Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia. This used to be German South-West Africa then it was ruled by South Africa post WW2 and then all but the town of Walvis Bay got self-rule in 1990. South Africa gave up Walvis Bay in 1994. Windhoek is a real dessert town of only 325,000 people, while all of Namibia only has 2.6 million. Many buildings still have a German look and the language is still widely spoken. Even at 1700 metres elevation, it is damn hot.
We stayed for a few days and that time was centred around our hostel Paradise Garden Backpackers. The place was ok but our room was small and had only a small fan so it was damn hot with five bodies each night. Most of the other travellers there were Germans or international students doing some university work there. We met two British doctors there who we later met up with in Namibia’s second town of Swakopmund. The kids watched some movies and played in the pool a lot while the adults spent an inordinate amount of time planning how best to see Namibia and Botswana.
Over several days while roasting in Windhoek we contemplated many options for seeing Namibia and Botswana. We did not go and see any of the city other than the supermarket at the mall and a travel agency. We looked at organised tours with driver/guide, we looked at going it on our own and we looked at a kind of hybrid of the two. In the end we chose the hybrid approach – we would drive (ok mostly M.C.) and they would book our accommodations with our guidance. We spoke to the two main backpacker type travel agencies – Chameleon Travel and The Cardboard Box. We gave them a list of all the things we wanted to see plus a price point for accommodation and they got back to us with their best package. In the end we went with Lily at The Cardboard Box and she set us up with an amazing 28 day adventure! Our last thing to do was pick up our vehicle and fill it with our gear, some food and water! We were pretty stoked when we set off in our Ford Ranger 4×4 affectionately dubbed ‘The Beast’