Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia.
It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) above sea level. The population of Windhoek in 2012 was 322,500, growing continually due to an influx from all over Namibia.
Windhoek is the social, economic, political, and cultural centre of the country. Nearly every Namibian national enterprise, governmental body, educational and cultural institution is headquartered there.
|POPULATION :||City: 322,500|
|TIME ZONE :||WAT (UTC+1) Summer: WAST (UTC+2)|
|LANGUAGE :||English 7% (official), Afrikaans 60 %, German 32%, indigenous languages 1%|
|RELIGION :||Christian 80% to 90% (Lutheran 50% at least), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%|
|AREA :||1,982 sq mi (5,133 km2)|
|COORDINATES :||1,982 sq mi (5,133 km2)|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.50% |
• Female: 51.50%
|ETHNIC :||65% Black, 17% whites,18% other|
|AREA CODE :||61|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+264 61|
This is the city where most safaris travelling through Namibia begin, and also the first point of entry in Namibia should you arrive by airplane.
English is spoken throughout Namibia (it is the country's official language and is also the medium of instruction in most schools), although in many urban areas Afrikaans (similar to Dutch) is used as a lingua franca, as 50% of the Namibian population speak Afrikaans. German is widely used in tourism. Oshiwambo is spoken by 50% of Namibians as a mother tongue.
Alte Feste – (Old Fortress) Built in 1890, today houses the National Museum.
Christuskirche – A Lutheran church opened in 1910, built in the gothic revival style with Art Nouveau elements. Situated in the historic center of Windhoek next to Parliament Gardens and Tintenpalast.
Curt von François monument in front of the municipality building. Inaugurated on 18 October 1965 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the second foundation of the town by von François.
National Library of Namibia
Reiterdenkmal (Equestrian Monument), a statue celebrating the victory of the German Empire over the Herero and Nama in the Herero and Namaqua War of 1904–1907 . The statue has been removed from its historical place next to Christuskirche in December 2013 and is now on display in the yard of the Alte Feste.
St. Marien Kathedrale
Supreme Court of Namibia – situated in Michael Scott Street on Eliakim Namundjebo Plaza. Built between 1994 and 1996 it is Windhoek's only building erected post-independence in an African style of architecture.
Tintenpalast – (Ink Palace) within Parliament Gardens, the seat of both chambers of the Parliament of Namibia. Built between 1912 and 1913 and situated just north of Robert Mugabe Avenue.
Turnhalle – neo-classicist building of Wilhelmine architecture, inaugurated in 1909.
Windhoek Public Library – built in 1925, next to the Alte Feste.
Windhoek Railway Station
Zoo Park – a public park on Independence Avenue in downtown Windhoek. The current park is landscaped and features a pond, playground and open-air theatre.
In 1840 Jonker Afrikaner established a settlement at Windhoek.
Colonial Windhoek was founded on 18 October 1890, when von François fixed the foundation stone of the fort, which is now known as the Alte Feste (Old Fortress). After 1907, development accelerated as people migrated from the countryside to the city.
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. For the next five years, a military government administered South West Africa. Development of the city of Windhoek and the nation later to be known as Namibia came to a virtual standstill. After World War II, Windhoek's development gradually gained momentum, as more capital became available to improve the area's economic climate. After 1955, large public projects were undertaken, such as the building of new schools and hospitals.
Windhoek pro forma received its town privileges on 18 October 1965 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the second foundation of the town by von François.
With Namibia's independence from South African administration in 1990, Windhoek was recognised as the capital city of South-West Africa as administered by the South African government. It continues to be the capital city of the Republic of Namibia, as well as the provincial capital of the central Khomas Region. Since then the city experienced accelerated growth and development.
Windhoek is situated in a semi-arid climatic region.
Days are mostly warm with very hot days during the summer months, while nights are generally cool.
The average annual temperature is 19.47 °C (67.05 °F), which is high for a site at such a high altitude on the edge of the tropics.
The winter months of June, July and August usually experience little or no rain. Minimum temperatures in winter range between −5 and 18 °C (23 and 64 °F). Nights are usually cool, and very cold before dawn. It almost never snows. Days are usually warm to hot, varying from a maximum of 20 °C (68 °F) in July to 31 °C (88 °F) in January.
|Daily highs (°C)||30.5||29.1||27.8||26.2||23.7||21.0||21.3||23.9||27.6||29.7||30.4||31.6|
|Nightly lows (°C)||17.8||17.2||16.1||13.2||10.0||7.1||7.0||9.0||12.6||15.0||16.2||17.3|
It sits on a sloping plain on the northern side of the Khomas Hochland (Khomas Highlands) in the Windhoek Basin valley which extends in north-southern direction for about 80 kilometres (50 mi) towards the city of Okahandja. The mean altitude of Windhoek is 1,657 metres (5,436 ft).
Expanding the town area has – apart from financial restrictions – proven to be challenging due to its geographical location. In southern, eastern and western directions Windhoek is surrounded by rocky, mountainous areas which make land development costly. The southern side is not suitable for industrial development because of the presence of underground aquifers. This leaves the vast Brakwater area north of town the only feasible place for Windhoek's expansion.
Nevertheless, Windhoek's City Council has plans of dramatically expanding the city's boundaries such that the town area will cover 5,133.4 square kilometres (1,982.0 sq mi). This will make Windhoek the third-largest city in the world by area, after Tianjin and Istanbul, although the population density is only 63 inhabitants per square kilometre.
The city is the administrative, commercial, and industrial center of Namibia. A 1992/93 study estimated that Windhoek provides over half of Namibia's non-agricultural employment, with its national share of employment in utilities being 96%, in transport and communication 94%, finance and business services 82%.
Due to its relative size Windhoek is, even more than many other national capital cities, the social, economic, and cultural centre of the country. Nearly every national enterprise is headquartered here. The University of Namibia is, too, as are the country's only theatre, all ministry head offices, and all major media and financial entities.
The governmental budget of the city of Windhoek nearly equals those of all other Namibian local authorities combined. Several shopping malls were built in the post-independence era, including Maerua Mall, Wernhil Park Mall and The Grove Mall.
Windhoek is divided into different suburbs:
Academia, Auasblick, Avis, Cimbebasia, Dorado Park, Donkerhoek,
Eros, Eros Park, GreenwellMatongo, Goreangab, Hakahana,
Havanna, Hochland Park, Katutura, Khomasdal, Kleine Kuppe,
Klein-Windhoek, Lafrenz Industrial Area, Ludwigsdorf, Luxury Hill,
NorthernIndustrial, Okuryangava, Olympia, Otjomuise,
Pionierspark, Prosperita, Rocky Crest, Southern Industrial, Suiderhof,
Wanaheda, Windhoek Central, Windhoek North, Windhoek West
The area code for Windhoek is (061). When calling Windhoek from outside Namibia do not put a '0' between the country code and the area code.
It is cheaper to buy mobile phone starter packs than rely on roaming. They will work throughout Namibia, except 'Switch' CDMA cards that only work in Windhoek.
There are a number of well-equipped Internet cafés in Windhoek.
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