On the edge of the wild Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by the Namib desert, Swakopmund is a charming coastal town full of German colonial history and buildings with much to see and do. The town is relatively small and a stroll around its streets enjoying the splendidly preserved colonial architecture, museums and art galleries is a pleasant way to explore. Due to a large number of activities and excursions on offer the town is a popular resort for foreign visitors and also locals who come from the hot interior to the cooler climes of the coast. The adventurous will find a number of ways to fill their days with quad biking and sand boarding in the desert, skydiving and kayaking among the many activities.
From the nearby town of Walvis Bay, one can take a boat trip to see marine life including dolphins and seals and the lagoon is a great bird watching location with flamingos, pelicans, terns and more. A guided 4x4 trip to exploring the wetlands and massive sand dunes around Sandwich Harbour is highly recommended and aerial viewing of the coast and desert on scenic flights brings a whole new perspective.
The Skeleton Coast, which extends north of Swakopmund all the way to the Angola border, is a vast, desolate stretch of coastline where the Atlantic meets the desert. Many of the shipwrecks that gave the area its name are eroding and disappearing due to the relentless action of the wind and waves but the sense of wilderness remains. Self-drivers can access the southern section of the coast including the Cape fur seal colony of the Cape Cross but to explore the more remote northern stretches and inland desert take a fly in safari with Skeleton Coast Safaris or stay at Wilderness Safaris’ Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.
If you are the adventurous type aim to spend a few days in Swakopmund as there is lots to do. Birders should head for the lagoon at Walvis Bay and the salt works to the north of Swakopmund.
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