Shenton Safaris

Cruising through colourful Katutura

Day one of Go Big Namibia took us on an exciting whizz-about tour through Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, a vibrant place that is a blend of old and new – long-standing colonial churches built by early German settlers stand amongst bustling modern-day infrastructure.

The city is safe to explore on foot, and, if you know where to go, you’re in for a delightful cultural and culinary adventure!

We began with a visit to the pretty, well-maintained Parliament Gardens, a great place to picnic. From the gardens it is an easy walk to Christ Church, a National Monument and one of the oldest churches in Windhoek, built by early German colonialists who shipped the windows and doors all the way from Munich. The Rider Memorial also known as the ‘peaceful monument’ is quite impressive.

Interestingly, the Parliament Gardens used to be an olive plantation

Interestingly, the Parliament Gardens used to be an olive plantation

Christ Church, one of Windhoek’s National Monuments completed in 1910

Christ Church, one of Windhoek’s National Monuments completed in 1910

The Rider Memorial

The Rider Memorial

My favourite part of Windhoek was, without a doubt, the bright and colourful township of Katutura.

When the first World War ended, Namibia (then South West Africa) was passed from German colonial rule to South African governance (under the League of Nations Mandate). South Africa imposed their system of apartheid, forcibly dividing Windhoek into areas inhabited according to race and ethnic groups. Katutura Township was the area allocated to “blacks” and remains home to 65% of Windhoek’s population.

I recommend taking a slow drive along Katutura’s legendary Evaline Street (‘the street that never sleeps’) which overwhelmed me with its bright colourful houses, shebeens, hairdresses, friendly car-washes and enthusiastic entrepreneurs.

eveline-street

bad-74-boys

lounge-bar

western-bar

hair-salon

We then stopped to explore the extremely popular meat market at Single Quarters, which is an amazing experience, but definitely not for the faint-hearted! (Vegetarians be warned!) If you’re brave enough, join the locals by tucking into some famous Kaplan (braaied) meat, or, if you are feeling particularly adventurous, try a Mopane worm!

Mopane worms are protein-rich caterpillars considered an African delicacy

Mopane worms are protein-rich caterpillars considered an African delicacy

While taking some of these photos I nearly tripped over a cow’s head!

While taking some of these photos I nearly tripped over a cow’s head!

According to our tour guide David Tjivava, the meat market is also a popular place for couples to go on dates!

According to our tour guide David Tjivava, the meat market is also a popular place for couples to go on dates!

‘If there are any vegetarians in Namibia, they are 1% of our population!’ said our Namibian-born tour guide David

‘If there are any vegetarians in Namibia, they are 1% of our population!’ said our Namibian-born tour guide David

We then headed to the ‘Soweto Market’ where I couldn’t resist getting a few braids done by lovely hairdresser, Maria. The speed at which she worked was unbelievable – intricate, perfect little plaits were done in no time at all.

Namibian’s take pride in their beautifully braided hair, you hardly ever see a Namibian lady having a bad hair day!

Namibian’s take pride in their beautifully braided hair, you hardly ever see a Namibian lady having a bad hair day!

A little way out of town, we visited a place called Penduka, a peaceful, innovative initiative which empowers physically disadvantaged women. The women produce and sell exquisite handcrafts, which are imported to Holand, Germany and France. The project has spread throughout Namibia and assisted no less than five hundred women. Penduka also rests beside a beautiful lake, a great spot for bird-watchers.

I loved these beautiful hand-sewn fabric bags made at Penduka and couldn’t resist buying one

I loved these beautiful hand-sewn fabric bags made at Penduka and couldn’t resist buying one



Rachel Lang

Hi, I’m Rach . If not adventuring in the African bush, the chances are I’m dreaming about it. My childhood played a big role in this passion as I was privileged to travel much of Southern Africa from an early age. Needless to say, I’m happiest barefoot with a sketchbook in hand – watching elephants at a water hole or listening to lions roaring around a campfire. Wildlife, children and storytelling are a big part of my life. Follow my adventures on my blog www.bushboundgirl.com

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