Windhoek, Namibia

Travelogue Namibia 6: Windhoek


2 October 2021

Very quickly not used to early mornings and waking up to alarms, it was a necessary evil in order to get our Covid PCR tests done in time to get the results before our flight out the next day. Deemed mandatory for us to get home again, the labs would take anywhere between 6 and 48 hours to produce results – depending on what you’re prepared to pay. With Namibian towns being as spread out as they are, and the nearest testing station to our camp at Okaukuejo being 3 hours away (and in the wrong direction), we reasoned that it made sense to get up a bit earlier and get to Windhoek in time for the 14 hour one, at the R900 per person rate.

We kept to time, bidding final farewells to the watering hole and its exhibitionist wildlife residents just after 07h00, and still had time for a buffet breakfast (and the now-obligatory tyre check) before departing at 07h30.

It was tar road all the way, so the 4 hour estimate was accurate, and allowed for a leg-stretch midway.

We had booked our Covid tests at a “roadblock” station and, not sure exactly what we were looking for, we were fortunate that the little pop-up shop in a shipping container was both exactly where we expected it to be on our online map and adjacent to a matching pop-up Police station with loads of signage or we might have blinked and missed it.

Despite having completed the laborious online booking forms, the attendant was not expecting us. It didn’t matter though, there was no queue and so a quick clipboard and form later, he was poking swabs up noses and down throats, as per preference.

30km later we arrived at the APS Guesthouse on Robert Mugabe Avenue in Windhoek. We had lovely big en suite rooms… Not that we needed them for much since we left almost immediately.

We walked to the Heinitzberg Castle, a beautiful old building from the turn of the last century. Count von Schwerin had built the elegant castle in 1914 for his fiancee, Margarethe von Heinitz, and it would serve as a great location for our welcome drink, with its panoramic views over Windhoek and its old-world charm.

Our next stop was quite the opposite; a very down-to-earth locals’ pub called Andy’s, where we had to line the stomach with the chips platter with its thick cheesy, garlic and bacon bits sauce. 

Our highlight for the day was a trip to Joe’s Beerhouse, which by all accounts was a ‘must do’ when in Windhoek, for its combination of bric-a-brac decor and delicious menu. Inspired by both German and Namibian influences, the secret sauce in the menu was traditional favourites with a twist, like the Eisbein burger (that Michele had), the game lasagne (that Chris had) and the Oryx schnitzel (that I had, obviously). With great service and a very relaxed atmosphere, it was easy to pass more than a couple of hours relaxing at our table in the gardens. 

It started getting a little chilly in the evening, so we headed back to our guesthouse, which had a lovely pool deck and some very exuberant guests who kept us entertained as we shamelessly eavesdropped into their conversation.


On our very last morning of what had been a very eventful week or so, we were able to sleep in a bit, and still get in a run before breakfast.

Having made no effort on the previous day, we felt it worthy to do a short circuit of some of the basic sights, that were fortunately all very easily accessible on the grid of landmark roads where we were staying.

We ran down Jan Jonker Street, named after a Namibian tribal leader from the 1800s, far enough to be able to cut across and back to our road to see the famous Christuskirche (built in 1896) and some monuments to Namibian government. A very easy 5km loop, nice and flat.

Breakfast was a treat with the a la carte menu offering both French Toast and Canadian Flapjack options, among others. With the long journey home ahead of us, we filled our boots to see us home.