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Swakopmund

 
 

Swakopmund was of major importance as a harbour during the German colonial era even though the water at the coast is actually too shallow and the bay is unprotected. But Luderitz was too far away and the seaport of Walvis Bay was in British possession in those days.

In August 1892, the gunship "Hyäne" under the command of Captain Curt von François, staked out a wharf north of the Swakop River mouth. A year later, 40 settlers from Germany and 120 members of the Schutztruppe were taken ashore on landing boats to embark upon an adventurous undertaking. The 325 metre long wooden jetty was only completed in 1905 and it was later replaced by a more solid iron construction.

Swakopmund became the gate to South-West Africa and the entire supply for the colony was wound up through this little town. The narrow-rail train to Windhoek started operations in 1902 while at the same time; the station in the Wilhelminian style (equivalent to Victorian style) was built. It was completely restored some years ago and has become an entertainment centre, a casino and a luxury hotel.

The appearance of the town, with its 30 000 inhabitants, is characterised by numerous colonial buildings with the Woermann House from 1905 as its landmark. The former trading house in Bismarck Street with its 25 metre high Damara Tower and its courtyard bordered by arcades today houses the city library, an art gallery and the office of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts.

Swakopmund is a popular seaside resort with a slightly nostalgic atmosphere, many tourist attractions and a pleasant climate in summer. Especially around Christmas the town is full of people from Windhoek and accommodation is extremely hard to find.

Driving along the stunning dune-lined coastline is particularly attractive, whether you go south to Walvis Bay (30 km) or to the National West Coast Recreation Area in the north. The road (slippery when there is fog) goes right along the beach and leads to the Ugab river mouth and further to the anglers’ resort of Henties Bay and Cape Cross on the way. North of the Ugab, the Skeleton Coast National Park starts, for which a permit is required.

Interesting is also the Welwitchia Drive that leads to the Moon Landscape at the Swakop Riviera and into the northern part of the Namib Naukluft Park

 

  swakop   swakopmund namibia  

Other Namibian Destinations:

Etosha National Park   Sossusvlei / Sesriem
A visit to the Etosha National Park is one of the highlights of travelling Namibia. Etosha, which was...more   The Sossusvlei, Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by...more
     
Fish River Canyon   Kaokoveld
The Fish River canyon, situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River, is one of the most impressive...more   Located in the far north-west, Kaokoland (also called Kaokoveld) is one of the relatively untouched regions in Namibia. The...more
     
Ai-Ais / Fish River   Swakopmund
Thermal water rich in sulphates and fluorides and with a temperature of approx 60°C gushes forth from the...more   Swakopmund was of major importance as a harbour during the German colonial era even though the...more
     
Caprivi   Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
The Caprivi is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Namibia, about 400 kilometres long. Germany exchanged the area...more   The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is located between the borders of Namibia and Botswana. The park covers an area of...more
     
Aus / Wild Horses   Namib Naukluft Park
The little place of Aus lies some 120 kilometres east of Lüderitz on the National Road B4, which connects...more   The Namib-Naukluft Park is Namibia's largest nature reserve, about 50.000 sqkms in size. It includes a 100 to150 km broad...more
     
Luderitz   Waterberg Plateau Park
Luderitz is a slighty sleepy and maybe also bizarre place, which forms the basis of its appeal. The founding...more   The Waterberg Plateau east of Otjiwarongo towers over the surrounding plains, being about 200 metres higher. The...more
     
Kolmanskop   Mariental / Hardap Dam
In 1908, Luderitz was plunged into diamond fever. People rushed into the Namib Desert hoping to make an...more   Mariental lies 260 kilometres south of Windhoek on the B1. The little town provides for the...more
     
Maltahöhe   Keetmanshoop
Maltahöhe lies 110 kilometres west of Mariental atthe end of the tarred part of the C19 Pad, quite easily...more   Keetmanshoop lies on the B4, 500 km south of Windhoek. It is the traffic junction and the economic centre for the...more
Kalahari Desert    
Stretching to 360,000 square miles, the Kalahari Desert extends beyond the borders of three countries in Africa... more    

 

 
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