Just because you’re traveling to Windhoek doesn’t mean you need to feel confined. Namibia’s most populated city has plenty of exciting things to do that’s worthy of a weekend getaway (or a day’s trip). So pack a couple shirts and get ready to see more of Namibia beyond Windhoek. Here are some fantastic weekend getaways from the city.
Visit the small town of Okahandja that’s northwest of Windhoek and home to the Herero people. There, you’ll explore local markets selling fantastic art pieces like wooden sculptures of spiritual beings that play a significant role in their culture. You’ll want to visit the Mbangura Woodcarvers Market, where talented carvers work on creating stunning pieces out of wood. When visiting Okahandja, you’ll want to stay for a night before heading back and we highly recommend Okahandja Country Hotel, where you’ll sleep like a baby in its canopied mosquito net beds inside a luxurious cottage.
Get your safari fix in the Kalahari Desert near the border (and into) Botswana. A few hours by car will take you to one of the best places to see wildlife in the world. To reduce your time driving, you can visit the Kalahari Basin that spills out into Namibia. Wildlife that are known to roam around include the lions, cheetahs, leopards, antelopes, giraffes, meerkats, warthogs and many more. Plan a stay at some of the well-known Namibian game lodges like Kalahari Bush Breaks and Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge, where guests will get to join safari tours in the basin.
NamibRand Nature Reserve
See something remarkable during your weekend getaway by visiting NamibRand Nature Reserve. It takes about five hours to get there by car from Windhoek but is well worth the drive as you’ll come across incredible views that resemble Mars. But the view of the desert isn’t the only thing to marvel at, stick around after dark and watch the sky get coated with glitter. This part of Namibia is arguably the best spot in the world for stargazing since it’s so isolated with little light pollution. You’ll want to stay at accommodations like Wolwedans Dune Lodge in the heart of the reserve, where you can sleep in the open air luxury tents and sleep under the stars.
Three hours west by car will land you in Swakopmund, a beach-side town known for its rich German heritage and it shows in its architecture. Visitors can explore the German Colonial buildings in this town. Expect to find plenty of Bavarian restaurants serving up delicious sausages and pretzels, too. Swakopmund is unique in location since if you look on one side of the city you’ll see the ocean, but look directly in the other location and you’ll find the vast desert, creating a huge contrast in landscape. Golfers, you’ll love this — the city is known for having some of the most prestigious golf courses including the Rossmund Golf Resort & Lodge, a luxury accommodation where you’ll have access to a pristine green golf course and retreat to a comfy, elegant room.
Gross-Barmen Hot Springs Resort
Nothing beats a rejuvenating dip in a hot springs in the middle of the desert. Gross-Barmen Hot Springs Resort is a popular retreat for tourists since its only an hour drive from Windhoek, meaning guests can opt for a day trip or stay a night or two for a weekend getaway. The spa was built in 1977 to center around its natural hot spring that stays warm year-round. When staying at the resort, you’ll have a room with a small hot spring pool out on the patio or you can use the communal Olympic-size pool to enjoy the view of the palm trees and dunes in the backdrop. Bring binoculars with you, the resort is a popular destination for birds, where up to 150 species are known to visit the. The resort has its own additional spa treatments like massages and facials, making this a total relaxation destination.
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