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Destination Details

Swakopmund, Namibia

 

Swakopmund's German colonial history is reflected in its architecture. Within a short drive of the town you'll see seals and flamingos in their thousands. Pelican Point is excellent for a gentle kayaking trips.
 
The old town of Swakopmund perches between the sands of the Namib Desert and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
 
With misty morning fog it’s a contrast to the inland and very refreshing after days in the desert.
 
The streets are wide and lined with palm trees, the buildings fascinating examples of old German architecture. There’s an array of curio and antique shops as well as some particularly good seafood restaurants serving fresh crayfish and Skeleton Coast mussels.
 
 
 
The main beach area is called the Mole, and is the result of a largely unsuccessful attempt to construct the artificial harbour (as South Africa owned the only natural harbour in the area at Walvis Bay). The towns most iconic symbol is the Swakopmund jetty, initially used as mooring for ships it later became a popular are for anglers and walkers, it has fallen into disrepair on numerous occasions and has been subject to several attempts to rescue it from complete dereliction. Recently large scale work has been completed on the jetty which now proudly boasts a small restaurant and bar area.
 
True to its German traditions early mornings and evenings in Swakopmund can be cold throughout the year, as the cold Atlantic Ocean meeting the Namib Desert creates a fog bank. This coolness is often a relief from the heat of the rest of Namibia, but does mean that Swakopmund is not the tropical sunbathing mecca that most people imagine.
 
There is a great variety of accommodation in Swakopmund which cater for all tastes and budgets. It should be noted that these establishments will definitely need to be booked in advance especially if you are travelling in the busy December holidays.
 
Wildlife around Swakopmund
 
A couple of hours’ drive north of Swakopmund you will find the seal colony at Cape Cross. It’s certainly worth a visit as it is home to between 100,000 to 240,000 Cape fur seals at any one time. South of Swakopmund, and equally worth a day’s visit, is the lagoon at Walvis Bay. Pelicans sweep over the dunes to the sea, whilst hundreds of flamingos, avocets and other waders are to be found in the lagoon.
 
 
 
Pelican Point
 
One excellent way to spend a morning is on a gentle kayaking trip to Pelican Point. Run by Jean Meintjies, these trips start early in the morning when Jean drives you out to Pelican Point, a sandbar near Walvis Bay.
 
Jean has a number of sturdy sea kayaks and she guides you to three colonies of up to 300 Cape fur seals. The seals love to swim and play around the kayaks, and sometimes even jump over them! It is possible to see dolphins, and flocks of gulls and cormorants are often overhead. There is a stop on a beach for warm rolls and coffee for elevenses.

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