10 Frequently asked questions: Windhoek International Airport
1. Is Windhoek International Airport the same as Hosea Kutako International airport?
Yes, they are the same airport. The names are used interchangeably, but the correct name is Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA). There is another airport in Windhoek called Eros, but major airlines do not land here. It is used mainly for local and private flights.
2. Is HKIA outside of Windhoek?
Yes, HKIA is situated about 40 kilometres outside the capital Windhoek. It is a scenic 45 min drive into town. Be extra vigilant when driving at night as there might be game i.e. kudus, oryx, baboons or warthogs on or next to the road.
3. Which airlines operate international flights to HKIA?
Qatar Airways (Doha)
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa)
TAAG (Luanda) Cheapest option between Namibia & Brazil
Air Namibia (Germany, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Vic Falls)
SAA (South Africa)
Eurowings (Frankfurt) Cheapest option to Germany
British Airways (South Africa)
SA Airlink (South Africa) Cheapest option to South Africa
4. How big is Hosea Kutako international airport?
Very small 🙂 you can see the one side from the other. When you are checking in you can see the arriving passengers on the other side. Less than 2 mins walk from one side to the other. You get my drift?
5. Is there public transport to/from Windhoek to HKIA?
No, there is no scheduled bus or train between these two places. Your options are 1. A friend or family member collects you by car 2. Your hotel/accommodation collects you 3. You book a private taxi, I prefer to use City Cab, its easy to book via whats app +26481 257 2188 or email email@example.com, they charge N$300 one-way, or 4. You can take a taxi from the airport, they should charge around N$300 as well. Try and share a cab to save some cash.
6. Are there car rental offices at the airport?
Yes, all the major car rental agencies have an office at HKIA. Those that don’t will usually meet you at the airport. If they don’t book somewhere else. Also see my post “Where should I rent a car from in Namibia?”.
7. Can I get a local SIM card at the airport?
Yes, our biggest local mobile service provider MTC has an office there. Pop in and purchase a SIM. They will also activate your SIM and install the necessary settings. You’ll immediately be online and be able to make calls. Also see my post “Stay connected in Namibia with a local MTC SIM card”.
8. Is cash machines and money exchange available?
Yes, there are several cash machines/ATM’s inside and at the exit of the airport. They all accept Visa/Mastercard. Not all machines accept the German Maestro cards, I believe it is only the blue Standard bank ATMs.
Money exchange is available. Look out for the Bank Windhoek exchange. It does not charge any commission.
Visa/Mastercard is accepted everywhere so you can pay by card. Please be patient in more remote areas as these machines are slow due to bad connections. And as per normal safety regs don’t allow your card to leave your sight.
9. There is a permanent roadblock between Windhoek and HKIA. What paperwork will I need if I rented a vehicle?
They do not always check every car, but likely will if they recognize the rental vehicle. They will ask for your driver’s license, passport, and paperwork for the vehicle. They will also check the vehicle to ensure the registration is in date, the tires are in good condition and that all the lights are working. If all is good you will be told to proceed.
The stops are routine. Slow down as you approach the roadblock. Switch of your radio, remove your sunglasses and roll down your window. Greet the officer and ask how she/he is doing? From there you’ll be fine. A little bit of respect and a friendly smile goes a long way in Africa.
10. On my return, what can I expect in the duty free area?
There is a lounge for those that qualify for access. Not much though, basic food & drinks, WiFi and todays paper
For the rest, there is a small and basic duty free shop. A restaurant that serves hot meals, cold beer and shows live sports. Money exchange, but no ATM’s/cash machines. Three or four curio shops. Ladies/Mens bathrooms. Free WiFi.
Bonus question: the ATM/cash machine at the airport gave me South African currency(ZAR)?
Spend it 🙂 Don’t be alarmed this is normal, well for the machines at the airport it is. ZAR is a legal tender in Namibia. Its value is the same as the Namibian dollar 1:1.
The machines are a convenience for Namibians that frequently fly to South Africa. Once we land in SA we have ZAR in hand.
Feel free to ask if you need more info.
Nick from Namibia