To pass through Windhoek and not experience the bustling life of Katutura is to miss out on what is everyday life for most Namibians living in the capital.
Katutura means “The place where people do not want to live” in Otjiherero, and was Windhoek’s former “blacks only” suburb during Apartheid rule. Today, the township is home to 60 % of the people living in Windhoek, and represents the vibrant soul of the capital.
Travelling through Katutura by bicycle shows a side of the township you wouldn’t get by just passing through by car – you can smell the lunch at the food markets and watch the kids run alongside you on their way home from school. And best of all, it’s environmentally friendly.
Anna & Eric from Katu Tours
There are some serious hills in Katutura, as we discovered on our bicycles… but luckily the tour is for people of all ages and fitness levels, so you can take it at your own pace. In fact, the slower you go, the more you’re likely to see.
Friendly guides like Eric take you on a route through Katutura and give you all the history and behind the scenes stories of the township, its people and the various landmarks you’ll pass along the way. From more politically relevant locations like Single Quarters, to the tastes of Soweto market, the shebeens of Eveline street and the crafts of Penduka, you’re in for an educational and cultural treat.
Cycling through Katutura for a taste of Namibian history and everyday life is an experience not to be missed. Adventure tourism at its best.
Additional Tour Information:
Departs: Tuesday to Sunday at 8:30 am but (be there at 8:00 am sharp for a tour briefing and instructions!)
Numbers: 3 people minimum/12 maximum
Start/end point: Penduka Project at Goreangab Dam, Katutura (See map here)
The tour takes 3.5 hours and covers a total distance of around 7km at a relaxed pace
The tour includes a bicycle and helment hire, so no need to bring your own!
Make sure you pack light (not too big a camera either) and bring a bottle of water because it gets pretty hot out there
All schedule tours to be booked and confirmed 48 hours prior tour departure date
Katu Tours also offers tailor made tours to large groups and families, just make sure you request them 5 working days in advance
Find out how Wanaheda got its name (here’s a clue: its got to do with the four largest cultural groups in Namibia)
The tour takes you through all the different parts of Katutura and gives you a bit of a history lesson while you're at it
Watch as Herero women make the subtly-sweet-but-oh-so -elicious Herero bread at Soweto market
Meet the local shop owners in the bustling markets
Get anything you need from Soweto market, from the freshest fruite to the best quality hair braids in town
Wind through the streets to see the colourful homes
Visit Oshetu Market for a meat extravaganza – every thing from fresh cuts to the delicious Kapana straight from the grill
The streets are lined with carwashes – a good form of business for local entrepreneurs, and conveniently located close to the shebeens so customers aren’t twiddling their thumbs while waiting
Check out the community upliftment and bicycle repair project The King’s Daughters
Round it up with a look at the Penduka Women’s project where you’ll find extraordinary crafts, including glass beads made by deaf women from recycled bottles