Swakopmund is Namibia’s holiday destination for tourists and locals alike. It makes for a great ecape of the heat further inland, and is Namibia's adventure capital.
The city itself resembles a small German town with lots of cafés and restaurants, art galleries and museums. While there’s plenty to do in Swakopmund itself, the real action happens in the desert surrounding Swakopmund. Quad-biking, sand-boarding, sand-skiing, parasailing and dozens of other guided adrenaline activities are available. A very worthwile and rewarding excursion is a "Tommy's living desert tours". With a guide you look for all kinds of life in the seemingly dry and dead desert.
Walvis Bay is Namibia’s major harbor town, but it is quickly developing into a popular holiday destination. The main attraction is the lagoon in the middle of town. It is home to thousands of pink flamingoes, rare white pelicans and many other wetland bird species. It is the only "Ramsar site" in Namibia.
Dolphin cruises and kayak tours are available in the Lagoon, where seals sometime come right up to the boats. A climb up to Dune 7 is rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Walvis Bay to the West and vast empty plains to the East.
At "the Raft" restaurant, built on stilts in the middle of the lagoon, you can spend a relaxing evening over a bottle of wine and enjoy a wonderful sunset.
Lüderitz is a harbour town in the south of the country. It is known for its colonial architecture and for the wildlife, including seals, penguins, flamingoes, ostriches and brown hyena's. The bay where it is situated was discovered by Bartholomeus Diaz in 1478, he called it Angra Pequena and he erected a stone cross. The town was later bought by Hanseat Adolf Lüderitz from the Local Nama chief. When Lüderitz did not return from an expedition to the Orange River the town was named after him: Lüderitzbucht. Dutch adventurers were not very succesfull in finding minerals here, but later expeditions discovered a vast marine wildlife. Luderitz began as a trading post with many profitable entreprises like, seal hunting, fishing, whaling and guano harvesting. In 1909, after the discovery of diamonds the town prosperred.
Nowadays, tourist can enjoy the Waterfront with its yachtclub, boattrips to seal and penguin islands, excursions in to the restricted areas and the Bogenfels (rock arch), and 4x4 tours to hidden bays north of town. Fresh crayfish and oysters are abundant in seaon and a culinary Delight.
During the Diamond rush at the beginning of the 20th century, Kolmanskuppe was built and became a very lively and prosperous town in the harsh desert climate. All that is left today are the diamand restricted area, where mining still continues and the ghost town of Kolmanskuppe. You can enjoy a guided tour through the once flourishing town, including the old ice factory, the butchery and the gymnastics hall. You'll see rusty water pipes and railway tracks dissapear in the sand, which has filled some of the rooms up to the ceiling. Holes in walls and roofs let the sun paint bizarre pictures of light.
Skeleton Coast National Park
The whole coast of Namibia used to be called the Skeleton Coast. These days it is only the Northern 500km from the Kunene River to the Ugab River, that is called the Skeleton Coast National Park. It derives its name from the many whale and seal bones that lined the coastline, from the times of the whaling industry. Nowadays it is the skeletal remains of many shipwrecks that line the coast. Some of them totally disintegrated, others still in quite good condition. The northern part of the park is declared a wilderness area and not open to the public. The rest is a recreational area, excellent for fishing. The best way to see the Skeleton Coast is from on a scenic flight from Swakopmund.
Henties Bay is a small settlement 70km north of Swakopmund. You pass it on the way to the Cape Cross Seal Colony, which is another 55 km further north. The town is mainly visited by recreational anglers and 4x4 enthusiast and is a popular holiday destination for South Africans and Namibians.
You might hear them before you see them – the bleats and barks of 200,000 Cape fur seals, the largest breeding colony in the world and one of many on the Skeleton Coast. From November to December massive bulls fight for beach territory and the right to mate. Females breed in synchrony, and spend their days fishing in the Benquela Current returning to the shore amongst thousands of pups. Located about 125 km from Swakopmund, visitors can walk along the edge of the colony and learn about these interesting animals and the unique history of Cape Cross.