With a name like Swakopmund (pronounced Swah-cop-moond), it’s only right to let you know that yes the Germans also have a colonial history in Africa. One of the few German-speaking areas on the continent, Namibia as a whole is heavily influenced by the remains of its former colonial power and Swakopmund is no different.
History lesson aside, Swakopmund is one of the best destinations for pushing the limits on anything a sensical person would do. One of the few places where the desert actually meets the ocean, Swakopmund is located less than 3 hours west of Windhoek the nation’s capital.
The best way to get there is via the Desert Express, a luxury train that is an experience in and of itself. You’ll need the luxe appointments, bar car, and dining experience to get yourself prepared for a couple of days in an adventure junkies dream. Here are our must-dos in Swakopmund:
Quad Biking & Dune Boarding
While either of these can be done independently, you’re better served to do them together. The tour companies often package it so that you can actually bike to the dunes and then slide your way back down.
Your options are to do this in the morning or at sunset — we suggest the latter and have your camera ready. There are tons of tour companies out of downtown Swakopmund that’ll get you out to the dunes but we suggest packing your Go Pro cam and booking with Desert Explorers
Phone number: +264 (0)81 124 1386
This seems to be an unlikely entry to an adrenaline junkie’s list, but you’ve never stood in the middle of 1,000 flamingos. Walvis Bay located just 30 minutes south of Swakopmund is one of Africa’s most protected bodies of water and has a budding relationship with eco-tourism.
While not the most contemporary digs, the Flamingo Cottages sit right on the water and are one of the best spots for Bird Watching.
Address: Corner of The Esplanade and Nangolo Mbumba Drive,
Get your heart pumping with some epic views of the desert landscape while paragliding. Swakopmund has the desert meets ocean vibe that many people find spectacular in Namibia.
There are only two companies with official license to operate in Namibia and I suggest you go with Namib Gliding. The owner has more than 15 years of experience in Southern Africa and is great with beginners.
Address: PO Box 42, Swakopmund, Namibia
Phone number: +264 81 208 0678
Dolphins, Humpbacks, and Seals by Catamaran
Most people head out to Namibia focused on desert’s and land roamers but it’s unique position on the coast of the Southeast Atlantic Ocean make it a hot spot for large sea mammals.
Dolphins and Seals are the most consistent but if you travel from July-November you in case your chance of seeing a humpback whale. Catamaran Charters offers the instagram-worthy luxury catamarans that some of the others forego, we like the tradition.
Address: 12th Rd.
Phone number: +264 64 200798