Swakopmund is a important city in the middle of the desert with a important port, with German flavour.
It is a little city, but not for Namibia, is the second biggest Namibia's town and a summer place with beautiful big houses at the beach.
I had a free morning to walk around while the rest of the group went to Walvis Bay to see flamingos. SirRichard recommend me to search for antiques shops at the centre full of German colonial old things, and that I did.
I spend all the morning at Pete's Antiques shop ...uhm !!!! great place :))) very interesting one. I am sure there are more places, but I only had 4 hours and ...
Swakopmund was of major significance as a harbour during the German colonial era and today is a popular seaside resort with a slightly nostalgic atmosphere and many tourist attractions. The townscape is characterized by numerous colonial buildings. A new highlight is the casino into which the old train station was changed. Enjoy strolling around and look for German signs like "Kaiser Apotheke", "Bismarckstraße" and the like, enjoy the beach promenade or have some German beer or cake in one of the many restaurants!
I never experienced such a German feeling in a foreign country as in Swakopmund! Quite strange!
Coming from the Desert, Swakopmund is often in the mist. And even if you are lucky and have no clouds and mist, it will be a lot cooler than you are used by now in Namibia.
Swakopmund is often said as to be a piece of Germany at the Rim of the Desert, and especially the german-speaking Namibians like it. So do not try to get there in the summer holidays or at christmas- or at least not without having booked before.
A lots of streets still have german names, but since 2002 they are changing it. So look, that you do have a newer map!
Things to see in Swakopmund:
-The Jetty: the first Jetty was built 1912. 1983 it was closed and restaurated, 1998 it was closed again. You will understand why, when you have a look at it.
- the Train Station. Built in "wilhelmic stile" 1901 it is today (totally renovated) a Casino, Hotel and Restaurant.
- The Worman house: today seat of the Namibia Wildlife Resort (if you need a permit: that is the place).
- The "Ritterburg" (Knights Castle) named after a Thomas Ritter. Located at the corner Bismarck Drive/Sam Nujoma Ave. (see picture). Today it belongs to the Municipality.
- The Lighthouse. 21m high, built in two steps..
- The Hohenzollern House. Built 1905 like a House in Berlin.
- The Antonius Hospital
- The Old Courthouse
- Princess Rupprecht Home
- The Aquarium: at the Strand Street. It is the only Aquarium in Namibia, opened 1995. They have a tunnel under the water where you can watch the Sandtigershark. Every day at 3 p.m. it is feeding time.
With lots of activities available and a lovely little town in its own right, Swakopmund is worth a couple of days visit. Said to be 'more German than Germany', the town draws lots of German-speaking tourists.
Activities include sand boarding, quadbiking, tandem sky-diving, rock climbing, balloon rides, microlighting, horseback riding, fishing and golf.
Dare Devil Adventures is situated halfway between Swakopmund & Walvis Bay. Their rates may seem a bit expensive at first, but once you get on the quads and start your trip it is worth every cent!
Going up and down STEEP dunes adds to the adrenalin rush, and most of the quad bikes are pretty powerful too, so racin each other (although not actually allowed), also adds to the fun.
One of the most amazing experiences is actually just stopping and looking around. No buildings, no plants, no water, nothing... Just sand for as far as you can see...
Just by the beach is a kinda informal market selling local souvenirs, mostly clay models and beadwork. Most of the work is quite good, and the price can genarally be bartered down to somewhere resembling cheap. Wonderful place to wander around.
Swakopmund is an old German port city on the south Atlantic. Originally built as a colonial retort to the British port of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund slowly grew out of maritime importance as the Brits supplanted the German troops in Namibia after World War I.
Today, Swakopmund (or Swakop for short) is a laid-back, friendly and interesting city for visitors to Namibia. The German heritage guarantees a decent little bar scene, complete with tasty Germanic-style beers. There are numerous nice hotels, in all price ranges. And, Swakop is a good place to shop....both for necessities of travel AND souvenirs. There are a lot of "old settlers" for Namibia in and around Swakop, and they maintain a lively and well-stocked group of shops.
There are numerous eateries in and around Swakop, many featuring very fresh and tasty seafood dishes.
A walk through the workshop of weavers creating beautiful wall-hangings, rugs and other works of art with hand-dyed and spun and woven karakul wool. All original artwork.
View the weavers at work and browse the extensive range of products.
An original piece can be made to order from a picture or photo.
Sandboarding, Swakopmund, Namibia
Sandboarding is a must activity when trevaling through the Namibian desert region. Two different styles axist: Snowboard style and Head first style. Tried the head first style and it was execelent.
Well, I didn't get a chance to do this, but skydiving in Swakopmund is supposed to be amazing...and duneboarding. I heard both highly recommended.
The Namib desert is the oldest desert in the world, and the dunes are the largest in the world and butted right up against the ocean....unbeatable.
Many activites possible on top of a short sightseeing in the town.
An expensive (N$ 880) but worthwhile thing to do is a 2.5 hours fly to Sossusvlei dunes and over the Namib desert
A cute and neat little european (german) town between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib desert. Coming there from wilder places, it feels like being part of the 'Truman Show'.
For the outdoor adventure/ extreme sport types make sure you sepnd a few days in Swakupmund to sandboard, quad bike, and take coastal flights. It is also easy to get to the lunar scape and Cape cross from here.
It is just a whole lot of fun!
Though we arrived in winter (august), SWK is the main holiday center for water sports, beaches and coasts, but anyway, don't expect more than 22°C in summer!! The water, even in summer, is bloody cold, but there are a lot of good restaurants and loooong sandy coasts.
Walking around SWK you can find beautiful examples of german architecture that talk about its colonial past.
About two kilometres before you arrive in Swakopmund, on the left side of the highway, you'll see a rusty old steam engine. It was brought to the area in 1896 to transport goods from the township to the interior, but after a couple of trips it gave up the ghost and died on the spot. It is affectionately called Martin Luther, in memory of the German reformer's famous words on the steps of Worms Cathedral: 'Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders' (Here I stand - I can do no other).
Swakopmund: a hint of Bavaria existing precariously between the Namib desert and the south Atlantic Ocean. Drive the skeleton coast, where the ocean mists swirl inland, get permission to visit the uranium mine, stare at the salt flats, and return to the town for the local beer and German food.