A return to Windhoek allowed Mandy to reflect on what she loves about Namibia, and discover what the city has to offer in terms of accessibility
On a recent business trip, I had to visit Windhoek. As I had not been to Namibia for many years, I decided to look into what is currently available for persons with disabilities.
The city of Windhoek has a number of cultural and historical places. Katutura Cultural Township is an interesting cultural experience and tours usually last three hours with visits to grass roots social projects.Mandy particularly enjoyed the backdrop of the Namibia desert landscape above her bed.
You meet locals and relax in a local restaurant and/or bar. You need to try the Namibian speciality Kapana – which is Namibian beef cooked by the local vendors.
The pavements are generally wide and they have regular curb cuts so access is reasonable; however, when you get to the individual projects, they are not always that accessible. The locals are really friendly and helpful. If you are happy for them to help, they are happy to take you wherever you may want to go!
There are many of the South African well- known branded shops like Spar, Checkers and KFC throughout the city, so it is like a home away from home.
Where to stay? There is a variety from basic accommodation through to five star hotels. I stayed at the Town Lodge Windhoek, which is a three-star hotel next to the big Virgin Active. This hotel has three accessible rooms available, each with a spacious step-free shower cubicle.
There is a large, fixed bench within the shower, but there is a grab rail along the wall which protrudes into your back if you don’t sit sideways. The cupboard has a rail that is at a good height, however there are no coat hangers – so take your own. The coat hook and peep hole are currently too high; however, the manager was open to making the changes to more accessible heights.
The best thing about my room was the wonderful backdrop behind the bed of the desert landscape that I love so much about Namibia.
The breakfast buffets are comprehensive, and all the staff are attentive and keen to assist you with anything that you may need.
There are meeting rooms on the ground floor so that you have a space should need to conduct any business at the hotel. There is secure parking should you be driving a vehicle. The hotel will also assist with airport transfers if you don’t have a car.
Remember that Windhoek is just the gateway to the rest of Namibia. There is the famous Fish River Canyon and Etosha Pan in the North.
The costal playground of Swakopmund offers kayaking, dunes and quad biking if you are adventurous. And, of course, my favourite is the spectacular Sossusvlei with its coloured sands and desert landscape.
Should you hire a car to travel around the country, it is advisable that you go for a 4×4 vehicle as the roads are usually gravel out of the towns and cities. It is safer to have the 4×4 capability.
So, if you are thinking of taking a trip to a country on your doorstep, think of Namibia … You won’t be disappointed. Happy travels!