In a nation as desolate as Namibia, where the population is so sparse it’s still possible to travel hundreds of kilometers without seeing another soul, the city of Windhoek, with its well-paved streets, western buildings and big city feel is a surprising entry into the country. While the rest of the country is really where the beauty is, there’s plenty to explore in the capital and Windhoek works well as a springboard to several nearby towns, too.
Day 1: Explore the City
Start the day with a strong cup of French pressed coffee and some non-traditional bites at the café inside the Windhoek Craft Center. Then comb through the brightly colored fabrics, handmade bracelets and locally woven bowls and baskets before venturing to the National Museum of Namibia. Spend the afternoon strolling through the galleries of this extensive collection, which includes artifacts from the multiple tribes that make up Namibia’s diverse population. Learn about the country’s history of apartheid, German and South African rule, Herero genocide and the diamond mining industry before heading for a frosty beer and wild bush meat at Joe’s Beer House.
Day 2: Get Out of Town
Spend the day outside of the city by heading out to Sesriem Canyon. This impressive natural landscape is the second most popular tourist attraction in the Namib-Naukluft National Park and holds the unique distinctions of being one of the few areas in Namibia with water year round. Explore the vast canyon and navigate the narrow crevasses while enjoying one of the natural geological wonders that makes this day-trip from Windhoek so unique.
Day 3: Africats
After two days of exploring Namibia’s culture and natural landscapes, it’s time to get in touch with the country’s well-known wildlife. Hire a private car and head out early for a day-long adventure at the popular Africat. Located between Okahandja and Otjiwarango, Africat is a premiere spot for travelers interested in animal conservation. Visitors will enjoy homemade snacks, a scenic mountain hike, a refreshing dip in the camp-site pool and an up-close look at some of the country’s famous big cats during a visit to site’s rehabilitation center.