Swakopmund is a coastal town of Namibia, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by desert dunes, it’s also the capital of adventure and the access road to the nearby Namib Desert and the Skeleton Coast; with a population of less than 50,000 people, Swakopmund is the fourth-largest city of Namibia.
Swakopmund was founded in 1892 by German settlers, who needed a port after the Berlin Conference decided that Walvis Bay would remain a British enclave.
The city is located in the proximity of the river Swakop to which it owes its name, Swakopmund in German means “Mouth of the Swakop”, the river provides a valuable freshwater reserve.
The German origins of the city are still very evident, in fact Swakopmund is a wonderful example of German colonial architecture; the buildings, that give the feeling of being in a North Sea or Baltic Sea German town, are well preserved and create a fantastic contrast with the surrounding desert.
An example of colonial architecture is the old train station, that nowadays houses an elegant hotel.
The town is small and it’s ideal to be explored on foot or by bicycle, all the attractions are in the city center and on the beach.
For Namibians Swakopmund is a holiday destination, where to enjoy beach life, the ocean waters are cold but the sand is warm and the beach is served by numerous cafés and museums.
Despite being surrounded by the desert on three sides, the climate is quite mild, with rainfall almost non-existent; the cold Benguela ocean current compensates for the lack of rain, creating heavy fog when the current comes in contact with the interior hot air; the mist provides humidity and water to plants and animals, necessary for their survival.
Swakopmund is considered the adventure capital of Namibia, here you can practice numerous sports, such as skiing or riding in the desert, you can also make many excursions: hot air balloon rides and helicopter flights allow to observe the Namib desert, the Skeleton Coast and the impetuous ocean from an unusual perspective, while quad trails offer adventure and breathtaking views whenever you reach the top of a dune.
For birdwatchers at the Swakop River mouth there is a small fresh water lagoon, attracting many species of birds.