The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Swakopmund
Planning on visiting Swakopmund? Read our guide and find out everything you need to know before visiting Swakopmund. Nestled on Namibia’s stunning Atlantic coast at the edge of the Namib Desert, Swakopmund is one of Namibia’s largest, and most fascinating, towns. Swakopmund is also one of the main pitstops while on a Namibia Safari. Many self-drive safari travellers use Swakopmund to replenish their supplies before continuing their safari holiday in Namibia.
Originally serving as a main German harbour in the late 1800s, since then the town has grown to become a vibrant tourist-driven destination featuring a blend of striking architectural landmarks set against the backdrop of the mesmerizing deep blue ocean.
Popular with solo travellers, couples and groups alike, Swakopmund serves as a haven for thrill-seekers owing to its close proximity to the Skeleton Coast and the range of activities, such as sandboarding and skydiving, that you can enjoy nearby.
In recent years Swakopmund has even become an extremely popular destination with filmmakers, with the town acting as the backdrop to famous Hollywood blockbusters such as Mad Max and 10,000BC.
With so much to offer, from charming buildings to scenic natural wonders, deciding what to do on your visit to Swakopmund can be a difficult task. Fear not, however, because here at Secret Namibia we’re here to help!
Read on below to discover our guide to exploring one of Namibia’s must-see destinations:
When is the best time to visit Swakopmund?
Swakopmund boasts a desert climate with very little rain meaning that temperatures are consistently mild and comfortable all year round. In the winter months, the daily average temperature is around 60 degrees F, although it’s worth noting that the sea is generally always cold.
In the summer months (November to February), daily temperatures average around 77 degrees F, and it’s during this season that most tourists tend to visit.
Uniquely, Swakopmund’s weather is characterised by fog which has been cited as one of the main reasons why scores of shipwrecks scatter the nearby Skeleton coast. Fog can be present for up to 6 months of the year on average- but this is unlikely to influence your experience too much!
How to get there
If you’re embarking on a Namibia self-drive safari tour and are looking to head to Swakopmund, then you’ll be pleased to know that the area has excellent road links.
Swakopmund is approximately 219 miles west of Windhoek on the B2 and 27 miles north of Walvis Bay (driving on the same road). If you’re driving southwards from Hentiesbay, travel on the C34 for 47 miles.
If you’ve booked a private-guided Namibia safari tour, and Swakopmund is part of your itinerary, check with your travel specialist for guidance on how and when you will be getting there.
Things to do in Swakopmund
Swakopmund hasn’t earned its reputation as one of Namibia’s most popular tourist towns for nothing! Whether you’re passing through for the day or staying for a weekend or more, there are plenty of great activities to enjoy.
For unbeatable views of this charming town, book a hot air balloon ride and drift above the colonial German-inspired buildings and majestic coastline with a glass of champagne in hand. For the more adventurous, take a trip to the Swakopmund airstrip and book a once-in-a-lifetime skydiving adventure.
No trip to the Swakopmund area would be complete without a visit to the iconic Dune 7 in the Namib desert, which is situated around 25 miles south of the town. Book a 4x4 tour and roam across the majestic landscape in style. Alternatively, Dune 7, the highest dune in the Namib desert, can be accessed by car, and you can leave your vehicle in the car park, which is within walking distance of the landmark.
If you’re after a more laid-back experience, you’ll find the marvellous Rössmund Golf Resort just outside of town, where you can kick back after a few holes on the course with a succulent meal and watch the sunset.
For bargain hunters and shoppers, you can even explore the wide variety of antique shops and craft markets dotted across the town before you head to the beach for a well-earned cocktail!
Finally, you can combine a visit to Swakopmund with a trip to Cape cross to witness some of the famous Cape Fur seals up close and personal! Cape Cross is located around 100 miles north of the town.
Where to eat in Swakopmund
Swakopmund’s culinary scene is highly regarded amongst foodies, and you’ll find an abundance of excellent restaurants in the area that serve everything from Italian to Indian.
For authentic Italian pizza and pasta, you can visit Gabrielle’s Pizzeria. The restaurant is owner-run, and the husband is also the pizza maker, so you can be sure to receive only the best. Please book well in advance, as they are typically booked up.
As you may expect from a former German colonial town, Bavarian and other German staples are readily available. You’ll find schnitzel and more served at popular German eateries such as Altstadt.
Book a table at Ocean Cellar Restaurant or Blue Grass for sea-food lovers, and you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy the day’s local catch whilst you kick back and take in some stunning ocean views!
Where to stay in Swakopmund
Whether you’re a solo backpacker, family, group or couple. There’s an accommodation option to suit all styles and budgets in Swakopmund.
For a taste of the high life, check out the Strand Hotel Swakopmund, which offers breathtaking views and luxury amenities galore. Located on the Mole by Swakopmund’s historic sea wall, this opulent hotel is enclosed by water on three sides and offers a divine spa as well as some of the town’s best culinary spots to dine at.
For more information about accommodation options in Swakopmund, or if you have any questions about planning your visit to this extraordinary town, get in touch with Secret Namibia today! We offer unrivalled self-drive and private-guided Namibia safari tours that can be tailored to your exact requirements!