Former “Bavarian” village in Africa appeared once upon the initiative of Captain Kurt von Francois. Even now, Swakopmund has managed to preserve the colonial atmosphere, the aristocratic appearance and the rich museum heritage. In addition to well-groomed gardens, parks and luxury hotels, the Namibian Riviera was also famous for its hot mineral springs, and now it is a popular balneological resort.
Here there is something interesting for each tourist – it does not matter if you are from Namibia, from Europe or America. Every day lovers of antiquity will discover the rich colonial past of this amazing city for themselves. All its architecture is in fact German colonial style.
Swakopmund does not allow you to forget about your colonial past. The architecture and the German way of life harmoniously complement the German accents in the local cuisine. Probably only in Germany and Namibia you can buy first-class apple strudel … at the gas station.
Swakopmund attracts fans of outdoor activities. In the vicinity of the city there are beautiful high sand dunes, which the extreme lovers have chosen for skiing and snowboarding! The descent speed at the same time reaches 80 kilometers per hour. In addition, on the sand dunes you can travel on an SUV, ride them on quad bikes. And if you want a more global view of these lands – feel free to rise to the sky in a balloon. For those to whom such an extreme will seem a little, Swakopmund will offer skydiving.
Fans of water entertainment will find great fishing near the coastal cliffs, especially in the town of Henties Bay.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN SWAKOPMUND
• Touch the ancient 600-year-old rare velvichia trees growing in the vicinity of the city. Insignia: short, no more than 5 cm thick trunk and 3-4-meter leaves creeping along the ground.
• To go sea fishing in unique places created by a strip of dunes along the coast, for which Henties Bay is best suited.
• See an unforgettable lunar landscape during a night walk through the valley of the Swakop River.
• Go to a chic outfit at a traditional Christmas ball or visit a beer festival. Both festivals are held in December – January, another bright carnival begins in August.
• Conquer South Africa’s largest water slide, descending into a huge indoor pool.
• To devote half a day of rest to extreme entertainment, which is not common in the world, is sandboarding or duneboarding. This is a special way to go down from the dunes – on a snowboard or lying on a piece of hardboard.
• Ride on a catamaran in Walvis Bay, during this walk you can feed the fur seals, pelicans, see dolphins.
TYPICAL COSTS WHEN TRAVELLING
Accommodation – the room in hotel costs from 60 to 115USD.
Food – Most restaurants in the city are located on the waterfront. The average cost of dinner ranges from 10 to20USD. The colorful restaurant The Tug, built in the building of an old ship, is located on the shore at the end of the Promenade and is renowned for its excellent gourmet cuisine. Another institution, erected on stilts, is nearby – this is The Jetty 1905. Here they specialize in fish cuisine. A nice accessible place is the Lighthouse Restaurant. Interesting restaurants are also located at hotels, for example, the Europa restaurant at the Europa hotel and the Anton cafe at the Schweizerhaus hotel.
Swakompund has enough restaurants. Most of them are located either on the waterfront or at hotels. It is important to know that you should plan dinner in any restaurant, especially well-known, in advance and reserve a table for several days. The queue at the restaurants on weekends and holidays can be several days. This does not mean that it will not be possible to have dinner in the city, the situation in simpler restaurants is simpler. The average cost of dinner is from 10 to 20USD depending on the place and order. Tip, as a rule, is 10%, but this can be paid as apart of the bill.
Transportation – In the city there is no public transport, in the center all the objects are within walking distance. For long-distance trips it is possible to call a taxi, while it is practically useless to look for it in the city center just on the streets, especially at night or on weekends. A taxi ride from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay costs around $2.
Suggested daily budget – 70 $ if we consider minimal expenses.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
1 Visit museums: There is good news that museums here are free-of-charge or cost so little, no more than 2 USD. In the meantime, it doesn’t influence the quality and quantity of exhibitions as there are numerous units and galleries in one place.
2 Choose extreme sports. If you think about entertainment and never mind adrenaline activities, why not to choose extreme leisure? By the way, its cost is quite reasonable. For instance, sandboarding costs 35 USD, quadbiking is 50 USD, while the most expensive activity, mean paragliding costs 300 USD.
3 What about accommodation? There are numerous hotels in different price categories, however, almost all of them match the highest standards of accommodation of your dream. So, choose the districts and spend some time on making a choice. Moreover, they give an option to eat out in the restaurants located nearby what makes a good economy, too.
4 Order excursions right from the hotels. Almost all the hotels give a possibility to order and start an excursion right from the place of your location. By doing that, you will save not only your money but also your time, simultaneously.
ON THE SCENE?
Since the time of colonization by Germany in Swakopmund, the remarkable traditions of Christmas balls and beer festival have been preserved (held in December – January), as well as fun carnivals (August).
In addition, the quality of recreation at this resort is also provided by a huge indoor pool and the largest water slides in South Africa. Those who prefer outdoor activities can play mini golf, football, tennis or volleyball. Now a charming resort town has grown here with hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.