28 Mai 2007 | Windhoek
Not without my Giraf
The Namibia Craft Centre offers a huge variety of artwork, ranging from embroidery, leather ware, jewellery, woodcarvings and woven baskets to hand painted fabrics and much, much more. Solely Namibian artists and craftsmen make everything on offer at the centre.
The Café's veranda on the first floor also offers a much-deserved rest from the day's sightseeing and bargain hunting. The centre, which is located in the beautifully refurbished Old Brewery Building in Tal Str. 40, is open from 09:00 till 17:30 on weekdays and from 09:30 till 13:30 on Saturdays.
A number of curio shops can be found along Independence Avenue, which offer a wide range of original, but also expensive art works. A stroll through the city centre reveals numerous street vendors who are prepared to haggle over the price of their woodcarvings, jewellery and even original stamps. Someone looking for Namibian-made art here has to ask for it specifically, as a lot of the artefacts on display originally come from Senegal, Zambia or Kenya. The price for a giraffe, which is certainly a must-have for every self-respecting visitor, can be negotiated to a large extent. One almost gets a guilty conscience when haggling the price for a carefully woven basket or a beautifully detailed carving down to a few dollars. Day in, day out, these vendors can be found along Post Street Mall or in Fidel Castro Street, from early in the morning until 16:30, when all the armbands, ostrich eggs and necklaces are safely stowed away into their boxes.
If you don't find what you're looking for in Windhoek, a trip to the famous craft market in Okahandja, 75 km north of the capital, is well worth a try. Prepare to be besieged by the vendors there, as they vie to attract potential clients to their shops rather than the neighbours'. The streets of Windhoek offer a far more relaxing atmosphere to the avid bargain hunter.
Another must for every visitor to Namibia is Biltong. The famous South African and Namibian snack is made by drying out strips of beef or game meat. A fine selection is available at Biltong & Bites in Sam Nujoma Drive in Klein Windhoek (tel.: +264(0)61-272990, email: [email protected]). You can also have the delicacy vacuum packed for carefree transport back home.
German tourists will find a culinary home away from home in Namibia's retail industry. Various restaurants and supermarkets cater for German cuisine, not least of all Super Spar in the new Maerua Mall in Windhoek Central. Anything from Gummibären to Sauerkraut can be found here. This is typical for Namibia, and although the whole world doesn't have to taste the same, it is none the less another one of the many ingredients that make up the country and shouldn't be left out by any connoisseur tourist.