Swakopmund, sandwiched between the sands of the Namib desert and the chilly Benguela current of the Atlantic ocean makes a refreshing change to the hot and dusty desert landscapes of the rest of Namibia. It is also known as the adventure capital of Namibia, there are plenty of adrenalin sports on hand. It is a quaint Germanic seaside town, with colonial architecture, palm tree lined streets and an atmosphere of timelessness. It is an ideal stopover to break up your journey of discovery between south and north Namibia. Walvis Bay is perfect for birders and also the place to take a catamaran trip out to explore the marine life in the area, particularly the seals.
Reasons to visit Swakopmund & Walvis Bay include:
Any time of year is fine for visiting the coastal regions of Namibia. It does provide relief from searing heat in the summer months with cool coastal breezes off the Atlantic. Winter months can see occasional storms and the days may start with fog rolling in from the sea but this generally clears mid-morning. As the sea is chilly here year round, it’s more the atmosphere and activities that attract visitors, rather than a beach experience, so, like much of Namibia, it can be a year round destination.
Swakopmund makes a great contrast to the hot and dusty desert areas, it also forms part of a nice self-drive circuit taking in the central highlands, and Etosha and/or Damaraland and Kunene. It's also possible to fly here in small aircraft.
There are small hotels, quirky guesthouses, beachfront properties and upmarket self-catering apartments. Swakopmund has something for all tastes. If you want to be near the sea, Stiltz is a good option.
Hansa Hotel is a handsome early 20th century building in th heart of Swakopmund with a choice of rooms and suites, 2 restaurants, a lounge and bar.
A friendly, owner-run guesthouse close to the centre of Swakopmund. Enjoy Sam's vivacious personality together with his friendly dog, Beethoven.
A sophisticated family run guest house, set in a peaceful and quiet Swakopmund suburb, close to the beach.
This family run guest house is just 5 minutes walk from the beach and from the centre of this quaint coastal town.
Time: GMT +2 hours
Flights from UK to Windhoek are usually via Johannesburg or Frankfurt and take about 12.5 hours. Windhoek International Airport is 60km from the city centre.
Language: Namibia’s official language is English. Afrikaans, Dama/Nama, German, Herero, Oshiwambo, Sukwangali, Setswana and Silozi are also recognised.
Visas are not required British citizens for stays of up to 90 days.
Malaria is present in Namibia. Certain areas are more high risk. A yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission; this includes transiting through a yellow fever risk country; make sure you have a valid yellow fever certificate with you.