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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.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: cape fur seal, Heaviside’s dolphin, Damara tern, Namaqua chameleon, yellow mongoose
  • Where: Erongo Region, Namibia

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Faces of Namibia

Experience all the key areas of this superb country: the soaring dunes of Sossusvlei, the dramatic deserts of Damaraland, and the prolific wildlife of Etosha. Staying largely in private reserves, activities include rhino tracking, walking and optional hot air ballooning - the complete Namibia adventure.

  • When to go: Mar-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,495 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Land of Contrasts Self-drive

This is Namibia at its very best, a wilderness destination of outstanding beauty at every turn, taking you north to the salt pans of Etosha National Park, the remote Kunene and its desert elephant, before heading down the Skeleton Coast to the awesome Namib Desert. Choose between self drive or guided.

  • When to go: Apr-Jan
  • Duration inc. flights: 18 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,745 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Namibia’s Desert & Coast

This guided small group trip explores the wilderness environments of the arid Namib Desert and the scenically dramatic Skeleton Coast. These remarkable landscapes and the highly-adapted wildlife that inhabits these desolate areas distinguish Namibia from any of its neighbours in Southern Africa.

  • When to go: May-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,195 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Wings over Namibia

This suggested itinerary provides a complete experience of the north and south, enjoying superb wildlife viewing and exceptional photographic opportunities. Staying in some of Namibia’s finest lodges with outstanding hospitality, and flying between camps, this trip is simply the ultimate safari.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,495 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Swakopmund Hotel

This 4-star hotel occupies the imposing and impeccably restored German Colonial-style former railway station dating from 1902, a few minutes walk from the waterfront. There are 88 spacious rooms plus two luxury suites – most of which overlook the garden courtyard and swimming pool.