46 photo-collection of Namibian Shebeens

For the individual(s) who don’t know the term “shebeen”, let us help you clarify the term before enjoying the photo collection below. Shebeens, mostly located in traditional townships, was started as an alternative to pubs and bars which during apartheid times, black Africans were barred from. Originally shebeens operated illegally, selling home-brewed alcohol and were also meeting places for activists of the struggle against apartheid. As time evolved they also sold commercial beer, spirits, brandy and whiskey. Most of these are operated by elderly people, predominantly women. Shebeen queens and kings share their living space with their customers, meaning there are no designated areas in the house for patrons.

Children raised in these households often go to bed late or can’t study because of the noise generated by patrons, despite the fact that most hardcore shebeens don’t play loud music. A typical shebeen would sell about two to four cases of alcohol on a good day. The customers are normally regulars who are often given booze on credit. These are the operations that would normally fall outside the ambit of the existing legislation within most southern African countries.

The internationally accepted definition of culture by Unesco states that it includes “the whole complex of distinctive, spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or a social group. Culture includes arts, letters, modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions and beliefs.” In general, culture is the essence of a given people’s way of life as represented by their multifaceted creations, accomplishments and aspirations

According to www.everyculture.com  the culture of Namibia is characterised by a people who speak Bantu languages like Oshiwambo and Otjiherero as their first language. Others speak Khoisan languages (Nama/Damara and various Bushman languages), while a smaller percentage are native speakers of Indo-European languages like Afrikaans and English.

Like most southern African countries Namibia boasts of a variety of architectural styles in addition to Western buildings. But one can also note the increase in dwellings made of metal sheets or concrete blocks with metal roofs, a style also seen in some urban neighbourhoods.

Should you be educated about this country you will be familiar by now that Namibia was originally inhabited by nomadic hunters, gatherers, and pastoralists and one would note the lack of vegetables in the Namibian diet. So with, important occasions are marked by the slaughter of cattle or goats, and the consumption of meat, home-brewed beer, purchased beverages and other foods. Thus, emphasises the fact that throughout Namibia, drinking is another part of life. No wonder the capital Windhoek is the home of a popular lager named after the city.

A drive to Katutura Township, a populous location 15 km away from the city centre of Windhoek, one will find shebeens located at every corner or in the yard of every other house in Genesisstraat (a street in Namibia’s populous Katutura Township). Sadly, this specific street is at random days unfortunately littered by broken bottles. So if you as a visitor get the change to explore these locations with a rental vehicle, make sure to book vehicle insurance which includes your 4×4 tyres (for just in case).

In Namibia, shebeens operate under the Liquor Act of 1988. Shebeen owners are required to get an annual licence but it was apparent through a community radio current affairs programme that most of them are illegal. But nevertheless, illegal or not, many Shebeen’s all over Namibia will always welcome you and provide a friendly atmosphere in a manner which only Namibian’s can. One thing is certain when it comes to creativity to naming a Shebeen, Africans truly take the lead. Especially when naming the outlet – as seen below. Although many Shebeens look “run-down” from the outside, the inside will often leave you very surprised. Beautiful interior decoration in many Shebeens shows a style which is purely Original within its design and layout. The most beautiful Shebeens are often found very deep in some townships, which sadly are rarely seen by many international visitors. Namibian creativity is actually very well known and admired since the entire country is filled with very creative individuals which should be applauded and showcased to everyone wanting to experience it. Personally, I maintain an opinion that the “name-giving” of every outlet of each Shebeen is to be celebrated in the form of understanding presenting uniqueness and originality which can be only found in southern Africa and especially Namibia. One thing is for certain, Namibian Shebeens have some of the most “catchy” Names which draw the attention of potential customers (disregard of location) hence giving some international Pub’s, Tavern’s or Hang-Out’s a run for its money.

Hard to see on this one: THE DOG IS HOT BAR (spelling missing on Photo Image)
Photo: WAKA WAKA Bar
Photo: UHURU BAR
Photo: TRIPLE N. JOINT SHEBEEN (looks like northern Namibia (?) )
Photo: JUST ANOTHER LIFE BAR
Photo: THE NATION SHEBEEN
Photo: THANKS, TWICE BAR
Photo: SPECIAL OFFER (apparently sponsored by MTC – Mobile Cellphone Provider Enterprise)
Photo: Socialising inside a Shebeen (unknown)
Photo: KONANGHULO GOLDEN PARK
Photo: UUKUMWE HAPPY SHEBEEN AND HOTEL
Photo: BBC ENTERTAINMENT No.2
Photo: NICE TIME SHEBEEN
Photo: Traditional Herero Lady inside a Shebeen, shop or Kuka-Shop (unknown)
Photo: OUR LUCKY BAR (looks like northern Namibia(?) )
Photo: GOOD WILL BAR
Photo: EASY LIFE BAR (not known if sponsored by MTC (?) )
Photo: COOL & COOL
Photo: REALITY BAR $ GROCCERIES (love the spelling layout)

Photo: INTERNATIONAL MARKET & BAR
Photo: PEACE LUCKY BAR
Photo: SIMBIRA SHEBEEN (love this one)
Photo: Unknown Shebeen Interior
Photo: Single Quater Food Outlet in Windhoek (a Windhoek Food Outlet, not a traditional Shebeen as such… click for more details)
Photo: EMBANDI SHEBEEN (most probably in northern Namibia)
Photo: PUT MORE FIRE SHEBEEN (located in Rundu – northern Namibia)
Photo: KASSY BARBERSHOP
Photo: HOT STUFF BAR (all you Designers will love this one – check out the Fonts used)
Photo: MEME’S INN (abrv. “MEME” is Oshiwambo standing for Lady, Old Lady, older Lady, Woman in charge or a form of respectful Term used to introduce yourself humbally towards an African Female)
Photo: FANNY RESTING BAR
Photo: WORLD CUP PUB 2018 RUSSIA
Photo: BACK OF THE MOON (my personal favourite – located in Mondesa, Swakopmund)
Photo: KAYALAMI BAR
Photo: BAFANA-BAFANA SHEBEEN (look up Bafana-Bafana on the Web for more Info – African Soccer)
Photo: HAPPY LIFE SHOP NO.2
Photo: MORNING FIRE BAR
Photo: FREDDY AND SONS
Photo: NEAREST TAILORING CENTRE & SHEBEEN
Photo: VANDAKONGELA. SHEBEEN (would love to find out the location)
Photo: SADDAM HUSSEIN SHOPPING CENTRE (would love to know the location)
Photo: GHETTO BAR
Photo: ACCACIA BAR NO.1 – NDAPANDA HAAR.”SARON
Photo: OSTRICH BAR
Photo: EVERY DAY IS FRIDAY BAR

Photo: Township Tour (P.S. it seem as if this photo has been taken in RSA)

 

     + Word of Note: Photo origin and rights include Vagabond Adventures, Flickr, The Mad Traveller, Gondwana Collection, Carsten ten Brink, Pinterest, Chameleon Safari’s, Peace Corps Namibia Blog, FivePrime, Namibia Tourism Board and a couple unknown sources.

     + Shebeen Links:

• Namibian culture of Shebeens

• The Namibian Newspaper Article

26 reviewed Restaurants in Windhoek

When it comes to Restaurants in Windhoek there definitely is a large variety regarding dining-out choices. Fortunately, we have been to some of the most popular restaurants here and can, therefore, recommend them to make the choice easy for you. There are several restaurants you can visit, it all depends on your mood and the atmosphere you want to enjoy your meal in. Our listing below does not include franchise Restaurants because we want to support our local businesses as far as possible. Click on Restaurant name to view outside links for location, telephone numbers and more. As with most good quality Restaurant’s, please ensure you make early bookings because the listed locations below are very much favoured by locals and visitors alike. So expect a “full house”, especially on weekends. Seating can be denied when these places are doing their best they can do, which is delivering outstanding dishes. Also, rocking up before closing time and expecting them to serve you is a big NO-NO! Be considerate and try to show up on respected times for lunch (btw. 12:00 till 14:00) and dinner (18:00 till 21:00). If you are trying to be someone special by showing up at 21:50 expecting to order a three-course meal for a group of 4 will not make you any friends and much likely will be declined. Publishing your negative review on the web, as a result, will just be laughed at by most! Showing your respect towards the establishment by arriving on the recommended times is the way to go. Please Note, locations are NOT listed within a ranking system (First place, second place etc.) but in an order of a random numerical listing outlet. So no first place! You can establish this for yourself if you like…

     + No.1 – Joe’s Beerhouse: A legendary place and arguably the most popular restaurant in Windhoek if not Namibia. The food is great and they have a large variety of craft beers, however, it is the atmosphere that will make the biggest impression on you. Also a great selection of Game meats available on their a la carte menu. This specific location is by most considered as one of Namibia’s oldest and most renowned hang-outs, not just locally but by international visitors alike. Many will agree with us and many other individuals when we classify this specific outlet as the most famous Beerhouse in the whole of Africa. Give them a try and see for yourself why!

     + No.2 – The Stellenbosch Winebar and Restaurant: A very good all round Menu with a broad menu and great service. Placed right in the centre of Jenny’s Place centre in Sam Nujoma Drive provides a very charming and relaxed atmosphere. Also worth mentioning is that this Restaurant offers an outstanding wine selection!

     + No.3 – Kubata Restaurant: If you fancy some Portuguese cuisine then Kubata Restaurant is the place to go to. Specialising in seafood offering this is a good all-around restaurant, this Angolan establishment specializes in grilled seafood and divers meats. Their menu also comprises of many traditional Angolan dishes.

     + No.4 – Andy’s Pub and Grill: Pub-style eatery offering great Pizza’s and the biggest and best Currywurst within the southern hemisphere. Great atmosphere but expect a “Pub – or Bar-like” surrounding where service can be delayed when encountering many visitors. Just like their slogan states “lecker, locker, lustig” translating to “enjoyable, easy-going, fun”…

     + No.5 – JoJo’s Music and Art’s Cafe’: Once the hub for Windhoek’s millennials where talks of politics, pop culture, and side hustles would be had over drinks as the sounds of Black Vulcanite or local poets fill up the room. Those days are long gone though. With new ownership, came new things. Jojo’s Music & Arts Cafe is now a restaurant serving amazing food. The artistic chef presents the food so well that you will be compelled to take pictures of your food and share them on Instagram.

     + No.6 – Xwama Traditional Restaurant: If you are visiting Namibia, you need to try out the local cuisine. Xwama offers just that and will make you feel like you’re actually visiting an Owambo village. Found at the far end of the Independence Avenue in Katutura. Very traditional setup!!! Expect to find Menu choices which are not known by international visitors like eg. “Mopane Worms“. But try the Kapana, you can’t go wrong…

     + No.7 – The Beer Barrel: Offering an everchanging selection of craft beers and a very decent menu to keep you going. Very nice artisan beers are perfectly matched on the menu selections. Also, one of the only Restaurant’s which we are aware of us at Hippo’s which offer eating challenges like eg. “Eat this massive Burger and get a T-Shirt“. Situated somewhat outside of the main parts of Windhoek, Sam Nujoma Drive heading towards the Namibia International Airport. If visiting during the Namibian Winter make sure to take a Jacket along.

     + No.8 – Corner Pub & Grill: If you prefer to chill out with the boys, pop some beers, watch a game, and chow down on some burgers, head over to the Corner Pub and Grill by the Olympia public swimming pool or the Namibian Dive Association Club. It is nice, quiet, loads of parking space and their famous burgers are mouthwatering. Best in town!

     + No.9 – Seasource: Wholesaler, Take away and a sit-down outlet for the freshest Atlantic fish available in Windhoek with the biggest Namibian Oysters known to mankind. No frozen seafood anywhere in sight. A guaranteed freshness and a great selection of diverse seafood products always at hand. If you want fresh, this one is the one to visit. The logistic-management behind the perishable products are so rocking solid it’s downright remarkable! In order to guarantee quality freshness makes this outlet a true trailblazer, which for Namibia is second to none. These guys know their seafood better than anyone inside the whole country. If you can get your meal somewhere cheaper, you know it comes out of a deep-freezer. Also, check out their Sushi selection! P.S.: Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

     + No.10 – Garnish Indian Cuisine: Garnish is a destination for the food lovers who look for authentic Indian cuisine served in a traditional way. One of the popular restaurants in Windhoek, Garnish serves the finest traditional Indian cuisine and the celebration of this exotic and colourful culture. From Goa Prawns, Vindaloo Mutton to excellent Briyani, the Menu will satisfy all preferences. Located in Klein Windhoek in Sam Nujoma Drive, Kleine Kuppe and at the coast in Swakopmund. We recommend their Naan Bread and Butter Chicken washed down with an ice-cold Lassi. Yum!

     + No.11 – Daisho-Sushi: The best Japanese cuisine in Windhoek. Great sushi and also delicious hot meals on offer. Keep an eye out for their random all-you-can-eat evenings. Also, this is one rare location offering delicious meals accompanied by the choice of Duck protein, when available.

     + No.12 – Sumi Restaurant: Sumi means black ink, originating from the Japanese culture. Luxury, Privacy, Relaxation and food handled with respect are key elements of our dining experience at Sumi. The robata grill is located at a centre focal point forming the main design element in their restaurant. They have a very modern approach towards the entire Restaurant concept. In our humble opinion, this must currently be the most “Hipp” Restaurant in Windhoek which stands up to many European Restaurants or even better.

     + No.13 – Bush Bar: The Bush Bar is one of the newest Restaurants in Windhoek and is quickly finding popularity among all ages. They serve everything from Pasta’s and Pizza’s, Steaks and Burgers, diverse Sea Food meals, Chicken, Lamb or Pork choices and obviously your Salad’s. You have the options to either sit inside their Restaurant, Open air Deck, or “Lounge”. The Bush Bar is located in Tennis Street, Olympia, next to DTS Sports Club and across the road from the Olympia public swimming Pool. Note, if the front parking space looks all occupied, drive straight ahead. They have ample secure parking space available behind the outlet.

     + No.14 – Klein Windhoek Guesthouse Riverview Restaurant: Our Riverview Restaurant offers fine cuisine throughout the day, 7 days a week. It is fully licensed and provides a warm and friendly atmosphere. Whether you are in the mood for a buffet breakfast to kick-start your day, a hearty lunch or a delicious supper to reminisce on the day’s event. Their awesome Pizza’s put them on the Map. 😉

     + No.15 – Rivercrossing Lodge and Restaurant: Located approx. 3km outside Windhoek this 6500-hectare private Game reserve offers a cosy Restaurant with one of the best Sundowners imaginable. Always worth a visit! Rivercrossing is much loved hence to the fact of their location. Being a Lodge close to the international Namibian Airport makes it a preferred space for many Tour facilitators as an “ease-out method” after a long Safari before a departure. It is also very clear why some couples hold their Weddings there – it’s the stunning view!

     + No.16 – Hotel Heinitzburg Restaurant: Our Gourmet Restaurant overlooks the skyline of the Capital city and varied cuisine is served to range from local to international á la Carte, a true celebration of the senses. Some of the most amazing sundowner evenings within Windhoek. Top class service with a kitchen which speaks for itself! 5 Star dining guaranteed. Heinitzburg comes with a very interesting past which we will touch on in a future Blog Post.

     + No.17 – Hotel Thule Restaurant: Enjoying a meal in our On the Edge Restaurant or on our Terrace overlooking the city of Windhoek, is one of the highlights of a visit to Hotel Thule. Breakfast, with the sun casting its first rays over the city, is a good start to the day, whilst dinner – enjoyed in the ambience of our Restaurant and the city lights twinkling in the dark, is the perfect way to end a day in Windhoek. This location comes with a very interesting past which will be explained in a future Blog Post.

     + No.18 – SKW Club Restaurant: Mainly a Sportsclub hence the Name “Sport Klub Windhoek” has a cosy little Restaurant if you fancy some traditional German cuisine. Eisbein, Spaetzle, Kloese (traditional German Dumplings), Sauerkraut, Schnitzel and more are some of the German delicatessens on offer. Also, the location is the main host for Windhoek German Karneval (WiKa).

     + No.19 – Roof of Africa: A well known and popular hangout makes Roof of Africa a very serious contender. Offering an exceptional Wine list and a daily buffet open for guest’s and visitors alike. These guys also brew their own beer which speaks for itself. Very refreshing indeed! Try to book early because getting a Table at Roof of Africa is always a mission due to the popularity of the enterprise. As far as known to us, this is also one of the only locations in Windhoek which give you the choice to choose your pick of live crayfish inside their live saltwater-tank near the entrance (if available). Offering this option to guest’s is definitely not an easy one to maintain. That’s why when available, the stock goes fast! Yes, these Crayfish come from our beautiful Namibian Coast, hand dived only when in season.

     + No.20 – O’Portuga Restaurant: Located in Windhoek “Restaurant Street – Sam Nujoma Drive” offers a delectable Menu all around Portuguese dishes. Famous for their “home away from home meals”, their warm atmosphere and prompt service make them a much-loved location.

     + No.21 – Sardinia – Blue Olive Ristorante: A cosy little restaurant which always has at least two expensive, luxury cars parked in front of it. Sardinia is situated on the Sam Nujoma Drive which is considered by locals as Windhoek’s “Restaurant Street”. Besides that, their food is very traditional and indeed very good. Their pizza, in particular, is delicious. Considered to be Namibia’s No.1 choice when wanting to indulge in some Italian cuisine. What else to expect when run by a true Italian family. Not just your standard Lasagne or Spaghetti, this Restaurant goes all out when it comes to diversity. “Vieni a sederti perché il cibo è molto buono!” Early bookings are a must due to the popularity and great consistency throughout the years. Their longstanding quality reputation within the Restaurant Industry makes them one of Namibia’s top Wine and Dine experiences available. Also worth mentioning, Sardinia is one of the oldest Restaurants in Windhoek exceeding over 40 years in business.

     + No.22 – Yang Tze Restaurant: If you are in the mood for some authentic Chinese food then you should give Yang Tze Chinese Restaurant a try. Also one of the oldest Restaurants in Windhoek exceeding 40 years of service makes it worth to mention within this list.  

     + No.23 Fresh ‘n Wild: This specific restaurant offers a fresh approach to catering. The strive (like their name says) to use only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality and great emphasis on the use of organic ingredients to produce food that is exceptional in taste. Producing restaurant-quality food in every setting is of great importance to them. give them a try!

      + No.24 – Wilde Eend Bistro: Wilde Eend (Afrikaans for “Wild Duck”) is a relaxing bistro with a great atmosphere of garden and home. Location sometimes also referred to as “Avant-Garde”. The menu is great with generous salads and meals served by a very friendly staff. A fun place to visit with friends and family. Very beautiful outside seating area much loved by locals on weekends.

     + No.25 – The Social: The owners worked on a concept to bring people throughout Namibia together through modern and fine ambience, service and cuisine, hence the name of the Restaurant “The Social”. Overall, very clean, professional and combined with an outstanding menu. Very recommendable for a superior Namibian dining experience!

     + No.26 – Single Quarter:   Firstly note this is NOT a conventional restaurant. But it is nevertheless Single Quarter is a great place to eat and explore a completely new environment and social behaviour as a whole. It is a large covered market, where you queue up to buy a portion of freshly cooked kapana (beef) wrapped in newspaper accompanied by a freshly made salsa or chopped salad prepared just in front of you, washed down with a soft drink. Many visitors sit on a bench and enjoy socialising with the locals. There is no refrigeration, so all meat has been slaughtered the same day. So please ignore the leftover hooves or cattle heads present all over the place. Traditional African cooking is going on all over the place. This is a true African-Namibian experience as close as it gets. Definitely not for the squeamish!!! We recommend going with a guide who knows his way. Click the link above for a nice explanation about this outlet compiled via the folks from the Gondwana-Collection. (Image rights by Gondwana-Collection)

+ Be kind…

The people serving your meal most of the time come from a hard background trying to make ends meet. Be decent and give them a Tip! Generally, 10% of the sum of the dining experience total amount is accepted as the standard. If you adhere to this advice, next time if you visit the same location you will notice how you or your Group will be welcomed with open arms and orders will arrive at your table much faster. Plus it shows the quality of your positive and open character. It will never go out of fashion to be a humble and generous Gentleman or Lady!

+ Google Restaurant Map

To make things easier for you, below a semi-complete list of the above-mentioned Restaurants and other non-listed Restaurants. Some new locations can be seen here which have not been reviewed by the Hippo’s Team, yet. If you try them, let us know about your experience.

Give any of the above a try, you can’t go wrong! We recommend booking early at any of the locations to avoid disappointments (click links for Contact details and more). Hence there are many Restaurants in Windhoek which opened up didn’t prevail cause of diverse reasons unknown to Hippos. Therefore we only mention establishments which have stood the test of time (min. 3 years or more) and have been personally reviewed by our Team. If we have overlooked a Restaurant in Windhoek unknown to us feel free to send us a message. We would love to keep this Blog Post updated and fresh. We will gladly add you after we had a proper look at your outlet. So all Restaurant owners, give us a message. We are looking forward to checking out your undertaking. Nevertheless, if you need some company and feel generous, just hit us up with a call because we are always hungry :-). We are known for our honest and open social approach and might give you or your Group some culinary Hints and Tips on the way…

+ Also read this Past Blog Post about 14 reviewed Namibian Products.

(25 of the above-used Images owned by the mentioned Restaurant’s)