Swakopmund sits on the mouth of the ephemeral Swakop River, roughly 30 km north of Walvis Bay. It’s a popular seaside resort town known for its German-style architecture and sandy beaches, and as a centre for local adventure activities. The summer months are particularly busy, especially December and January when the coast is much cooler than the interior and local holiday-makers arrive in numbers for the Christmas season.
Highlights of the region
Swakopmund has lovely, sandy beaches, with a wide, grassy seafront promenade that runs almost the length of the town. The German architecture is distinctive and unusual against the backdrop of the surrounding dunes. It’s a slightly bizarre experience to find yourself in what feels like a German seaside resort in the middle of the desert. There are 4×4 trails up the Swakop and Khan riverbeds, and the nearby ‘Moon Landscape’ and welwitschias are definitely worth a visit. Permits for the area can be picked up at the Ministry of Wildlife and Tourism Office in the centre of town.
Practical + driving advice about the region (time needed)
In summer, you’ll need to book accommodation well in advance, or try one of the campsites further north. Otherwise, there are two good campsites on the south end of town and for most of the year you can just arrive and see what’s free. A variety of hotels and self-catering cottages are also available. If you need a longer break from the road, then Swakopmund is the place to do it, but if not then you’ll need no more than a couple of days to resupply and explore the town.