Swakopmund

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Swakopmund, known as Swakop in Namibia is the country's biggest coastal town and a resort for Namibians on holiday. The city's German origins are quite pronounced in beautiful old German Colonial buildings throughout the city, making an even starker contrast for this town sitting at the edge of the Namib Desert. One artifact of the German colonization includes an old museum/store, selling genuine artefacts from the 19th century. Cover a child's eyes, because some of what is on sale is aesthetically--and historically--difficult to look at. Swakopmund was used as the setting for The Village in the 2008 production of The Prisoner by AMC and ITV. It's quaint buildings and unusual appearance made a perfect replacement for Portmeirion where the original 1960's series of The Prisoner was set. (less...) (more...)

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Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Swakopmund

Swakopmund Lighthouse

Marine Memorial

Kristall Galerie

Old Country Court

Alte Kaserne

Hohenzollernhaus

National Marine Aquarium

German Evangelical Lutheran Church

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About Swakopmund

Activities

Swakopmund is Namibia's adventure capital. Because of this, taking advantage of the following is a must.

  • Do a tour Go out to see the Welwitschia plants, the Cape Fur Seals at Cape Cross, the Swakop River and the life and beauty of the dunes and desert.
  • Elephant Conservation Go on a locally based desert elephant conservation trip with EHRA +264 64 402 501, e-mail: info@desertelephant.org. Elephant Human Relations Aid
  • Beach People don't come to Swakopmund to hang out in the desert. Hang with the Namibians away on school holiday and go to the beach. You'll find cold water, but warm sands. The beach, just to the north of town, is ringed with museums and cafes.
  • Helicopter You can take marvellous helicopter and lite plane rides around the Skeleton Coast (to the north) and around the Namib desert (the oldest desert in the world, with the tallest sand dune in the world).
  • Sandboarding You can ski the dunes just like you're snowboarding, or ride the board on your belly. Extremely high speeds. Alter Action has access to the infamous "Dizzy" hill.
  • Dune 7 Sandboarding +264 64 220881, fax: +264 64 220881, e-mail: wayne@duneseven.com. Quadbike to take you up; Snacks and Drinks incl. N$ 350.
  • Quad-biking This is an excellent way to see the Namib desert close up. Several tour companies offer lessons and guided tours on four-wheel motorbikes through the desert surrounding the city. Breathtaking views of the dunes and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Skydiving Learn to jump from concerned, compassionate professionals in one of the cheapest, best skydiving schools on earth.
  • Educate Yourself Swakopmund has one of the best libraries in Africa.
  • Party Swakop has an unusual number of skilled rock musicians and an impromptu "Open Mike Night" can usually be organized at one of the local nightspots. Travelling musicians take note!
  • Okakambe Trails, Horse Rides +264 64 402799. About 8km outside Swakop.
  • Camel Safaris +264 64 400363. About 8km outside Swakop.
  • Aquarium Pay a visit to the aquarium. (According to a sign on the window, this place is closed till 2012)
  • Surf Hit the surf spots to the north of town, such as 'Thick Lip' and 'The Wreck'. Travel further south towards Langstrad for 'Guns'.
  • Hotair ballooning & Microlight Flights There are few better ways to see the Namib Desert.
  • Walk in the dunes Just south of town on the road to Walvis Bay, there are some nice sand dunes. Cross over the Swakop River, smile at the fact that there's rarely any visible water in it, and stroll through the dunes.
  • Birding There are several birding locations in the town. At the Swakop River mouth there is a small fresh water lagoon which always has good birds to see. In the town there is the water treatment area. This is more for the twitcher (birders chasing rare birds) looking for rare birds. It is only open on working hours on week days. North of the town is the Mile 4 Salt works. Some roads go along the open saline lakes where the salt is being extracted. This area is very important for various birds, including Flamingos.

Food

  • Namib Restaurant, 13 Luderitz Street,  +264 64 404896. German cuisine with great service. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • The Tug Restaurant (at the jetty),  +264 64 402356, fax: +264 64 402356, e-mail: tug@iafrica.com.na. A great seafood restaurant. It is an actual tug with a great view of the sea - reservations are essential.
  • Light House Pub (Located at the Mole). Try the calamari and seafood dishes, serves pub meals and restaurant. Big room, so nothing if you want to feel homely.
  • Weinmaus, Poststraße. Very friendly host. Not many tables, so make a reservation.
  • Kückis Pub, Tobias Hainyeko 22,  +264 64 404207. Warm and enjoyable atmosphere with great service. Limited menu, but interesting dishes (shark steak, etc) and very well prepared.
  • De Kelder. A little bit hidden, does not look attractive from outside. But everything else is perfect!
  • Tiffanys. Fresh fish, good wine, reasonable prices. The locals eat here!
  • GK Restaurant (at Hotel Gruner Kranz),  +264 64 402030. 7-10AM & 5-10PM. GK Restaurant-new owners
  • Kupferpfanne. Game food and good wines.
  • The Jetty 1905. At end of the pier, fish and chips, sushi, tapas, good wine list and whisky Don Pedro's, +264 64 5664 for reservations.
  • Out of Africa Get your coffee and cake here. African-sized muffins and mugs of European coffees make you wish for the movies.
  • Café Anton Great for an all-you-can-eat Breakfast. Around N$60.
  • Caffe Treff Punkt. Great German café, lovely breakfast.

Drinks

This is Jagermeister country and don't forget to sample the famous, locally brewed Hansa Draught.

  • Tiger Reef - beach bar, excellent place for a sundowner on the beach. Go to the aquaruim and walk along the beach in the direction of Walvis Bay. Grab a bottle of bubbly for the amazing sunset (Locally called sundowners)
  • Grunerkrantz Located above Cape to Cairo. This is where everyone comes for their late night drink.
  • Rafters, great sports bar with big LCD screens.
  • Pane Fresco. 7-14:00. Great croissants, freshly baked. Excellent espresso.

Shopping

There are several nice shops in Swakop selling souvenirs and art. There is also a very good craft market near the lighthouse, which has a lot of items which are difficult to find elsewhere in Namibia.

  • Leder Chic (leather boutique for ostrich, kudu and buffalo leather articles), Brauhaus Arcade, (Centre of town in Hendrik Witbooi St.),  +264 64 404778. from 9h00 to 18h00. Luggage and leather retail shop, the finest ostrich and kudu wallets and purses. Modern zebra skin belts, ostrich and kudu leather belts as well as designer handbags in springbok, kudu, nguni, buffalo and ostrich leather.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Swakopmund on Wikivoyage.

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