Things to Do in One day in Swakopmund
Swakopmund is the most beautiful town in Namibia and we know what we’re talking about we’ve visited dozens of towns in this country. It has beautiful German style architecture, located on the coast on the Atlantic Ocean and stunning Namib desert is just around the corner.
For multiple reasons Swakopmund is one of the top backpacker destinations in Namibia; first, it’s easy to get here from Windhoek by public transport or shuttle bus; second, there are many things to do and to see around; third, many tour companies offer tours from here to the main attractions in the country. There are even a couple of backpacker hostels in Swakopmund the type of accommodation you don’t see often in Namibia. So, if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to rent a car but still want to travel Namibia, Swakopmund is the right place for you. But even if you do a self-drive trip through the country and Swakopmund is just a short stop on the way it is worth of visit.
Things to do in Swakopmund in One Day
As mentioned there are many things to do and many places to see in and around the town if you want to get as much as possible from your 24 hours in Swakopmund you’ll be quite busy most of the time.
Visit flamingo colony in Walvis Bay. It’s a must do thing for all bird and wild life lovers, hundreds if not thousands of flamingos in shallow water near the beach. Beautiful gracious creatures moving together like a group of ballet dancers just 50-100m distance from you. Great place to take awesome flamingo photos. Walvis Bay is only 30km from Swakopmund, a 20-minute drive on a tarred road. You drive along the ocean you can see the meeting of two Atlantic Ocean and the Namib desert. Tip! It’s better to go early in the morning or late evening to escape crowds and big tourist buses.
For history lovers the Swakopmund museum is a place where you can learn more about Namibia; local tribes, history, life in the area 100-200 year ago, minerals, indigenous plants and animals.
Chilling on the beach, sunbathing and even swimming though the water can be quite cold all these you can do in Swakopmund, the beach is right in from of the museum. In between you can get a cool drink or cocktail in a local bar or spoil yourself with a delicious cheese cake and coffee from a coffee shop.
If you have a bit more time and not sick of sitting in the car yet you drive along the Skeleton coast to Cape Cross Seal Reserve, 120km from Swakopmund, to see one of the biggest seal colonies in the world. This is incredible place seals are just everywhere in water, on rocks, on sand, there are between 20-30 000 species here. If you don’t have a car it’s possible to do a day tour to Cape Cross from Swakopmund.
A walking city tour is a good way to get more information about the town and to stretch your legs a bit after long hours of driving. The tour takes about 2 hours of walking through the historical part of Swakopmund.
For a romantic evening watching sunset from the top of the highest dune in Namibia, Dune 7 (383m), is a perfect start of the night. Note the climb to the top is quite an exercise so come here with enough time before the sun goes down to make it all the way to the top.
You can continue the night in one of the local restaurants, there are many options; sea-food, Italian wooden pizza, German sausages with beer and of course good steak and wine. ‘Getty 1905’ restaurant is worth of visit though you need to book a table beforehand especially on weekends. From the restaurant you get a very nice view of the town.
Adventure Activities in Swakopmund
- Sandboarding. Here you can choose between sliding from a dune on a lay-down board or try your best in catching balance with a stand-up one. Whatever you choose it’ll be a lot of fun, sand and cool photos.
- Quad biking. Driving fast through the Namib desert, up and down the highest sand dunes with burst of sands behind your quad doesn’t it sound exciting? No worries about safety you get all instructions and safety gear before. This tour gives you a perfect opportunity for taking awesome photos of some remote dunes in the Namib.
- Fat biking. Maybe not as fast as the previous option but physically quite a demanding activity, cycling on sand. The big advantage of this way of moving around the desert is quietness no engine noise completely eco-friendly tour.
- Tandem skydiving. This one if not for faint hearted but if you’ve been dreaming all your life about sky diving to do it over the Namib desert is a perfect opportunity. 25 second free fall with a stunning view over the desert and the ocean you’ll forget about all your fears. Plus 20-minute flight over the area is included.
- Paragliding. Here it’s quite different from doing it somewhere in the mountains maybe not as high but still exciting. It can be an option if you want to fly over the desert but jumping off the pain is just too much for you. A relaxing way to enjoy the beauty of the Namib from the air.
These are not the only activities in Swakopmund you can do as well kayaking, boat cruises, living desert tours, fishing. As you can see here anybody will find an activity that fits his/her interests and budget.
24-hour itinerary for Swakopmund
Day 1 in Swakopmund
Most people arrive to Swakopmund from Sossusvlei or Windhoek usually in the second part of the day, after lunch. A bit late for adventure activities but you can still go to Dune 7 for sunset (or stop there on the way), it will take about 2 hours. After combine a pleasant walk in the historical centre with a nice dinner in one of the local restaurants.
Day 2 in Swakopmund
If you’re keen for adventure most desert tours start in the morning so you can do sand boarding, sky diving, quad biking in the first half of the day. No need to worry about lunch it’s usually included in a tour. You’ll be finished at about lunchtime after you can go to the flamingo colony and maybe visit the museum or just go for a quick swim on the beach.
If adventure activities are not you cup of tea, first go to Walvis Bay to see the flamingos after join a walking tour in Swakopmund and find a nice place for lunch. In the afternoon when it gets quite hot why not to go and relax on the beach and swim in refreshing water or maybe go to the museum to find out more about the history of the town.
Accommodation in Swakopmund
Swakopmund is a good place to have a break from daily camping routing and long-distance driving, it’s so nice after weeks of camping to sleep in bed and don’t have to break down your campsite in the morning. Here anybody can find accommodation according to his budget or preferences; from sharing a dormitory in a backpacker hostel or staying in a cozy B&B to enjoying a luxury of a 5-star hotel.
Written by Stingy Nomads – Campbell and Alya an international South Africa/Russian couple that has been traveling the world together for the last 4 years. Adventure seekers and camping addicts currently on a mission to explore their own countries with focus on hiking, diving, road tripping and extreme sports. FB page https://www.facebook.com/stingynomads/