Many people travel to Namibia to explore the velvety Namib Desert and to be captivated by the sight of where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Others prefer marvelling at animals as they roam about in search of their daily nourishment in the Etosha National Park, while staying at Etosha Safari Camp, or in the Bwabwata National Park, while staying at Namushasha River Lodge.
The songs of birds and the gurgling of the Zambezi River, while enjoying a boat cruise, are also intriguing. Nevertheless, there is something else I think you might just love too… the colourful Namibian townships inundated with culture and laughter.
Here are a few reasons you will be charmed when visiting a township:
It is inherent for us people to connect with others. In Mondesa, Swakopmund, you will be delightfully delayed by the warm welcome from children careening across the streets and a spontaneous invitation to their afternoon street-soccer match. Or it could be the neighbours sitting in the shade of a tree enjoying a cup of tea or a ‘cold one’ just in time for their midday neighbourhood gossip update. – You sure you won’t sit and chat for a little while? – Instantaneously one feels at home. As you get lost in conversation, it prompts you to share experiences and concerns you have with others.
It is a great way to learn a new language or to practice a Namibian local language that you are already learning. You might just receive a crash course on how to say hello in Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero or Damara / Nama.
As Namibia is a melting pot of cultures, it allows for the sampling of various unique cuisines, and townships are the perfect place to discover this. In addition, exploring new cuisines makes for the perfect opportunity to learn about the local culture and to value that which makes us all unique.
Thus, if you would like to get a taste of local cuisine in Namibia, here are a few places you could explore in townships:
- Hafeni Traditional Restaurant
- Oshetu Community Market (Single Quarters)
- Soweto Market
- Xwama Cultural Village & Restaurant
You will definitely experience culture in a township, as it is often exceptionally portrayed through their traditional attire as they manoeuvre through the local markets to run their errands, as well as through traditional delicacies, customs and their way of life.
As you discover Namibia, I hope you add a township tour or two to your journey, in order to be charmed and simultaneously expand your perspective too. So, come and enjoy life in the slow lane.
What experiences do you look forward to most when visiting a township? What are some of your favourite experiences if you have visited before? Please share with us in the comment section below.
Author – I’m Nela, from Windhoek Namibia but born in a small village called Omatunda in northern Namibia. I am passionate about writing, research and photography, as it helps me gain knowledge about people and my country.