To the north of Windhoek city center lies Katutura township, whose name translates as “the place where people do not want to live” in native Herero. The district’s history is an unhappy one. In the late 1950s, black residents living in the suburb now known as Hochland Park were forcibly relocated to Katutura under apartheid law. Here, they were made to pay high rent for barely habitable homes, and to commute long distances to inner city jobs. Today, 60% of Windhoek’s population still lives in Katutura.
Poverty is rife, but the township is also a center of vibrant culture, and a visit to the area is a must for those that want to gain a true insight into the lives of Namibia’s urban people. One of the safest and least divisive ways to experience township life is on a bicycle tour with respected company Katu Tours. On the 3.5-hour excursion, you will have the chance to meet Katutura’s residents, to purchase local crafts and to taste traditional kapana meat at the township’s lively marketplace.