The best outdoor spots
Like the rest of Namibia, Windhoek is an outdoor destination with lots of hiking trails and family activities on offer.
Avis Dam (built in 1933) is the perfect Sunday hangout for families, runners and dogs. It stretches into the foothills of the Eros and Auas Mountains, so there’s lots of ground for hikers to cover. Birdwatchers can tick 187 species off their list and fishermen can cast a line for bream, barbel and carp. Have a picnic and watch the sunset from the dam wall. Where? 3 km outside the city centre, on the B6 to the airport. Entrance fee: R20 per vehicle. Contact: 00 264 61 255 224; avisdam.org
Daan Viljoen Game Reserve
The Daan Viljoen Game Reserve (4 000 ha) is in the hills of the Khomas Hochland. The Sun Karros lodge in the reserve was upgraded three years ago. Day visitors are welcome – do the 6,5 km game drive (a 4x4 or a vehicle with high ground clearance is recommended). Game includes wildebeest, springbok, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe and eland. The reserve also has two hiking trails: the easy Wag ’n Bietjie (3 km) to the Stengel Dam and the more strenuous Rooibos Trail (9 km). Where? 18 km outside Windhoek, next to the C28. Entrance fee: Day visitors R40 per person; R10 per vehicle. Contact: 00 264 61 232 393; sunkarros.com
Katutura, meaning “the place where people do not want to live”, was established under apartheid laws in 1961. Today it’s a dynamic suburb that houses more than two thirds of Windhoek’s population. It’s even sometimes known as Matatura, “the place where people want to live”.
Explore Katutura on a bike ride with Katu Tours (7 km; 3½ hours). Highlights on this circular route include a visit to the bustling Evelyn Street, the Soweto Market and Single Quarters (where you can eat kapana – a meat dish – and drink the locally brewed oshikundu). Where? Green Mountain Dam Road at Penduka, next to the Goreangab Dam. When? Tours depart Tuesday to Sunday at 8.30 am. Cost: R350 per person for groups of two to 15 people (no children under 14). Contact: 00 264 61 210 097; katutours.com