Travel Guide Namibia: Swakopmund
In the heart of the Namib, the oldest desert in the world, and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, travellers will find one of Namibia's most important cities. Learn more about the coastal town of Swakopmund.
Swakopmund is a coastal town in Namibia, west of the capital Windhoek. It lies directly on the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the Namib Desert, near the mouth of the Swakop River. The population of the seaside resort is about 45,000 people.
Characteristic for the cityscape is the impressive architecture from the German colonial period. Besides the African flair, visitors are often reminded of the atmosphere of a German North Sea resort. Swakopmund is an ideal starting point for excursions into the fascinating Namib Desert.
On the west coast of Namibia in the Namib Desert, where the Swakop flows into the Atlantic Ocean
Almost 200 km² with about 45,000 inhabitants
Numerous accommodations, from beach hotels to rental houses
City tours and insights into the culture and former occupation of the city, also excursions into the desert, from sand-diving, quad and 4x4 tours to exploring the flora and fauna of the Namib, boat and fishing trips on the Atlantic Ocean, hikes in the "Rossing Mountains", various safaris and visits to seal colonies
Best travel time
In the dry season from June to September, however, Swakopmund is also well visited at any other month
Quad and 4x4 tours through the Namib Desert, skydiving or boat tours to see seals, dolphins and sea birds
Swakopmund is located in the northwest of Namibia, directly on the Atlantic coast in the Namib Desert. The Swakop River, giving the city its name (“Mouth of Swakop”), flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Swakopmund.
Accommodation and activities
Swakopmund has a large number of accommodation options. This varies from large luxury beach hotels to small houses in the desert. In general, accommodation is very affordable, especially in the low season.
Thanks to the favourable location between the desert and the sea, there is a wide range of leisure activities. In the city itself visitors can join various guided tours which mainly focus on the colonial period. A visit to the Swakopmund Museum is worthwhile and included in most city tours.
On the coast, boat trips, fishing trips, various water sports activities as well as whale and dolphin watching can be booked. Also in the desert itself, numerous activities can be enjoyed. These include sandboarding, desert excursions or trips by quad, car or plane. Skydiving / parachuting is also a highlight. Nature lovers can discover highlights such as desert lions, oryx antelopes, desert elephants, black rhinos, various reptiles as well as the extraordinary, endemic Welwitschia plant on a safari in the Namib. On the coast, however, whales, dolphins and seals can be observed. In addition, hikes in the Rossing Mountains allow exploring exciting geological highlights.
Best travel time
Swakopmund is easy to reach and can basically be visited all year round. Due to its location in the desert, rainfalls are very unusual. The annual low temperatures are around 9 °C in August. During the rainy season, especially from November to February, extreme heat waves can often occur. Therefore, the best time to travel is between June and September.
Visitors should definitely discover the culture of the city, still influenced by Germany, and learn more about the past. Swakopmund offers highlights for everyone – from boat tours to observe the marine life to adventurous desert expedition and mountain hikes to scenic flights.