Love beaches and unique adventures? With so many cool Swakopmund activities, then you will love this hidden gem in Namibia! Below amazing things to do Swakopmund, a Germanesque town on the Atlantic coast of Nambia. I have been wanting to show you more of Africa. I have not shared tips on Zambia, Botswana, Egypt and now Nambia. So, here you have it! Why a visit to Swakopmund in Namibia is a must! Swakopmund is definitely one of those Namibia must-see places. Many of the cool places to visit and things to do in Namibia can be found in this town.
The charming town was founded in 1892 during German colonial rule as it served as the main harbour for several years. Located between beautiful desert dunes and the roaring Atlantic. There are plenty of spots in the town lined with beautiful palm trees and public gardens. In town, there are coffee shops and restaurants and small art galleries to explore.
The town has a lot of historical buildings many the German aristocrats used to stay in as well as those that house the German regiment that came to build the Jetty. Another prominent landmark is the Swakopmund lighthouse, the Old Iron Jetty built in 1911 and many more places as I share Swakopmund activities below.
Thing To Do In Swakopmund Namibia | Swakopmund Activities & Attractions
1. Sandboarding In Nambian Dunes
I thought I would start with something that I had absolute fun doing. If you are have tried snowboarding in the snow then you also have to try it on the sand. As my husband is a keen snowboarder this was something he was looking forward to the most. There are sandboarding tours if you love adrenaline junkie activities. This is such a great and adventurous thing to do in Swapkomund and one that you shouldn’t miss out on. I love that we go to use quad bikes to get into the desert too. I have shared a post in sandboarding in Namibia as well as in sandboarding in Dubai’s desert dunes.
2. Desert camping and Camel Rides In Swakopmund
I don’t make a habit of promoting animal rides on my blog but most desert camping offer camel rides just make sure the animals are treated with respect. Just imagine chilling to campfires under millions of stars as you reminisce on the day’s activities. There is no better place in the world for desert camping than Namibia’s vast and varied desert terrains. There are budget and luxury camping tent options in Namibia too.
3. Get On Your Bike! Check Out The Fat Bike Tours
Swakopmund has something called Fat Bike Tours as well as the city and township bike tour. With this tour, you can go on a beautifully scenic tour of Swakopmund and the surrounding deserts. Explore stunning dune ridges on the Namib. If you are not into group tours you can also rent the bikes and take to the city on your own. Just be sure to be safe on the bikes and get as many tips as possible on the areas you are hoping to cover.
4. Wilderness Exploring And Safari
Namibia is vast and with the surrounding desert, it also means a rich and varied animal that can be found. From the wild cats to small and dangerous creatures like snakes and spiders. There are plenty of tours to cover each and every interest and unmissable on any like of things to do in Swakopmund or Namibia in general. Check out this desert and dune 4×4 tour from Swakopmund.
5. Explore The German City
The German city is cute but has a dark history. Let’s not forget that Namibia only got its independence in 1990! Like many African countries it passed through several stages of colonisation and many Herero and Nama people suffered from a genocide at the hands of the German Empire. There aren’t many places in the city with details of history but you can read about it before traveling there. You can also take cultural tours in Swakopmund that give you more insight into the cultures and the different native groups of people in Namibia and Swakopmund.
6. Explore Swakopmund Museum
Another one of the cool points of interests in Swakopmund. This is the largest privately run museum in the country and includes everything from marine animal life found in Namibia, Minerals, transportation, naval history and people of Namibia. If you are interested in more of the historical aspects of the country also check out the public library which has a collection of historic photographs. You can also see newspaper cuttings dating back to 1898.
7. Grab A Bite To Eat At The Jetty Restaurant
Below I have shared some pictures from our dining experience at the Jetty Restaurant on the pier. This is a must if you are visiting Swakopmund and looking for cool places to eat in Swakopmund. There are also a few other local cafes that we had the pleasure of sampling. There are plenty of restaurants in town too, with ties to German history it means that you will find many German-style menus at many restaurants. Just out Bistro Zum Kaiser, Brauhaus or Wurstbude just to name a few.
8. Visit The Local Markets And Shops – Head To Sam Nujoma Avenue
There are shops, markets and local artist studios to check out in the city to get a feel of the local talent as well as being perfect if you are looking for some cool Namibian souvenirs to bring back from your trip. Check out Sam Nujoma Avenue which is lined with jewellery, arts and crafts shops, cafes, African art and specialist stores.
9. Explore The Amazing Beaches And Take To The Water
I shared a post on the best beaches in Africa that you need to check out. With Namibia having an extensive coastline it means plenty of opportunities for water sports and of course, the all-important sport of beach bumming. There is plenty of sunshine in Namibia so you can just chill by the beach or try surfing, windsurfing, paragliding and so many cool adventures or you can just people watch.
10. Take A Day Trip From Swakopmund To Walvis Bay And Dune Climbing
There plenty of nearby cities with opportunities to do day trips from Swakopmund. You can check out Walvis Bay where there are plenty of beautiful pink flamingos, and dolphins. Considering the close proximity to these towns you can easily tick off things to do in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay with relative ease. Walvis Bay is another one of those places of interest in Namibia. You can also visit Dorob National Park which incorporates core conservation areas and multiple use areas for adventure tourism, is a park of great imagination. On the way to Walvis Bay you can also take on Dune 7.
11. Check Out Woermannhaus
This another place on the list of places to visit in Swakopmund that is well worth check out. Woermannhaus not only offers cool views of Swakopmund but is also a historical place in Namibia and Swakop. It provides a perspective in the lives of the history of German settlers arriving in Namibia. While German history and what they did to the people of Namibia is nothing to admire, they left some pretty buildings that are still standing today.
12. Go Paragliding Over Namib Dunes
The place where we stayed in Namibia offers Paragliding as well as many other tours. Learn the art of paragliding above the beautiful dunes of Swakopmund. Said to be the safest location in the world to go paragliding.
13. Chill Out On The Beaches In Swakopmund
The whole of the town of Swakopmund faces the Atlantic Ocean. You can stroll along the long stretch of the beach, you jog, have picnics, enjoy people watching and if you are up for it there are some water sports too. From windsurfing to diving.
14. Take To The Skies And Go Sky Diving In Swakopmund
If safaris are not enough of an adrenaline rush for you, there is also tandem skydiving over the oldest desert in the world. Sadly we didn’t get enough time to do this while we were exploring Namibia. If you love adventure and have a thing for heights this is one thing not to miss. Transfers and all the equipment are included in the skydiving tour, said to be the highest skydive in Africa.
15. Dolphine And Whale Watching
With the Atlantic Ocean at the doorstep there are plenty of amazingly beautiful creatures to see on the shores of Swakopmund. A whale watching and dolphin tour is not to be missed when visiting Swakopmund. Among the cool things to do in Namibia. You can also take a tour to explore Seal colonies.
16. Visit Swakopmund National Marine Aquarium
Exploring the waterfront aquarium is a must on the list of points of interest in Swakopmund to check out. An amazing place to visit with kids as well as adults. There is an impressive tunnel through the largest aquarium. Its open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Tickets for adults are N$40 and children cost N$20.
17. Take An Early Day Trip To Sossusvlei
You can opt to do a 3-day Soussuvlei safari with accommodation leaving from Swakopmund or you can do an overnight stay and head back. This is a couple of hours of driving from Swakopmund. A must-see while visiting the Skeleton coast. There is also a 2-night Sossusvlei tour which ends back in Windhoek.
18. Check Out Namibia’s Culinary Scene and Do A Food Tour In Swakopmund
Explore the local flavors instead on a walking tour of Swakopmund’s authentic haunts. A tour curated for foodies and history buffs alike where you are and your guide explore the city’s unusual palate unraveling the fascinating history and culture of the former German colony. Make sure you arrive hungry and indulge in African game meat, fresh fish, local beer, and sweets at a German-influenced cake shop. Book there Swakop food tour here.
What Exactly Does Namibia Have, Anyway? Why Visit Swakopmund, Windhoek…
If you have not heard or been to Namibia then you better move it close to the top of your bucket list, pronto! This is one place that will have folks flocking to it the moment they realise just what a gem it is. Yes, it’s even safe to explore with kids, check out this Nambia itinerary with kids by TraveLynn Family Perhaps you won’t see this place and those linked above in the mainstream media because they want these places to themselves.
Our Swakopmund Itinerary Plans
When you arrive in Swapo you would think you had been tricked by your airline as it looks like you had been dropped in a small German Town. Founded in 1892, and not shocking, considering Namibia was colonised by the Germans so you find many people here also speak German in addition to many of the African Languages from the migration of people in and around surrounding regions.
Namibia was in the hands of South Africa when it was captured from Germany during WWI, so was very much linked to South Africa’s history of Apartheid and only got independence in 1990. Do not let that stop you from visiting the beauty that lies waiting for your gaze. Getting there and getting around: The town is fairly small so you can get around by walking while you are there.
There is a train that comes through from Windhoek. Although, I think you are better off getting a car so that you have the freedom of movement as well as the freedom to explore the dunes, nearing towns which are not really served well by public transportation.
A Trip To Jetty 1905 Restaurant Is Another Must To Add To Your Swakop Visit(Restaurant on the jetty bridge)
Why Namibia Is Worth Adding To Your African Bucketlist
Where To Stay In Swakopmund
There are hostels and hotels in the main town but we opted to stay at about at a desert chalet. I have shared tips on where to stay in Swakopmund as well as included details of where we stayed in Swakopmund. There are places with varying budgets but as Western currency will get you very far in Namibia you can stay comfortably without concerning your bank managers. For a full list of accommodation options in Swakopmund, here is a list of hotels in Swakopmund.
How To Get To Swakopmund
Note on Car Rental: Make sure you have all your paperwork, if traveling with rental cars between country borders as you may not be allowed to leave the country with the car. So be sure to mention to your rental shops if traveling between borders to provide inter-board paperwork which comes with an additional cost. Also, note that most of the rentals don’t have that many branches so you don’t have manydrop off points. We were lucky that we traveled with my brother from Botswana to Namibia and when we flew out from Namibia my brother drove the car back to Botswana with him and returned it to the rental shop on our behave.
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