Katutura Face to Face tours Windhoek

Places of interest in the order we do the tour
All customers get picked up at the doorstep of the accommodation establishment they are staying and after the tour they are brought back to the same spot.
When the tour guide picks up the customers he introduces himself and he asks for the peoples interest. Some of our customers are mostly interested in a historical/ cultural tour, others like to see the daily life and want to go to schools, kindergartens, homesteads etc. We also have customers who want to visit projects and buy crafts. Most of our customers want to see a bit of everything.
The first place of interest is the Old Cemetery. This cemetery is situated at Hochland road, between the new cemetery and Hochland Park. It is the oldest cemetery in the vicinity of Windhoek. The exact date when the cemetery was taken into use is unknown, but it was before the Herero rebellion in 1904. A mass grave, with sentimental value for many Namibians, attracts the first attention. Here are 11 SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation) members buried that were slain during the December uprising in 1959. Still is this tragic event commemorated every year on the 10th of December, at this cemetery.
From there we move through Hochland Park to Khomasdal were the coloureds and bastards lived (and still live). Here the tour passes the Augustineum School, grounded by German missionary Hugo Hahn. This, by the church financed, school was meant for indigenous people of the country.
Hochland Park is also known as ‘the second location’, because black people living close to the cemetery were forced to move here in 1920. At that time people of different races were not allowed to live in the same neighbourhoods. The coloureds were living separately in Khomasdal.
The tour than goes to Katutura. In 1959 the first people were forced to Katutura; the place were we do not want to settle. South Africa was determined to implement its apartheid policies according the Odenthal Plan. One of the regulations of this plan was to divide (and rule) the ethnic groups in different neighbourhoods.
We visit the Single Quarters where the contract workers used to live in small one-person houses (the family was not allowed to live in). It is now an attraction as the houses were made larger and whole families moved in.
On almost every tour we visit the Open Markets, as we find our customers always find it interesting to see the meat market, the tribal clothing and the local women who sell their homemade food. Our customers get the chance to taste the homemade bread or dried caterpillars and get in contact with the locals.
Just like the Open Markets, the Shebeens (little bars) and Cuca Shops (grocery stores) are perfect places to meet residents and experience the hustle and bustle of daily live in Katutura.
On request we visit the Shifidi homestead which is a very famous family in Katutura. During the Apartheid time Mister Shifidi was a political activist who was send to Robben Island during the time Nelson Mandela was also there in prison. When he was finally released he was shot in front in front of a big crowd as he was back in politics again. In Katutura he is seen as a hero. We visit his family, where the story is told and local dances can be seen and local foods can be tasted.
The Recycling Project is always a popular stop on our tour. Here women make various articles out of used paper. Tourists can see how chairs, tables, cases, dishes and other things are made. This is of course a perfect place for souvenir shopping.
Another successful women’s project is Penduka, that means ‘wake up’ in Oshiwambo and Herero. Penduka is a development project that was established to improve the lives of women in Namibia. The craft centre with restaurant, bar and gift shop is beautiful situated at the waters of the Goreangab Dam. In the gift shop are the ‘home-made’ fabrics, tablecloths, pottery and bedroom furnishing as well as other traditional Namibian crafts sold.
The last part of our tour goes through the Informal Settlements. Many people throughout Namibia, looking for a job or a better live, move to Windhoek. There are not enough living accommodations for all these people. Besides that they do not have the money to live in a house. Therefore they build their own shack, a small house mostly made out of waste materials. Our tour makes tourists aware of how some inhabitants are struggling to make the best out of their lives.

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History of Katutura

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