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Swakopmund

Travel Guide Africa Namibia Swakopmund

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Introduction

School kids in Swakopmund

School kids in Swakopmund

© All Rights Reserved TDL

Swakopmund is Namibia's premier beachside location and one of the larger settlements in the country (bear in mind this is Namibia so that equals just under 30,000 inhabitants). It's sometimes called even more German than Germany itself and there are indeed some influences regarding architecture, food and drinks. The town itself is fairly attractive for Namibian standards, but if the common fog comes in from the Atlantic Ocean, things suddenly look a bit boring, even the brightly pained houses.

Most visitors to Swakopmund spend very little time hanging about the town however, rather they come for the plethora of activities available in the local area. It is a bit of an adventure traveller's mecca and as such attracts a lot of backpackers and overlanders.

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Sights and Activities

  • Surfing, fishing, beaching
  • Quad biking in the dunes, just inland
  • Soak up the German atmosphere.
  • Swakopmund also provides a good base from which to explore the Skeleton Coast, a wild barren section of coastline north of the city. It is expensive to travel here and the accommodation options are extremely limited.

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Weather

Although Swakopmund has a very arid climate with just about 15 mm of rain a year, the area receives a lot of fog meaning that plants and lichens can grow here, even up to 100 kilometres inland. The average maximum temperatures are between 23 and 28 °C on most days, though when it stays foggy all day temperatures can drop well below 20 °C, while highs of around 40 °C are sometimes recorded when winds blow directly from the warm desert areas. Average lows are mostly between 12 and 16 °C.

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Getting There

By Train

TransNamib offers overnight trains between Windhoek and Swakopmund (9½ hours) and Walvis Bay (1½ hours) daily except Saturday. There are 3 trains a week between Walvis Bay and Tsumeb (17½ hours) also passing through Swakopmund.

By Car

The B2 mainroad runs south from Walis Bay (just half an hour away) towards Swakopmund and from there north/northeast inland via Usakos towards the B1 road that runs south-north across the country. The C34 coastal road connects Swakopmund to the north via Hentiesbaai towards the Cape Cross Seal Reserve and further along the Skeleton Coast.
The C28 and C14 roads go inland from Swakopmund and Walvis Bay respectively. The C28 is the shortest route towards Windhoek while the C14 is best taken when you are heading towards the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the famous Sossusvlei.

By Bus

The Interncape Mainliner offers bus services to Walvis Bay (half an hour) and Windhoek (4¼ hours) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with connections to and from South Africa.
The Friday Star Line bus between Khorixas (6½ hours) and Walvis Bay (one hour) passes through Swakopmund, and returns on Sundays. There are minibuses between Swakopmund and Windhoek (four hours) and Swakopmund and Walvis Bay (45 minutes).

By Boat

Swakopmund lighthouse

Swakopmund lighthouse

© All Rights Reserved Nat and Ev

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Getting Around

By Car

You won't need a car for transport around central Swakopmund, only when you are going within the wider urban area or more inland.

By Foot

Most of Swakopmund is easily explored on foot and distances between most hotels, the beach and the central pubs, restaurants and shops are short.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Amanpuri Travellers LodgeMoses Garoeb St. Anton Lubowski Avenue, erongoHostel89
Skeleton Beach Backpackers14 Moses Garoeb str, Vineta P.O. Box 23658 WindhoekHOSTEL88

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are a number of internet cafes in town to provide for the needs of the tourists. There is one inside the main shopping mall that provides decent speed connections at cheap prices.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Check with your mobile provider whether your network will be supported by a local Namibian network. Be aware that when you get off the beaten track signal can be erratic.

Post

Nampost is the national postal service of Namibia. It has post offices in most major cities and towns or postal services are incorporated within small shops in the smallest settlements. As for many countries in Southern Africa, services are actually fairly reliable but not very fast. Count on 2 weeks or more for postcards or letters to be send to countries in Europe or North America. Most post offices are open from 8:00 or 9:00am to around 4:30pm, with shorter hours (mornings) on Saturdays. Note that local variations may apply. For parcels, you might choose more expensive but faster companies like DHL, UPS or TNT.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -22.67746
  • Longitude: 14.53363

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This is version 13. Last edited at 2:06 on May 24, 13 by sleepBot. 4 articles link to this page.

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