe!