10 Facts: Windhoek

Windhoek is the biggest city in Namibia (one of the countries neighbouring South Africa). I’ve never been to Namibia, but I would like to visit this fascinating country. This city has been selected as the 10 facts topic for today.

Here are some facts about Windhoek:

  • The first settlement of the area occurred in 1840 by Jonker Afrikaner who built his first house next to present South African High Commission (previously Berg hotel). For a long time Windhoek was a small settlement abandoned from time to time during Nama-Herero wars. Windhoek was officially founded in 1890 when the Germans built a fort and started to occupy the area permanently.
  • Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia and has an estimated population of about 300,000 people.
  • The German colonial era came to an end during World War I when South African troops occupied Windhoek in May 1915 on behalf of the British Empire.
  • Alte Feste (German for “Old Fortress”) was built in 1890 and today houses the National Museum in Windhoek.
  • Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport, situated 45 kilometres outside Windhoek, handles well over 400,000 passengers a year. It has 1 runway without capacity limitations.
  • Virtually every Namibian national enterprise has its headquarters in Windhoek.
  • Windhoek is one of the world’s major trade centers for Karakul sheep skins.
  • The first Jacaranda trees were planted in Windhoek in 1917.
  • The Avis dam near Windhoek was constructed in 1930.
  • The city of Windhoek is traditionally known by two names: Ai-Gams, from the Nama people, which literally refers to the hot springs that were once part of Windhoek, while the second name, Otjomuise, meaning a place of steam, was given by the Herero people. Both traditional names reference the hot springs.

Watch this space for more 10 facts post for regular updates. If you have anyhting to add to this list please free free to comment on this post.

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone
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