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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Swakopmund

   

Namibia’s coast runs alongside the Namib Desert and in stark contrast, the ocean that washes onto the shores of Namibia is the icy Atlantic Ocean. The coastal area is barren with sand dunes and is extremely arid and includes the Skeleton Coast Park, Swakopmund & Walvis bay, Luderitz and the Sperrgebiet National Park. Whether you decide to take a scenic flight along the lonely Skeleton Coast, drive on the road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay or join 4x4 excursion to Sandwich Harbour , the contrast between the desert bordering the ocean will you remind you why Namibia is known as the land of contrasts.

The Coastal Region of Namibia is an extremely popular vacation spot during the long December holiday season. Locals cool of from heat from the inland, which at times can be quite unbearable. Driving north from Swakopmund into the National West Coast Recreation area, a popular sight are the anglers with their family and friends camping out for the day. The most popular coastal town is Swakopmund and although it has a very relaxed atmosphere with wonderful coffee shops, restaurants and craft & souvenir shops, it also bursts with action packed adventures that you can book.

The small coastal town of Swakopmund is Namibia's number one seaside resort. It carries an unmistakable German flair, evident by the old German colonial architecture and cuisine.

History

Britain, via its Cape Colony, annexed the Walvis Bay enclave in 1878 in order to prevent Afrikaner settlers from Transvaal founding yet another republic. The harbour of Walvis Bay was inaccessible for the German colonialists who made their appearance in Lüderitz only a short while after in 1884. Germany had long explored the coastline to find a site suitable for a harbour at places such as Conception Bay, Sandwich Harbour, Rock Bay, Cape Cross and Cape Fria, but eventually decided on a location just north of the Swakop River mouth – hence the name Swakopmund.

Swakopmund was originally destined to be a harbour town. After its founding in 1892, steamers were offloaded by small vessels which ferried the transport goods ashore. Everything had to be unloaded by hand, and losses in goods as well as human lives were unavoidable. A harbour mole was thus put up at huge cost (2,5 million marks) between 1898 and 1903, but quickly lost its original purpose because of sand deposits, which filled up the mole basin within three years. A railroad linking Swakopmund to Windhoek had also been built in the meantime, so goods could be transported without delay. The wooden jetty lasted up to 1914, but was taken down by the South Africans in 1916. Construction of iron jetty began in 1912 with an intended length of 640m.

However, it stopped at 262m as the First World War broke out. The harbour greatly benefited the Swakopmund community. Trade, transport and other service providers such as hotels and retailers flourished, and a number of beautiful buildings, which today lend a special historical flair to Swakopmund, were constructed. The outbreak of World War One dealt a severe blow to its economy, and with the harbour of Walvis Bay taking over all harbour functions, Swakopmund had to devise new strategies for its survival. It was then decided to turn it into a seaside holiday resort and an educational capital.

Interesting Ifacts

  • Rossing Mine, in the Swakopmund area, is one of the largest open pit uranium mines in the world
  • The construction of the Swakopmund jetty commenced in October 1904


Highlights

  • The Jetty
  • Tandem Sky diving
  • Quad Biking
  • Dolphin & Seal Cruises
  • Scenic Flights
  • Living Desert Tour
  • The Mole
  • Shopping
  • Strolls on the beach
  • Souvenirs
  • Sandboarding
  • Marines Monument (1908)
  • Station Building (1901)
  • Prison Building (1907)
  • Kaserne (Barracks) (1906)
  • Martin Luther Steam Tractor (1896)
  • Swakopmund Museum
  • Omeg-Haus (1911)
  • Prinzessin Rupprecht Heim (1902)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church (1912)
  • Scultetus-Haus/Kramersdorf Building (1912)
  • Kristall Gallerie
  • Aquarium
   
For more information you can visit our website at www.idreamafrica.com.na