Off the Beaten Track - What to Do in Swakopmund, Namibia

Swakopmund - NamibiaSwakopmund, Namibia
Swakopmund - NamibiaSwakopmund, Namibia


Swakopmund as a popular tourist destination has many exciting activity options for visitors to this beautiful town.

Activities range from thrilling to the more sedate depending on what you seek.

When in doubt always contact the local tourism office who will be more than happy to help with recommendations to suit your needs.

Read more about Activities in Swakopmund


Off the Beaten Track - What to Do in Swakopmund, Namibia

Namibia is a largely unknown country outside of Southern Africa. It is a vast country on the western seaboard, north of South Africa and to the west of Botswana.

Swakopmund (German for mouth of the 'Swakop' ) is a small city on the coast of Namibia about 170 miles from the capital Windhoek. The city has roughly 40,000 inhabitants. It is a popular beach resort and due to the colonisation of Namibia by the Germans has a very European feel with fine examples of German architecture.

As Namibia is a largely desert country, Swakopmund enjoys a mild desert climate and the average temperatures range from 15C (59F) to 25C (77F). Rainfall is less than 20mm a year so no need to take an umbrella!

There is a wide variety of accommodation in Swakopmund to suit most budgets and tastes and Swakopmund has plenty of attractions to entertain you during your stay.

Here is a sample of what's on offer:

1) The Living Desert Tour - a fascinating guided excursion into the world's oldest desert is a must for any lover of nature. Discover the amazing amount of life in this apparently barren landscape including the odd-looking Welwitschia plant and other strange desert lifeforms and the eerie almost Martian landscapes and stunning sand dunes.

2) Quad Biking - A very popular option with family groups this guided quad bike trail takes you through the sand dunes and is fun, interesting and safe. The tours follow strict ecological guidelines to protect the deserts fragile ecosystem and to main the unspoilt beauty of the Namibian coastline.

3) Ballooning - A gentle, peaceful way to see the spectacular scenery as you fly over the dunes, shipwrecks and magnificent shoreline of the Skeleton Coast.

4) Adventure Sports - Swakopmund is well known for it's 'extreme' sports and here is a list of some of the exciting activities you can take part in. Sky diving, karting, paragliding, sand-boarding on the dunes, land yachting, surfing, windsurfing, and deep sea fishing.

5) An der Mole Beach - Originally an artificial harbour for boats and rafts could off load their cargo it is now exclusively used as a bathing beach as it is pleasantly sheltered with palmed walkways and a variety of shops and restaurants.

6) The Iron Jetty - The jetty provides a panoramic view over the shoreline and was restored in 2006. It has an extensive history dating back to 1904 and it's initial wooden construction. A wonderful place for a stroll at sunset!

7) Martin Luther Steam Tractor - Just outside of Swakopmund alongside the B2 road stands a steam traction engine which was imported from Germany in 1896. The tractor broke down about 1.5km outside of town and was left to it's own devices. The engine has been lovingly restored and is one of Nambia's National Monuments.

8) Swakopmund National Marine Aquarium - The aquarium is well worth a visit. The main attraction is an underwater glass tunnel through the oval shaped 12meter by 8meter main tanks. It would be best to time your visit to coincide with the feeding of the fish by divers at around 3pm.

9) Swakopmund Museum - Well situated on the beach front, this is a well laid out museum with plenty to see and interactive exhibits. It is a small museum so you will be able to work your way around within about two hours.

10) The Kristall Galerie - Home of the world's largest Quartz crystal cluster on display. The galerie has been designed to showcase a fascinating display of crystals and gemstones. There is even a craft area where you can watch the experts reform the gems into jewellry and gifts. You will be unable to leave without purchasing some beautiful but reasonably priced jewellry.

This is just a small snapshot of what is on offer in Swakopmund. My advice is if you are heading to the area ensure you have at least a week to take full advantage of what this 'gem' of a city has to offer. You won't regret it.

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Swakopmund, Namibia