Swakopmund, situated halfway along Namibia’s long Atlantic coastline, is a characterful town enjoying a cooler climate – which comes as a welcome relief from the inland desert.
This makes Swakopmund a convenient stop-off between southern and northern circuits. Founded, in 1892, as the main harbour for German South-West Africa, a sizable part of its population is still German speaking. Much of the town is a bizarre colonial relic full of traditional pastry and cake shops.
With its bracing sea air, Swakopmund would not look out of place somewhere on the North Sea coast and whilst here you should allow time to visit the excellent desert park to see the unusual, two leaved welwitschia plants, the oldest in the world, and walk among huge colonies of Cape fur seals. Bird lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit nearby Walvis Bay lagoon, a world-renowned sanctuary, on which 70% of the world’s chestnut-banded plovers rely for survival, and where 80% of southern Africa’s flamingos feed.
- Ideal for viewing: cape fur seal, Heaviside’s dolphin, Damara tern, Namaqua chameleon, yellow mongoose
- Where: Erongo Region, Namibia, Namibia