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Windhoek, the capital, is an attractive city surrounded by clusters of hills and the impressive Auas and Eros mountains.
It has a pleasant ambience of tranquility and leisure with its continental-style sidewalk cafes and beer gardens. Zoo park in mid-city, adds to the relaxed atmosphere with its lawns, spreading trees, shrubs and flowers.
The city is considerably enhanced by stately historic buildings in the German architectural style of the turn of the century. Old buildings which lend a singular charm to the city include the historic seat of government which is known as the Tintenpalast and the Christuskirche with its graceful spire.
The white-walled Alte Feste which was once a fort and now a museum, reflects the history of the country.
Three German-style castles add a romantic touch to the city.
The German influence is also apparent in local foods, offering a wide selection of traditional sausages and polonies, various types of bread, and superb confectionery.
Local beer is light and refreshing and brewed according to the traditional Reinheitsgebot (purity laws), using only natural ingredients.
Specialized shopping in the city includes elegantly designed fur coats and jackets, the most striking being locally produced Swakara with its effect of rippled silk. Distinctive jewelry ranges from classic to contemporary designs using local or imported gemstones, or designed for individual tastes by local goldsmiths.
A special feature is individually-designed hand-woven carpets and wall hangings made from karakul wool. A number of curio shops offer a wide range of African arts and crafts and there is a fine choice of Namibian semi-precious stones.
German traditions which add a festive air to this cosmopolitan city are the annual 'Oktoberfest' complete with an oompah band, and 'Wika', the Windhoek Carnival season which takes place in autumn.
Windhoek offers every modern amenity, including comfortable hotels and pensions, as well as restaurants offering Namibian-style cuisine which has developed its own particular flavour.
Local venison like gemsbok, kudu and springbok is featured on the restaurant menus.
Windhoek is a convenient point for tourists to begin or end their tours, as well as providing a good base for local excursions.