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9 Must-sees and Do When Visiting this Namibian Gem


Photo by David Lartey

This charming town on the Atlantic coast is a perfect base to explore the wonders of the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world.


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Swakopmund was founded in 1892 by German colonists as the main harbour for German South West Africa. The town retains its German colonial architecture and atmosphere, with many buildings dating back to the early 20th century.

Photo by Grant Durr

The town is for sure a beach resort, even though the water is pretty cold, but it is also the perfect gateway to explore the Namib Desert and its fantastic wildlife and landscapes. The area is also a very popular destination for adrenaline seekers, with various sports on the menu.

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To get to Swakopmund, you can fly to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, and then take a bus or a car to the coast. The journey takes about four hours and offers scenic views of the desert and the mountains. Here are 9 must-sees and do in Swakopmund and its surroundings:


The Welwitschia Drive

Photo by Wikimedia

A 4x4 trail that takes you through the Namib-Naukluft National Park, where you can see some of the world's oldest and most bizarre plants. The welwitschia is a desert plant that can live for over 1000 years and has only two leaves that grow continuously from its base.


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The Moon Landscape

Photo by Ria Truter

Here, you find a surreal area of eroded hills and valleys resembling the moon's surface. It is located about 30 km from Swakopmund and is best visited at sunrise or sunset when the light creates stunning effects.




The Cape Cross Seal Reserve

Photo by Katsuma Tanaka

A protected area where you can see one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. There are about 200,000 seals that live here and breed between November and January. You can watch them from a viewing platform or take a guided tour.

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The Spitzkoppe

Photo by Pixabay

This group of granite peaks rise from the flat desert floor. They are also known as the “Matterhorn of Africa” because of their shape. They are popular among climbers, hikers, and campers who enjoy the views and the rock art.

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The Skeleton Coast

Photo by Felipe Labate

This stretch of coastline is famous for its shipwrecks, foggy weather, and harsh environment. It is also home to many animals, such as jackals, hyenas, flamingos, pelicans, and whales. You can explore it by plane, boat, or car.


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The Swakopmund Skydiving Club

Photo by Oshua Kettle

It is one of the best places to experience skydiving in Africa. You can jump from 10,000 feet and enjoy the thrill of freefalling over the desert and the ocean.



The Rossmund Golf Course

Photo by The Rossmund Golf Course

One of the few desert golf courses in the world, located about 10 km from Swakopmund and has 18 holes that are surrounded by palm trees and dunes. It is open to visitors and offers equipment rental and lessons.


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The Living Desert Tour

Photo by Tommy´s Tours and Safaris

A tour that takes you on a 4x4 drive through the Namib Desert to discover its hidden life. You can see animals such as geckos, scorpions, spiders, snakes, lizards, and chameleons that have adapted to survive in this harsh environment. Check out Tommy´s Tours and Safaris for more information.

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The Quad Biking Adventure

Photo by Desert Explores

Explore the sand dunes on a four-wheeled bike. You can choose from different routes and speeds depending on your skill level and preference. You can combine it with other activities, such as sandboarding or paintball. At Desert Explores you can rent bikes and they also have a lot of other fun sports to explore.




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