If you are visiting Namibia, you must go to Swakopmund. It is Namibia’s favorite coastal destination, adventure capital and where the ocean meets the desert. As a local I’ve spent many days there and I’ve developed my favorite things to do over time. This post will share some of those as well as a few more for those that are visiting Swakopmund for a day or two.
1. A coffee at the Swakopmund Jetty
My first stop after arriving in town is for a coffee and then of to the Swakopmund jetty. It is an short walk to the end where you’ll have a panoramic view of Swakopmund. Except for the cup of coffee visiting the jetty is absolutely free.
2. A desert tour
This is one of the most under appreciated activities by locals. I guess we grow up seeing the desert and assume we know everything there is to know. I was so wrong. This is one of the best and most unique experiences I’ve had in a while. I went with Charly’s desert tours which are one of the most reputable in the area. The guides knowledge is impeccable, the drive through the desert spectacular and the cherry on top is all the small animals you see and get to interact with.
3. The Aquarium
Namibia does not have the best aquarium in the world. The cold Atlantic does not cater for coral reefs or colorful fish, but the aquarium provides an accurate depiction of life underwater along the Namibian coast. Also, there are quite a few surprises install, I wont spoil those, and the highlight is the glass archway which allows you to go “inside” the main tank. The entry fee is about N$10 depending on where in the world you are from.
4. Dune 7
The highest dune in Namibia is easily accessed from Swakopmund. It is a short drive and then a 383m climb to the top. The view from the top is pretty good and there is a place to picnic if you choose to do so. I mean the bragging rights alone for climbing the highest dune in Namibia should be enough to make a turn here. There is no charge for this activity.
5. Flamingos at Walvis Bay lagoon
Walvis Bay is the harbor town 30km to the south of Swakopmund. The have a beautiful lagoon with a waterfront area perfect for visitors. The main attraction here is the pink flamingos that inhabit this area. They come right up to the edge to feed in the shallow areas providing amazing photo opportunities. Or you could simply watch and enjoy the calming effect their playfulness has on the soul. After visiting Dune 7 it is a short drive to the lagoon and is 100% free.
6. Quad biking in the desert
This is one of my most favorite favorite activities. I’ve done this so many times and what I take friends and family for when they are visiting. Like the desert tour it offers a unique way of seeing and exploring the desert whilst having fun at the same time. This is one of the more expensive activities starting from N$450/hour, but well worth it. There are a lot of regulations in place which ensures the sustainable use of the desert for this activity.
I love a good sunset and so should everyone else. I mean life is to short not to enjoy sunset every night. I have four spots I can recommend in and around Swakopmund. The first is on the Walvis bay road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Drive about 10km out of Swakopmund and on your left you’ll see an access road that takes you all the way to the dunes. A short climb and you’ll be facing west towards the ocean where you’ll be able to enjoy the most spectacular sunsets. Other places are the Tiger Reef beach bar, on the beach next to the Swakopmund jetty and from the Mole (Swakopmund waterfront).
This is a short post to highlight some of my favorite activities in Swakopmund. There are of course many many more and based on your personal preferences you should see and enjoy. But I hope this at least provides a good starting point.