Swakopmund is a coastal city that is located in Namibia at the coast which makes it easy for tourists to get to. The town was constructed in the year 1892 by the Germans as a pearl harbor for their trade and the town has evolved from the time that the Germans left but half the population in the area still speaks German as a way of communication. Considered by many as Namibia’s capital city when it comes to tourism and adventure, it is a sight to remember and worthy a place for everyone to visit due to the many tourist attractions and activities that you can carry out while in the city.
Swakopmund city is a relatively small town with an approximated number of about 17,000 people living within it and these basically belong to three tribes that is the Herero, the Damara and the Owambo people who have been living here for a while. The strategic location of the Swakopmund city makes it a great destination for many tourists who visit the country and while on a safari to Namibia
Things To Do in Swakopmund Namibia
Take a history walk through the Swakopmund museum
The Swakopmund museum is privately owned and was opened up by a German doctor in the year 1951 to showcase archeological findings and many more that match the history of Namibia. You will find many fossils that are paraded for the different people to watch, a brief history of Namibia through the different paintings on the walls of the museum, bird eggs that were discovered a long time ago and a special exhibit that was put up by the museum in honor of the Namibia people and t shows and describes all the tribes that are located within the country.
Explore the living Desert snake Park
The living Desert snake park is not for the faint hearted as the only thing that you will be able to see while here will only be snakes of all different sizes and types. But if you want to know and see some snakes that you have never laid your eyes on, then this is your chance to do so with your family. Grab a bag and go out with your family and get to see cobras, rattlesnakes, black mambas, adders, boas and many more other types and do not forget to take your camera with you.
Take a walk on the Jetty
The jetty was constructed about 100 years ago and it is like a bridge that connects the city of Swakopmund to the Atlantic Ocean. It provides tourists with a great view of the whole city and you will find many tourists taking a walk along it as they enjoy the cool breeze and with the renovations that were made in the year 2006, there is now a restaurant from where you can rest after a walk and enjoy some of the best sea foods that are prepared by the locals.
Try out sky diving in Swakopmund
Swakopmund has one of the best landscapes in Namibia which allow you to get a very good look at it from above before sky diving to the ground. Even though you have been sky diving for, the experience that you will get at Swakopmund is totally different and unique that is before you are let out of the plane, you will have to first fly over the magnificent sand dunes and the ocean before falling from the sky and if you the beauty of the city is not worth it then you should know that the price that is paid for sky diving here is almost half than what is paid in other places.
Drive to Walvis Bay
Swakopmund is located next to the Walvis Bay where most of the locals in the area stay. As much as most of the tourist activities are carried out in Swakopmund, if you ever want to know more about Namibia and the culture of the locals that live in the area, a drive to Walvis Bay will be much needed for you. The city also has a lot to offer to tourists and since it is a business Centre, you will also be able to purchase souvenirs from the different shops that are found in the area.
Visit the Woermannhaus
Woermannhaus is a place for all those that love history and what better way to learn history other than by visiting this tremendous place that has many tour guides who will take you around the place while explaining all that you will find in the area. The Woermannhaus was constructed during the German colonial rule and its architecture is a clear example of the German rule and it is filled with many artifacts that show how far Namibia has come especially during the German rule. It is also the perfect place for all those that want to get a clear view of the whole of Swakopmund as you are allowed to climb about 90 stairs before you get to the top of the tower where you will have a good view of the whole city.
Explore the sand dunes in Swakopmund
Your safari to Namibia will not be complete if you do not go out to Swakopmund to enjoy the many sand dunes that are located within the Desert. The city’s location next to the Namib Desert makes it easy for tourists to get out and enjoy driving through the desert to enjoy the sand dunes but as you head down, make sure that you have a four wheel drive car to take you through the any roads and it is better to go in the morning as the afternoon heat can sometimes be unbearable. You can also enjoy sand boarding while here and the beauty about the sand dunes in Swakopmund is that they are never crowded and you get to enjoy them with your family and no crowds.
Explore the wild life of the Namib Desert
The close proximity of the Namib Desert to the Swakopmund makes it easy for tourists to drive there and get a close feel of the wild life that habitates there and besides what is a safari without game viewing? Be sure to enjoy your drive through the desert and do not forget to carry lots of water especially during the dry season and if you are lucky, you might be able to get a good view of the big five and other wild life animals that are used to the hot Namib Desert climate.
Go for quad biking in the Desert
Quad biking in Swakopmund is done near the Namib Desert where the sand dunes are found. There are specifically three sand dunes where the quad biking is done and these are the Devil’s Dip, the Big Billy and the Roller coaster and each one of these presents a challenge of its own. The Devil’s dip is the last sand dune that you have to overcome before heading out to the Table top where you get to see the Atlantic Ocean in is full glory. There will be a tour guide who will guide you through the rides and make sure that you follow all that they have to tell you and also do not forget to carry lots of water due to the high temperatures that can be experienced here.
Cycle around the Swakopmund city
With all that Swakopmund has to offer every tourist who visits the city, the best way to take a tour around the city is by hiring a bicycle and cycle to the different corners of this coastal town. Visit the different tribes of the locals that live in the area, to the markets to get yourself something that is both fresh and locally made and go to all those places that cannot be reached when you are driving. If you are not so sure about where to go, get yourself a local tour guide to take you around or get yourself a Swakopmund map so that you do not get lost.
Explore the National marine aquarium
The national marine aquarium which is located in the city of Swakopmund is a must visit for every tourist who plans to go for a safari to Namibia. It is an exceptionally large aquarium that is filled with sharks and other types of fish that are endemic to the country. You will get a chance to view some of the sharks close up and also get to witness the feeing time of the sharks and other fish species by just standing in the walk ways and tunnels.
Getting to Swakopmund is not in the very least difficult as you will find that there are many buses that head out to the city or if you prefer your privacy, you can hire out a car which is a 4×4 to take you there and remember that the city is best visited during the dry season.
Attractions in Swakopmund
Swakop river delta defines life in Swakopmund. Although this river is dry for most of the time, occasional rains can sometime cause it to flood but it is nothing to worry about when you visit Namibia. Henties Bay and the Cape Cross Seal Reserve in the north part of Swakopmund are the most famous fishing villages but watch out for the foul smell that will greet you once you are here. At the Cape Cross reserve are several seals that you’ll find mounted on the rock. The skeleton Coast National park lies in the further northern part of Swakopmund and although it is an infamous place to visit in Namibia, it’s listed on Namibia’s tourism destinations.
Swakopmund museum is a highlight of tours in Swakopmund and houses more than 50 different items and art works that show the history and evolution of Swakopmund as a town and Namibia as a country. The nearby Rossing mine located east of the city centre is an interesting palce to add on your Swaopmund Namibia tours.
Swakopmund Snake Park boasts a good number of the poisonous reptiles you’ll find in Namibia in addition to some few amphibians like frogs. The snake park is open every day and closes around 17h00. You can visit the park at 4pm and see how these reptiles are fed. Welwitschia is a famous tree species that has been an identity for Swakopmund as a city and is one of the oldest Namibia Tree species that grows to an average age of 500-600 years.
Buildings and monuments of German architecture are an interesting feature of Swakopmund streets and they include the Hohenzollern Building, the Marine memorial, the War memorial in memory of those killed in World War 2, Princess Rupprecht House originally a military hospital now a private guest house. The Kaserne buildings that were formerly used as army barracks have designs similar to Alte Feste in Windhoek and Fort Namutoni in Etosha. The old Swakopmund Prison is open to tourists every day.
Swakopmund Hansa brewery is friendly place for Namibia’s tourist offering free beers to all people that visit the brewery. Other places to visit in Swakopmund include Swakopmund Railway station that was completed in 1901, Deutsche Evangelical Church and the old Swakop Lighthouse standing at 20 meters.
Best time to visit
Most morning Swakopmund is shrouded in dense awesome fog that comes inland for approximately 30 km and feeds the desert-dwelling plants and animals. This usually lifts before midday and days are usually warm and sunny. If the easterly wind is coming the city will get a great sand-raging.
December holidays are the best time to visit Swakopmund for Namibia holidays but the beach is always crowded with holiday makers. This marks the summer holidays and the weather in Swakopmund is cool around this time
Things to do
For individuals thinking about adventure activities Swakopmund offers sand boarding, quad biking, dune carting, parachuting, hot air ballooning, shark fishing and fishing. Walking is another way you can choose to experience the sand dunes of Swakopmund, the tree lined streets and the beach resorts.
Swimming at the Swakopmund coast is another of the activities you can enjoy in this Namibia tourist town but as a caution, the water can be quite cold and freezing fro some days.
Swakopmund is included on just about every Namibian tour itinerary, and it’s quite rightly considered one of the country’s highlights. This Namibia town is just 280km west of the capital Windhoek. There is a bus with daily travel schedules to Swakopmund from Windhoek and also an overnight train to Windhoek.
There is a small airstrip in Swakopmund that serves charter flights from Windhoek airport and another at Walvis Bay located just 30km outside Swakopmund city centre.
Swakopmund tours never disappoint when it comes to the range of accommodation. There are plenty of Swakopmund Namibia hotels to choose from such as Hansa Hotel, Hotel Eberwein, Hotel Europa Hof, Hotel Schweizerhaus and many others.
For cheap Swakopmund accommodation, try out facilities at Swakopmund Municipal Camp, Cornerstone Guesthouse, An Der Mole Beach resort, Central guesthouse, the Secret garden Guesthouse, the Boat House Bed and Breakfast and Dunenblick Alle la Mer among several other choices.