Swakopmund General Info


This is a general Swakopmund info post


Swakopmund, known as Swakop in Namibia is the country's biggest coastal town and a mecca for Namibians on holiday and your typical choice of accommodation in Swakopmund is Self Catering Accommodation.

Swakopmunds German origins are quite pronounced in beautiful old German Colonial buildings throughout the city, making an even starker contrast for this town sitting at the edge of the Namib Desert. Palm-lined streets, seaside promenades, fine self catering accommodation, a pleasant summer climate and decent beaches.

Welcome to Swakopmund - Namibia's premier holiday resort!

During the summer holidays and long weekends, thousands of Namibians flock to the coast, and this human migration happens for a number of reasons; Swakopmund offers plenty of Self Catering Accommodation choices; Swakopmund has a real holiday feel to it and everyone wants to book their accommodation there; during the December holidays, the cool Namibian coast offers relief from the intense heat of the interior; and more importantly as far as the tourist is concerned in these modern times, Swakop has changed, and has become the countries leading adrenaline destination, with a wide range of activities to suit all ages and (most) egos. Your best choice to find accommodation in Swakopmund is look for these selfcatering houses along the beach area.

The area of the Namibia Desert around Swakopmund is named the West Coast Recreational Area. And recreation is the towns number one draw card. There are countless pursuits to help you spend your time, and money. For those interested in adventure activities Swakopmund offers sandboarding, quad biking, dune carting, parachuting, hot air ballooning, shark fishing, deep sea fishing and beach angling to name but a few. For the more sedentary there are restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums, a snake park and aquarium.

If danger isn't your middle name, then the architecture and general feeling of Swakopmund might be more to your liking. This town has the ambiance associated with a small German village, and the town seems to be stuck in time. Although in recent times the new generation have woken up to the tourist potential of the area and started many selfcatering accommadtion houses, Swakopmund still manages to create a feeling of timelessness. Buildings and monuments of note in Swakopmund include the Hohenzollern Building, the Marine memorial, the War memorial in memory of those killed in World War 2, Princess Rupprecht House originally a military hospital now a private guest house.The Kaserne buildings originally served as a barracks and is of a similar design to the Alte Feste in Windhoek and Fort Namutoni in Etosha.

The Swakopmund Railway station was completed in 1901 and now houses the Swakopmund Hotel, while the bells of the Deutsche Evangelical Church were imported from Germany. Standing close to the State House (Kaiserliches Bezirksgericht) is the Swakop Lighthouse at just over 20 meters it has been functional since 1902.

The main beach area is called the Mole (our selfcatering accommodation choices are close by), and is the result of a largely unsuccessful attempt to construct the artificial harbour (as South Africa owned the only natural harbour in the area at Walvis Bay). The towns most iconic symbol is the Swakopmund jetty, initially used as mooring for ships it later became a popular are for anglers and walkers, it has fallen into disrepair on numerous occasions and has been subject to several attempts to rescue it from complete dereliction. Recently large scale work has been completed on the jetty which now proudly boasts a small restaurant and bar area.

True to its German traditions early mornings and evenings in Swakopmund can be cold throughout the year, as the cold Atlantic Ocean meeting the Namib Desert creates a fog bank. This coolness is often a relief from the heat of the rest of Namibia, but does mean that Swakopmund is not the tropical sunbathing mecca that most people imagine.

There is a great variety of accommodation in Swakopmund which cater for all tastes and budgets. It should be noted that these self catering accommodation establishments will definitely need to be booked in advance especially if you are traveling Namibia in the busy December holidays.

General Info

Swakopmund - Namibia was used as the setting for The Village in the 2008 production of The Prisoner by AMC and ITV. It's quaint buildings and unusual appearance made a perfect replacement for Portmeirion where the original 1960's series of The Prisoner was set. The best way to get to Swakopmund is by road from Windhoek.

The B2 is the main road from Windhoek, and takes 4-5 hours by car. Minibusses operate from Windhoek almost every 2-3 hours, ask the taxi drivers where the buses leave.

There are multiple taxi ranks in Windhoek for different destinations, so make sure you find the right one. For about N$120 you can have a ride in an overloaded minibus. The ride will take about 4-6 hours. Pay immediatly and try to get yourself a seat next to the driver for a bit more space.

A number of flights are offered by Air Namibia, from Windhoek as well as Cape Town in South Africa. Flights operate from Walvis Bay, 35km south of Swakop. South African Airways They operate flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town. SAA flights also operate from Walvis Bay. There are numerous operators in Namibia, and flying from destination to destination on a tour through Namibia is an effective way to minimize the time spend travelling the long distances.

As with other cities in Namibia, there is no public transport in Swakopmund. But this holiday accommodation city is small enough to get around easily on foot. All the major attractions and facilities are downtown. It´s hard to get a taxi in city centre (there are no taxi's on a Saturday after 7PM), but once you get one it takes you wherever you want for the same rate as the Windhoek Taxis.

Swakopmund is Namibia's adventure & holiday capital. Go out to see the Welwitschia plants, the Cape Fur Seals at Cape Cross, the Swakop River and the life and beauty of the dunes and desert. Beach People don't come to Swakopmund to hang out in the Namibia desert.

Hang with the Namibians away on school holiday and go to the beach. You'll find cold water, but warm sands. The beach, just to the north of town, is ringed with cafes and plenty self catering accommodation choices.

Sandboarding. You can ski the dunes just like you're snowboarding, or ride the board on your belly. Extremely high speeds. Alter Action has access to the infamous "Dizzy" hill.

Dune 7 Sandboarding, Quadbike to take you up; Snacks and Drinks incl. N$ 350. Quad Biking is an excellent way to see the Namibia desert close up. Several tour companies offer lessons and guided tours on four-wheel motorbikes through the desert surrounding the city. Breathtaking views of the dunes and the Atlantic Ocean.

Surfing. Hit the surf spots to the north of Swakopmund, such as 'Thick Lip' and 'The Wreck'. Travel further south towards Langstrand for 'Guns'.

Hotair ballooning & Microlight Flights. There are few better ways to see the Namib Desert. Walk in the dunes. Just south of town on the road to Walvis Bay, there are some nice sand dunes. Cross over the Swakop River, smile at the fact that there's rarely any visible water in it, and stroll through the dunes.

Birding. There are several birding locations in the town. At the Swakop River mouth there is a small fresh water lagoon which always has good birds to see. In the town there is the water treatment area. This is more for the twitcher (birders chasing rare birds) looking for rare birds. It is only open on working hours on week days. North of the town is the Mile 4 Salt works. Some roads go along the open saline lakes where the salt is being extracted. This area is very important for various birds, including Flamingos.

There are several nice shops in Swakop selling souvenirs and art. There is also a very good craft market near the lighthouse, which has a lot of items which are difficult to find elsewhere in Namibia. Leder Chic (leather boutique for ostrich, kudu and buffalo leather articles), Brauhaus Arcade, (Centre of town in Hendrik Witbooi St.). Luggage and leather retail shop, the finest ostrich and kudu wallets and purses. Modern zebra skin belts, ostrich and kudu leather belts as well as designer handbags in springbok, kudu, nguni, buffalo and ostrich leather.

Swakopmund Restaurants please check a List and Recommendations on Tripadvisor

Swakopmund is a good starting point and accommodation basis for trips up the Namibia Skeleton Coast. A good day-trip would be south from Swakop to Walvis Bay, Namibia's port town. The road to Walvis Bay provides good views of the Namib dunes meeting the Atlantic.

Cape Cross 120 km north of Swakopmund lies Cape Cross (an hour's drive from your swakopmund accommodation), where every October to December about 100,000 of the Cape Fur Seals breed. The sight and the noise (and also the smell) is absolutely breathtaking! The name Cape Cross comes from a stone cross erected 1486 by the Portuguese Diego Cáo. Entry fee to the nature reserve is 10 N$.

For hobby botanists a half day trip to the south east will take you to the legendary Welwitschia Mirabilis plants. In a place where there is no rain for decades the only water source this plant uses is humidity. Welwitschia can become over 1000 years old and only live in this part of the Namib desert, 40 to 120 km away from the coast. Take the Welwitschia drive that starts 50 km east of Swakopmund. Be careful not to walk too close to the plants (roots easily destroyed) or even take plants with you, the species is highly endangered!

Please note: The above information was collected from various public sites and may change from time to time. Jan Jonker Self Catering Accommodation cannot be held responsible for any wrong information. Many Thanks to the Authors.

Did we interest you in our choices?. Ask us any more questions you have!