Swakopmund goes unchallenged as Namibia’s premier coastal destination. With its German architectural heritage, its unique salt roads and Namib Desert on its doorstep, it’s easy to understand why. The capital of the coast, the place where the desert meets the ocean offers kilometers of pristine beaches and annually thousands of locals and tourists alike rush here to enjoy what it has to offer.
Situated 350km West of the capital Windhoek, it is not a large place at all with around 50 000 people calling it home. It only ever gets busy during the Namibian holiday months of December and January meaning the rest of the year you will have this coastal gem all to yourself. On my most recent trip, I visit there quite often, I decided to compile a list of my 5 favorite activities to do when in Swakopmund. Please appreciate that this list is not exhaustive as Swakop has so much more to offer:
1. Coffee on the Pier
This has been a long standing tradition for me. The first thing I do when driving into Swakopmund is to stop for a take away Slowtown coffee and head down to the pier (we call it a jetty). Take a walk to the end and slurp your java whilst taking in the incredible view.
Cost: N$35 for the take away coffee
2. Quad biking in the Namib Dunes
I always recommend this activity to friends and travelers when it’s their first time in Swakop. It actually combines two activities. The first quad biking and the second exploring the desert. Combined it makes for a very unique and exhilarating experience.
Cost: N$ 450 per hour
3. Tandem Skydiving
This is a not so budget friendly activity, especially if you opt for the package which includes the photos and video. But again extremely unique. When again will you have the opportunity to jump out of a plane at 11 000 feet and enjoy a 40 second free fall over the place where the desert meets the ocean. It should be on every list of the 10 best places to skydive in the world.
4. Sunset from the Top of a Dune
The most romantic activity on the list in my opinion #couplesgoals. Head out to the dunes using the road that goes from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay. About 10-15km after the bridge (don’t worry you’ll know which bridge I’m talking about) there is a left turn that leads to the dunes. Drive down the about 250m and park at the bottom. Climb up the dune taking along 1 x girlfriend, 1 a bottle of red wine (Stellenbosch origin if you can) 2 x wine glasses (be classy) and don’t forget the bottle opener, it’s a long way down to the car.
Once you are at the top, plant your behind in the sand facing the ocean cause that the side the sun will set. Serve wine and enjoy the company and view. Can’t believe I’m still single….
Unfortunately on my last visit it was cloudy the first evening and on the second there was a near gale force wind blowing. All I managed to do was lose my hat.
Cost: N$ 120-150 for a decent bottle of red wine from Stellenbosch
5. Going to the Waterfront for an Ice Cream
In Swakopmund they refer to it as the Mole which I’ve now discovered is the German word for pier/jetty. Waterfront provides a much better understanding of the place as that is what it is. Buy an ice cream and wonder around. On the one side you’ll have the beach and rhythmic accompaniment of the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side the lighthouse, restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and even a museum. Well worth a visit, even if only for a leisurely stroll.
Hope you enjoyed the list, but like I said there is at least a hundred other things to do in Swakopmund. Just ask around!
Thanks for the read! and if you are travelling be safe & enjoy!!!
Nick fr Namibia @5410Africa