Although this place is located on the west coast of Namibia adjacent to the Namib desert, it feels like you are in Germany. The influence of the German settlers who founded Swakopmund in 1892 are still clearly noticeable in architecture and language. The name refers to the mouth of the Swakop River that flows here into the Atlantic Ocean.

Striking buildings include the old prison designed by Heinrich Bause in 1909, the Woermann House with its striking tower dating from 1906 that now serves as a library and the station building built in 1901 where a luxury hotel is now located. The houses that were built at the beginning of the last century were mostly pre-fab houses made in Germany that were shipped in parts to Swakopmund and built there. The Germans wanted to make a port city that could compete with the nearby Walvis Bay that was owned by the British. The location of Swakopmund, however, was much less suitable as a harbor town since it has no natural bay and therefore there is usually a strong ocean current. If you want to know more about the history of the area, you can visit the Swakopmund Museum.

Swakopmund is for Namibians and also for many South Africans a popular destination for the summer holidays (December-January) due to the climate. In the interior it is very hot everywhere while it is pleasant in Swakopmund because of the Benguela stream, which supplies water from the South Pole. Because of this cold current, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean remain cold off the coast and not everyone will take a dip in the water during a beach day. The pier is widely used by fishermen and in the evenings to watch the sun sink into the ocean.

Since Swakopmund is surrounded by the Namib desert, many local tour operators offer day trips to this surrounding area. For example, you can ride a camel, go quad biking or sand boarding on the huge sand dunes. There are also opportunities for sightseeing flights, parachuting, boat trips and horse riding.

Hotels, guesthouses and campsites are plentiful and there are also bars and restaurants in many shapes and sizes. On the boulevard you can stroll along the palm trees, stare over the water, buy souvenirs and eat or drink for a wonderful holiday feeling.

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