Commonly referred to as Swakop, the coastal resort town of Swakopmund lies on the Atlantic coast of central Namibia. Roughly five hours drive from the capital, it is popular with Namibians on their holidays, also drawing visitors from further afield. The city is marked by distinctive German architecture, a remnant of the country’s colonial past, with some quipping it is the southernmost German North Sea town. From a tourism perspective, Swakopmund is regarded as the adventure capital of Namibia and serves as the base for numerous adventure activities by air, land and water. As a result, a wide range of accommodation options caters to all market segments.

Essential Traveller Information

Swakopmund is readily accessible on well-paved roads or by air via nearby Walvis Bay. The town is Namibia’s adventure mecca, with a large selection of exciting activities to choose from. There are several options to explore the area by air, whether in an aeroplane, helicopter or hot-air balloon. Sky-diving takes place at the Swakopmund airfield. In the water, both the surfing and angling options are surprisingly good. By land, venture into the desert by quad bike, on horseback, or on foot. For the agile, dune boarding is the desert equivalent of snowboarding. Swakop has a good selection of restaurants and pubs, along with some fascinating museums and galleries.

Swakopmund lies on the central Namibian coast, roughly 362km (225mi) from the capital, Windhoek, and its nearby airport, Hosea Kutako International. Visitors can either rent a vehicle or join an organised tour, for a drive that takes up to 5 hours to complete on paved roads. It is possible to charter a flight directly to the Swakopmund airfield, but most make use of the scheduled flight to nearby Walvis Bay, which receives daily arrivals from Windhoek, South Africa and a few other destinations. Walvis Bay is 35km from Swakopmund. There is no public transport available, with taxis being the only option. The town is small enough to walk to most attractions.

Swakopmund can be visited at any time of the year. The cold Benguela Current that runs northwards along the coast has a profound cooling effect on the air, despite the town technically lies within the Namib Desert. Temperatures typically range between 15-25 °C (59-77 °F) throughout the years—less than 20mm (0.8in) of rain falls annually. The region does, however, experience up to 180 days of coastal fog per annum, reaching up to 140km (87mi) inland. This can make driving hazardous at times.

MAP OF Swakopmund

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