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Located on the Atlantic Coast at the edge of the Namib Desert, the colonial town of Swakopmund with Bavarian church spires and German inspired architecture is one of Namibia’s most unique and surreal destinations.
This historic town has many colonial landmarks including the Swakopmund Lighthouse and the harbour breakwater known as ‘The Mole’, which now marks the southern boundary of Swakopmund’s main tourist beach.
As well as, The Railway Station Building which was built in 1901 and has now been transformed into a luxury 75-room hotel, the old barracks, known as Die Alte Kaserne, the Kramersdorf building, the Hohenzollern-Haus, the Prinzessin Rupprecht-Heim, the Kaiserliches Bezirksgericht (magistrate’s court), the Swakopmund Jail and the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
From Swakopmund there are opportunities to experience adventure activities, such as camel rides, sand boarding, skydiving, quad biking, kayaking, hot air balloon flights, horse riding and mountain biking, and excursions to Walvis Bay.
Walvis Bay is located 30km south of Swakopmund. Sheltered by the Pelican Point sand spit, Walvis Bay’s tidal lagoon is home to abundant birdlife and up to 50,000 Cape Fur seals.
The 30 minute drive along the scenic coastal road from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay is a highlight in itself
Swakopmund has a year round summer climate with average temperatures between 15°C-25°C. The heat of the desert is balanced by the cool ocean air to create moderate temperatures making Swakopmund an ideal place to visit during the summer months (November to April) when it is hot and humid in other parts of Namibia. Throughout the year early mornings and evenings are quite chilly as the cold Atlantic Ocean meets the Namib Desert and creates a fog bank.
Two hours north of Swakopmund is the Cape Cross Seal Reserve – home to the largest number of Cape Fur seals anywhere in the world. The best time to visit the reserve is either mid-October when males fight for breeding rights, or late November/early December when thousands of pups are born within a four week period.
Swakopmund is perfect for a stopover on self-drive itineraries, whether you’re driving south into the Namib Desert or north along the Skeleton Coast into Damaraland and on to Etosha National Park. If you’re driving into Swakopmund on the roads from Windhoek, Walvis Bay or the Skeleton Coast you’ll see towering sand dunes before reaching this picturesque town. Take a look at our 'Classic Namibia Holiday' and our 'Namibia Off The Beaten Track' for itinerary ideas.
Our preferred accommodation in Swakopmund is the charming Villa Margherita. This colonial-style boutique guest house is set in the heart of Swakopmund and is within walking distance to restaurants, shops and the beachfront. Constructed between 1908 and 1913 the property was lovingly restored by the current owners and it opened for guests in 2008. We recommend staying for two or three nights to allow time to explore Swakopmund and the surrounding area.