Geography and History
Swakopmund (German for "Mouth of the Swakop") is a city on the coast of northwestern Namibia, 280 km (170 mi) west of Windhoek, Namibia's capital. Swakopmund is the capital of the Erongo administrative district. The town has 42,000 inhabitants and covers 193 square kilometres (75 sq mi) of land. The city is situated in the Namib desert.
Swakopmund is a beach resort and an example of German colonial architecture. It was founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South-West Africa, and a sizable part of its population is still German-speaking today.
The city lies on the B2 road and the Trans-Namib Railway from Windhoek to Walvis Bay. It is also home to Swakopmund Airport and Swakopmund Skydiving Club.
Buildings in the city include the Altes Gefängnis prison, designed by Heinrich Bause in 1909. The Woermannhaus, built in 1906 with a prominent tower, is now a public library.
Swakopmund is Namibia's premier holiday resort town! The main beach area is called the Mole, 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.
The Cape Cross Seal Colony is worth a visit as it offers a taste of the Skeleton Coast and the seals are worth a visit. The Welwitschia drive is an interesting way to spend a few hours and introduces you to some of the fauna and flora of the Namib Desert. Bird lovers can pay a visit to the Swakopmund Salt Works or the Walvis Bay Lagoon, which in season is frequented by thousands of flamingos
Other attractions in Swakopmund include a Swakopmund Museum, the National Marine Aquarium, a crystal gallery and spectacular sand dunes near Langstrand south of the Swakop River. Outside of the city, the Rossmund Desert Golf Course is one of only 5 all-grass desert golf courses in the world. The city is known for skydiving and other extreme sports. Nearby lies a camel farm and the Martin Luther steam locomotive, dating from 1896 and abandoned in the desert.
There is a great variety of accommodation in Swakopmund which cater for all tastes and budgets. It should be noted that these establishments will definitely need to be booked in advance especially if you are travelling in the busy December holidays.
|Swakopmund Tourism Office Information|
|Telephone:||+264 61 2906000|
|Fax:||+264 61 254848|
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