Swakopmund is a coastal town in Namibia with a strong German heritage that is reflected in much of its architecture and history. Swakopmund is the place where most Namibians head to at the end of each year for their Christmas holidays. The laidback town has charm by the bucket loads with its oceanfront promenades, historical sights, cosy guesthouses and excellent restaurants and pubs where you can sample traditional German food and beer. Swakopmund is also Namibia’s adventure capital and the location of the town, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib desert, make it the ideal the launchpad for adventures to the Skeleton Coast and dune escapades into the Namib. There are also an array of activities on offer in and around the town.
1. Sandwich Harbour excursion
Namib meets Atlantic Ocean
Sandwich Harbour is situated 42 Km south of Swakopmund and a morning or afternoon excursion to this incredibly beautiful landscape of high dunes meeting the Atlantic ocean is highly recommended. The lagoon with a sandy beach and majestic dunes dropping straight into the sea is fed by fresh water springs . The lagoon is a haven for many birds such as pelicans, flamingos, sandpipers and dabchicks. It’s not uncommon to find jackal trotting along the beach, see dolphins and whales offshore or Springbuck, Gemsbok and Ostriches grazing between the dunes. See HERE a video of a typical daytrip to Sandwich Harbour
2. Boat excursion on the Walvis Bay lagoon
Otherwise also known as the Dolphin Cruise. On this 3.5 hour catamaran cruise on the Walvis Bay where you truly get to experience all the bay has to offer. Get ready to learn about Namibia’s marine life while enjoying delicious snack platters including fresh oysters, sparkling wine and a selection of beverages & hot drinks.
3. Living Desert Tour
The Living Desert Tour is a real adventure as you explore and discover the dunes of the Namib Desert! Make sure your camera batteries are charged as you will be shown a host of creatures that live and thrive in this harsh desert environment. Not normally visible to the untrained eye your guides will introduce you to some of the fascinating hidden life that is to be found in this barren landscape.
4. Quad Biking & Sandboarding
The Namib Desert and it’s gigantic ever shifting sand dunes offers the ideal venue for riding a quad bike. Get ready for lots of excitement and a rush of adrenaline as you climb some of the biggest dunes around Swakopmund. Quad bike tours can be booked ranging from 1 to 3 hours. Sandboarding is another activity that combine perfectly with your quad bike tour and booking the combo will give you three of the best hours of your life. No previous experience needed. Professional guides will make sure you experience the Namib Desert at first hand.
Take a scenic flight up to altitude and see the unique Atlantic Ocean where it meets the Namib Desert Dunes. The aircraft door opens and you jump, attached to a world-class qualified tandem instructor. Free falling at 200km/h you get a proper adrenaline rush experiencing the feeling of human flight. Your instructor then opens the parachute and you get to fly over the oldest Desert in the world suspended from your parachute for approximately 7 minutes. Finally you land safely on Mother Earth.
The valleys of the Swakop River form a spectacular moonlandscape. It came into existence as the river cut through the softer surface deposits. These soft materials were laid down some 460 million years ago when the area’s climate was more wet. A drive to the Moonlandscape leaves at around 16h00 and after sunset drinks at a favourite spot right in the middle of the landscape you will return back to Swakopmund after dark. A special firespinningshow can be included with your visit to this special area outside Swakopmund.
7. Visit Cape Cross and stop at the Zeila Shipwreck on the way
Renowned as one of the largest settlement of these animals in the world, the colony of Cape fur seals at Cape Cross marks the spot where the first European explorer set foot on the coast of Namibia in 1486. Originally marked by a cross erected in honour of the king of Portugal by explorer Diego Cao, the spot is now home to a thriving colony of more than 200 000 seals. The Zeila is probably the most easily accessible shipwreck to see on the Skeleton Coast, as it’s an easy stop off between Swakopmund and Cape Cross Seal Reserve.
8. Daytrip to Spitzkoppen via Moonlandscape & Goanikontes
If you have a full day available in Swakopmund then a daytrip to the Spitzkoppen (+- 3 Hours) via the oasis at Goanikontes and the Moonlandscape viewpoint is highly recommended. Goanikontes is a relaxed and laid-back stopover that ticks all the boxes when it comes to a family outing. A great place to enjoy a delicious lunch or just stroll around old car wrecks and various farm and other animals which is kept in neat enclosures in the Swakop River.
9. Camel Rides
If you want to ride a camel in the desert you don’t have to go all the way to Morocco. Just outside Swakopmund you can take a camel ride in the oldest desert in the world. Rides are between half an hour and two hours long
10. Fat Bike Tours
Explore the stunning Namibian desert by bicycle, covering more sights in less time on two wheels. Enjoy a scenic and eco-friendly adventure, pedalling your way up and down rolling sand dunes surrounding Swakopmund. Tours are suitable for people with moderate fitness levels, and include personalized attention from a hands-on group guide.