Swakopmund is a quirky beach city on Namibia’s western coast that’s one part resort town, one part German village. Known to the locals at Swakop, this city is the most popular destination among Namibians for summer holidays and long weekend getaways. It’s a popular place for tourists from Germany too; a walk along its streets is a step back to Imperial German colonial times amidst the swish of palm trees. Founded in 1892 as the region’s main harbor, its historic buildings have seen occupation by trade companies, German and British governing bodies, and hoteliers. The colorful edifices have been well kept thanks to the city’s relatively young age. On the more ornate buildings you’ll find tremendous displays of Victorian and neo-Baroque architecture including distinct decorative elements. Perhaps the most striking are found on the face of the Höhenzollern Building, a former hotel and national monument adorned with figures of lions, angels, and dominated by a statue of Atlas carrying the globe on his shoulders.
Swakopmund famously lays claim to the title of “Adventure Sports Capital of Namibia”. To the east, the designated West Coast Recreational Area of the Namib Desert gets the blood pumping with ballooning, skydiving, sandboarding, and quad biking among other activities. To the west, the waves of the Atlantic beckon with choice surfing adventures and fishing excursions possible. More leisurely pursuits include lazing on the sandy beaches, strolling along Swakopmund Jetty, and exploring the collection of art galleries, coffee shops, and cafes in the city.
Farther up Namibia’s shoreline you’ll find the infamous region known as the Skeleton Coast, an inhospitable expanse of beach quite dissimilar to Swakop’s relaxed resort atmosphere. Accessed only by private plane, the sands here are littered with rusting hulls of doomed ships who fell victim to the rocky underwater hazards and intense fog. The thrills are much different in Swakopmund, but still no less astounding. To include a visit to Swakopmund on your next Namibia luxury safari, contact your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant.