From Sossusvlei, we fly by light aircraft to Swakopmund. We took the scenic route passing by Deadvlei, and then heading up the Skeleton Coast passing by numerous ship wrecks and seal colonies. Swakopmund is a city on the western coast of Namibia. It is a charming seaside town heavily influenced by German colonial architecture and culture. It served as the main harbor for the Imperial German colony at the time. Surrounded by the Namib Desert and the Atlantic, Swakopmund is ofter enveloped in fog that originates offshore when the cold Atlantic air collides with the warm desert air. This fog provides a vital source of moisture for the desert even though it causes many ship wrecks along the Skeleton Coast. We stayed at the Strand Hotel for our short visit.
View of Sossusvlei from the air
Waves of the Atlantic crashing against the dunes of the Namib Desert.
The Skeleton Coast is dotted with numerous ship wrecks.
Salt works near Walvis Bay
These Lego houses are public housing in Swakopmund
The purpose of coming here was to see Sandwich Harbour, part of the Namib Naukluft Park, where the giant sand dunes run straight into the Atlantic Ocean. I find it mind-boggling that the arid desert can exist right next to the ocean. We went by 4×4 up and down the giant dunes that cascade into the ocean. There is a lagoon here between the ocean and the dunes teaming with flamingoes and pelicans. It is such a wildly beautiful place.
One needs a permit to visit Sandwich Harbour.
We came across a jackal who found a pair of geckos. Our guide interfered with nature and quickly scooped up the pair and we drove away with them and set them free down the beach. Hopefully the jackal didn’t find them later on…
We drove along the beach with the dunes on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Insanely beautiful here!
Baby fur seal
We went by 4×4 up and down the giant dunes that cascade into the ocean. Our vocabulary was reduced to only a few words during the ride: Wow, wah, and weeeeeee 😂😆
The Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean here at Sandwich Harbour
The lagoons here are teaming with flamingoes and pelicans.
Swakopmund is a small town and most of the town’s attractions are easily explored on foot. There are quite a few historical buildings dating back to the colonial times. The Woermann Haus and Tower is a great place for views of the town, the ocean, and the desert.
The German-style Woermannhaus and tower was built in 1905 and stands out above the surrounding buildings.
State House of Swakopmund
The red and white Lighthouse of Swakopmund
Brauhaus Arcade for some souvenir shopping
Hohenzollern Haus was built by the young count Hohenzollern after he was exiled by his family to Namibia. This building became a hotel but was shut down due to excessive gambling and prostitution during the German times.
Crashing waves of the Atlantic
Fishing at the jetty
There is not very much to do here in Swakopmund, but visiting Sandwich Harbor and seeing the dunes meet the Atlantic is worth the stop.
Next up is Serra Cafema Lodge in the Kunene region up the Skeleton Coast near Angola. This is where I visited the Himba tribes and is definitely the highlight of my visit to Namibia. Stay tuned!
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