Swakopmund and Walvis Bay 365

A coastal city on the cool Atlantic Ocean, just bordering the hauntingly beautiful Namib Desert, Swakopmund offers an intriguing juxtaposition of beach and desert. 

Germany’s influence is immediately apparent in this town – Namibia’s second largest – whose origins date back to Namibia’s colonial days when it was German South West Africa. It therefore has elements of old and new – in some ways resembling a picturesque old German town but with elements of its 21st century African reality, and the trappings of a beach resort.

The palm-lined streets are filled with promenades, cafes, galleries, museums and historical monuments but it also offers action in spades – considered an adventure sports hotspot, you’ll have your pick of quad-biking tours, sandboarding and boat rides to see the resident seal populations.

Swakopmund is a good choice to unwind post safari – the cool Namibian coast offers respite from the intensity of time spent on safari in Etosha National Park or the dust and heat of the dunes of Sossusvlei.

Walvis Bay, close by, is a port town, originally named for the presence of whales (and whaling vessels) due to it being Namibia’s only natural harbor. Being a coastal town, water sports, fishing, birding and boast tours are some of the activities it offers.