So we arrived at Windhoek airport, a really tiny one. And from step one, you can tell it’s Africa: buzzing insects, colorful butterflies, and all kinds of fauna at your feet.
Our first step was to find mobile data which is pretty cheap in Namibia. We took a cab on our way to Urban Camp where we rented a tent for a couple of nights until we arranged our next destinations. And it was our first experience staying at such a camp lodge. At a tent, we had a fridge and all the amenities you would be provided with at a proper hotel. And of course as a cherry on top the shower was open air. Being at the campsite felt like paradise. Tropical weather, german breakfast, german supermarket, german brot…. wait…. we are here in Africa not in Germany right?
But be ready to walk out of the campsite, take a cab to far-away markets and experience real Namibian food and people. That’s exactly what we did! After all, we came for this.. and rockandroll >_<
The things that surprised us in Windhoek:
- No grocery shops, only supermarkets. We did not find any small grocery shops in the whole city. Each time you want something you need to search for a supermarket. Which is surprising. For such a small country we expected small grocery shops owned by locals. But instead we found big chain supermarkets like Spar or Shoppers.
- Local food. Namibian food is not going to give you mouth watering feelings each time you try to recall it. It’s famous for beef jerkies(aka. Biltong), fried worms (oh yes we tried these too), and cabbage with ketchup which is called chakalaka and offered in cans too.
- Nothing like public transportation, only cabs.
- We did not see a single tourist at famous local food markets even though there were many of them at the campsites. Maybe tourists are not coming here for the local food (we kinda got them now)
- Lush green Windhoek. When you research for Namibia you’d expect desert. But Windhoek surprised us with lush green flora and humid weather. We saw one of the most beautiful parks in Windhoek and enjoyed it the most.
Initially, our plan was to explore Etosha National Park but none of us had a driving license and the only possible way to travel in Namibia is by renting a car. After realizing there is no public transportation and not a single train going from Windhoek to other cities we headed to Swakopmund.