Windhoek and Central Region Holidays
Most visitors will start or end their trip to Namibia in the small pleasant capital, Windhoek. To the north lies the wonderful AfriCat Foundation, a conservation centre offering game drives to track cheetah and leopard. Further afield, experience stunning scenery in the Erongo area northwest of Windhoek, or visit the Waterberg Plateau National Park, one of the best places in Namibia to spot rhino.
Popular Windhoek and Central Region Holidays
Windhoek is Namibia’s capital city and is located more or less at the epicentre of the country, surrounded by two deserts – the Namib to the west and the Kalahari to the east. It is an extremely small capital by global standards but with a growing population. There is a wealth of German history which is evident in its colonial architecture, but Windhoek is also surprisingly modern with a European café culture and a good selection of restaurants.
Home to Namibia’s brewing industry, including the eponymous Windhoek Lager, the city also hosts Africa’s only annual Oktoberfest. Attractions include the Christ Church (Christuskirche), the capital’s best-recognised landmark, the National Museum of Namibia which houses an excellent display on Namibia’s independence and Katutura, a former apartheid-era black township.
The AfriCat Foundation is a highlight of any visit to Namibia. It is a non profit organisation, founded in the early 1990s and their mission is the long term survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat. The foundation has saved more than 1000 predators since its inception and over 80 percent of them have been released back into the wild. AfriCat is most well known for cheetahs, but they also work with leopards, lions, hyenas and wild dogs.
Those animals that can’t be released back into the wild or are currently being rehabilitated are looked after in the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre and those who have been released live on the 200 square kilometre Okonjima Nature Reserve. As the wildlife here is collared, a game drive with a tracker usually offers a strong chance of encountering big cats at close range, although sightings can never be guaranteed.
AfriCat is open to day visitors but to get the most out of the experience a stay of one or two nights at their lodge accommodation, Okonjima Plains Camp is highly recommended. We at Discover the World are big advocates of the AfriCat Foundation and are proud to sponsor a cheetah there, called Dune.
Waterberg Plateau National Park
This national park encompasses the Waterberg Plateau, a particularly prominent tableland elevated high above the plains of the Kalahari. The plateau is largely inaccessible so in the early 1970s several of Namibia’s endangered species were translocated here to protect them from predators and poaching to extinction.
In 1989, black rhino were reintroduced to the area from Damaraland, sparking a successful breeding programme of national and international significance for the species. The Waterberg Plateau National Park is ecologically diverse and rich and is home to over 200 different species of birds, as well as some rare species of small antelope on the lower hills of the mountain.