Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Swakopmund is the adrenalin capital of Namibia! The region is home to huge colonies of Cape fur seals and superb resident and migrant birdlife.
The kids LOVED their skydiving and sandboarding in Swakopmund!
Swakop, as it’s affectionately called by the locals, features on most Namibia itineraries. It’s a fun place to unwind for a few days and there really is plenty to do.
Flanked by the rolling Namib dunes on one side and the cold Atlantic Ocean on the other, Swakop is a pretty town, full of German colonial architecture, attractive boutiques, pretty palm-lined streets and quality restaurants.
Thirty kilometres to the south is the fishing port of Walvis Bay. It’s an interesting drive down the sometimes foggy coastal road that forms a barrier between the Namib dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. The majority of boat tours operate from Walvis Bay, providing an opportunity to view some of the regions seal colonies and the marine birdlife up close.
- Desert adventure: This is the adventure capital with everything on offer from sky diving to quad biking, dune skiing, hot air ballooning, you name it, you can probably do it here.
- Water sports: When you’ve had your fill of sand, take to the water. Enjoy kayaking amongst the seals and birdlife at Pelican Point. Depending on the season you may see dolphins and whales
- Boat tours: Catamaran tours are incredibly popular and a great way to see more of the coastline around Walvis Bay. They are educational and fun. Playful seals are usually the star attraction though you may see dolphins too. Birdlife is plentiful, there’s always something to see. Top it all off with some oysters and bubbly. Fishing charters can be arranged for keen fishermen.
- Food glorious food: Swakop has a great selection of restaurants, there’s always fresh fish and seafood on the menu.
- Cape Cross: Drive 1.5 hours north of Swakopmund to the Cape Cross Seal Reserve. It’s home to a huge colony of Cape fur seals (and it’s a bit smelly). Thousands of seals come ashore here and you can get pretty close to them on the raised walkway.
- Birding hotspot: Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are important sanctuaries for both resident and migrating birds with over 150 species recorded in the area. It’s a hotspot for greater and lesser flamingos. Birding is best between October and April when the visiting migrants are around, the sheer number of birds is impressive.
- Ancient Welwitschia plants: A more sedate pastime would be a trip out to look for the endemic weird and wonderful ancient Welwitschia plants. Some of them are estimated to be over 1000 years old.