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Khomas is a region in the central highlands of Namibia. Khomas is centred on the capital city Windhoek and thus has superior transportation infrastructure. It is the most populous region of Namibia, and is characterized by its hilly countrysize and many valleys.

Cities[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

Khomas Region, named after the Khomas Highland where it is situated, borders the Hardap region to the south, Omaheke to the east, Otjozondjupa to the north, and Erongo to the west.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH IATA) is Namibia's only international airport. Most overseas travellers will arrive and depart here. It is 45 kilometres (28 mi) east of Windhoek, and you will have to rent a car here or take a taxi to town, as there is no public transport.
  • Windhoek Eros Airport (ERS IATA) is the second important airport in the region, situated directly in Windhoek. It is used for smaller planes.

By car[edit]

Windhoek lies at the intersection of two major highways, the B1 which runs from north to south all across Namibia, and the B6 to Gobabis and further to Botswana.

By train[edit]

There is a train service between Windhoek and Walvis Bay/Swakopmund to the west, Gobabis to the east, and Keetmanshoop to the south, each a few times a week. All trains are predominantly for freight with only one or two passenger cars. They all depart in the late afternoon from the same platform at Windhoek's historic train station and will stop at every tree to load and unload goods. Any train journey will take a long time, but it is cheap and safe.

By public transport[edit]

Between towns you can catch a minibus, and Windhoek is on the route of the big coaches that travel from the South African cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg to Gaborone, Lusaka, Livingstone, Harare, and beyond.

Get around[edit]

Map of Khomas

0°0′0″N 0°0′0″E

There is no public transport to tourist destinations, you have to get around by car or private airplane. You can book private tours (a 4x4 and a driver) to almost any Namibian destination in Windhoek.

The highways B1 and B6 are tarred and in very good condition, as is the C23 to Dordabis. All other C-roads are gravel roads and in fair condition, easily passable with an ordinary sedan. Other roads (D-roads, F-roads, and those without letters or numbers) tend to be rough, rarely graded, and will require a sturdy vehicle. Expect to be able to drive 120 km/h on tar, 60-80 km/h on good gravel, and about 30 km/h on minor roads. Many of the small access roads to farms require good ground clearance and considerable driving skill. Phone the host whether you need a 4x4 or not.

Farms are private properties. Don't drive onto a farm road, even if the gate is open, unless your destination is signposted there, or you intend to visit that farm. If you open a farm gate to drive through, close it again.

See[edit]

  • The capital Windhoek with its historic buildings from colonial times.

Do[edit]

  • Drive one of the mountain passes off the Great Escarpment on which the Khomas Region is situated.
    • The 1 Bosua Pass on the C28 between Windhoek and Swakopmund offers a beautiful view from the top. The steepest part is interlocked but elsewhere the road is bad, with loose rocks and gravel. Trucks and caravans are not allowed uphill (towards Windhoek), and you may not pull a trailer. You'll need a lot of torque if you come in a sedan, as you cannot take the ascend at speed. Downhill (towards Swakopmund) this pass should not be a problem; Stay in first gear and drive slowly.
    • The 2 Us Hoogte Pass on the D1982 between Windhoek and Walvis Bay is the pass closest to Windhoek, if you just want to drive the pass. Although only a D road, the ride is very smooth between Windhoek and the start of the pass, and does not take more than an hour, even in a sedan. Below the pass you get a "normal" Namibian D road, with loose rocks, undefined road shoulders, steep ascents, and heavy corrugation. There are also dozens of farm gates, some of which you will have to open and close yourself. As with all these passes, there are beautiful views from the top.
    • The most spectacular one is the 3 Spreetshoogte Pass Spreetshoogte Pass on Wikipedia which descends almost 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) into the Namib Desert. Part of the D2175 it is Namibia's steepest pass; vehicles above 3.5 tons are not allowed, and you may not pull a trailer. Even the graders of the Roads Authority do not drive down this pass, but grade the road going uphill. An ordinary sedan will tackle this pass without much of a problem, even if the road looks really scary. The steepest parts are interlocked for better grip. Always remain in first gear, and when going uphill keep the engine at 4.500 rpm to have sufficient torque. And while you marvel at the spectacular view and at the strength of even ordinary cars, keep in mind that this pass was built by hand, by a lone farmer on the foot of the mountain who needed a shortcut for his farming supplies!
  • 4 Arnhem Cave, about 130 kilometres (81 mi) east of Windhoek, depending on the route. (From Windhoek, drive eastwards on the B6. Turn right on the C23 to Dordabis, or to the MR51 to Nina, or to the D1808, also to Nina. Arnhem is signposted on each of these roads. The entrance is on the D1808, but it is not 'Arnhem farm' east of it but 'Arnhem Cave' to its west). Namibia's longest cave system. There are several species of bats, and some endemic shrimp in an underground lake. The hiking tour is guided and takes about an hour. It leads 100 metres (330 ft) underground. Bring a torch, and wear old clothes: The walk is entirely on bat guano, and the hiking group will smell like a public latrine when it reemerges into the sunlight. There is a bar and a pool but no restaurant. You can also camp or stay overnight in chalets. The camp site is well equipped, with electricity and hot water but almost no grass. The cave hike is 250 N$ per person, children full price. Camping is 130 N$ pppn, children 100 N$.

Sleep[edit]

There is accommodation in all towns and villages, not just in the capital Windhoek. However, the smaller the place the more basic the facilities, and not every name on the map is indeed a settlement. This particularly applies to place names along the railway, many of which are today at best an abandoned station building, and at worst only a sign next to the rails.

Between the major tourist destinations there occasionally are additional options:

  • 1 Namibgrens (On the way to Spreetshoogte Pass). Guest farm with 6 chalets. Camping on 12 generously sized spots with canvas shade but no grass, not easy to get to with a sedan car. Tap water and hot shower available for camping, no electricity. Three small swimming pools. Three easy 4x4 trails at no extra charge, although the web site says there is a fee. Nicely signposted but the owners also provide a map. There have been complaints that the owners are not very friendly---indeed they say neither 'Welcome' nor 'Enjoy your stay', just give the basic instructions and disappear. That said, the place is very well maintained and organised, and you won't need an opportunity to disturb them again. Camping 180 N$ per person, children 90 N$.
  • 2 Steinheim (Off the C26, some 45 km from Windhoek. The farm gate is to the left). Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 17:00. A self-catering house on top of a hill, and three exclusive camping spots along an ephemeral river. Camping spots each have shower, toilet, artificial shade, braai facilities, and a baby pool. No AC power but solar lights and a solar charger for a mobile fridge and USB devices. Tents and further equipment for hire. Camping 200 N$ pppn, children 4–14 half price.
  • 3 Stolzenfeld Saloon Campsites (From the B2, take the turn-off to Dordabis and follow the C34 for about 41 km). Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 17:00. Three exclusive and meticulously maintained camping spots in an impressive landscape overlooking the Skaap River. One for max. 10 people, one for 30, one for 120, but only one party per spot at one time. All with shaded seating, ablution facilities, barbecue, simple kitchen, and swimming pool. Playground with activities also for grown-ups, some parcour elements. 4x4 track and mountain bike tour are advertised on the website but haven't been built yet. Tents and further equipment for hire. Camping 200 N$ per person, children under 13 free.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

The following Namibian regions border with Khomas:

  • Otjozondjupa region in the north. Visit the Waterberg Plateau Park with its unique flora and fauna, or travel further to Etosha.
  • Erongo region in the west. Visit the coastal town of Swakopmund with its historic colonial architecture, or do some fun activities there like dune rafting or quadbiking there.
  • Hardap region in the south. Explore the Namib-Naukluft National Park, or travel further to the many attractions in Namibia's south.
  • Omaheke region in the east. Explore cattle country off the beaten track, or travel further to Botswana.
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