Independence Avenue, Windhoek
Written by Rachel Lang
Namibia’s capital is a colourful, modern African city melded with austere German architecture dating back to the colonial era. “A lovely sunny climate all year round makes it ideal to explore by foot,” says Sue Wassung, a volunteer with IWAN (International Women’s Association of Namibia).
Sue has lived in the city for the last eight years and proudly calls it home, selecting Independence Avenue and its surrounds for the best sightseeing experiences.
“The Namibia Craft Centre is a celebration of local artistry, with vibrant beadwork and baskets beside beautifully hand-printed fabrics. My favourite gifts to purchase are the dolls sold by local Herero ladies, in their long Victorian dresses and fabric adornments shaped to resemble the horns of a cow on their heads,” she says. “On entering the centre, don’t miss the Orumbonde Book Shop, which has an impressive collection of unusual finds; I can get lost there for hours.”
For a delicious slice of apple pie, head to the centre’s main restaurant, Craft Café, which becomes The Weinberg Craft Kitchen by night. Within the same courtyard is Jojo’s Music and Arts Café, an eclectic culinary hotspot with “the most unusual food combinations” put together by Namibia’s award-winning chef David Thomas. “The Warehouse Theatre across the road hosts a range of visiting musicians and the best local artists; there is always something new happening there.”
“I love taking a slow stroll with a refreshing frozen yoghurt from Cramer’s Frozen Yoghurt Coffee Bar onto the Zoo Park lawn.” The space was a former zoo and the site of a Stone Age elephant hunt dating back 5,000 years. “Another popular picnicking spot is the immaculate garden in front of the Parliament buildings.” For the best vantage point to photograph Namibian architecture, stroll up the hill on Fidel Castro Street.
Also with an exquisite view over the city is Hotel Heinitzburg, a quaint castle erected in 1914. “Watch the sunset from the garden terrace while sipping a light refreshment with some Walvis Bay oysters,” recommends Sue. “A perfect end to your walk around Windhoek.”
For a halal option, there is the Indian restaurant Garnish, and for the more adventurous there is a Djembe drumming circle at the legendary Joe’s on Wednesday nights hosted by Drum Café Namibia. “Don’t be shy, everyone is a beginner, and it’s such fun!”
With a husband in the tourism industry, Sue Wassung has spent the better part of three decades living in some of Southern Africa’s most fascinating places, including Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and Maun, Botswana, before settling in Namibia eight years ago. She is passionate about discovering new places and meeting new people, and volunteers her time with IWAN, a social group that raises funds for Namibian and child-related charity organisations.
Distance: 6,415 km
Flight Time: 10 hours, 55 minutes
Frequency: 4 flights a week