Quick Facts: Swakopmund and Walvis Bay
- The Skeleton Coast in includes the National West Coast Recreation Area north of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast Park from the Ugab River north to the Kunene- Swakopmund is a beach resort situated on Namibia's west coast
- The German style town of Swakopmund is characterized by its palm-lined streets, seaside promenades, fine accommodation, a pleasant summer climate and magnificent beaches
- The area of the Namib Desert around Swakopmund is named the West Coast Recreational Area
- Swakopmund offers many recreational activities: sandboarding, quad biking, dune carting, parachuting, hot air ballooning, shark fishing, deep sea fishing, beach angling etc
- A visit to the Cape Cross Seal Colony is recommended while in Swakopmund
- The famous 'Welwitschia drive' can be explored here
- Bird watching is interesting at the Swakopmund Salt Works or the Walvis Bay Lagoon which in season is frequented by thousands of flamingos
- The Skeleton Coast includes the National West Coast Recreation Area north of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast Park from the Ugab River north to the Kunene
Introducing Swakopmund and Walvis Bay
Swakopmund in Namibia
The beautiful beachside resort of Swakopmund in Namibia is characterized by its palm-lined streets, seaside promenades, fine accommodation, a pleasant summer climate and magnificent beaches.
The area of the Namib Desert around Swakopmund is named the West Coast Recreational Area. Swakopmund offers many recreational activities such as sandboarding, quad biking, dune carting, parachuting, hot air ballooning, shark fishing, deep sea fishing and beach angling. One can find restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums, a snake park and an aquarium in Swakopmund.
The town of Swakopmund in Namibia has the ambiance associated with a small German village. Early mornings and evenings in Swakopmund can be cold throughout the year, as the cold Atlantic Ocean meeting the Namib Desert creates a fog bank. This coolness is often a relief from the heat of the rest of Namibia. There is a great variety of accommodation in Swakopmund which cater for different requirements.
For day trippers a visit to the Cape Cross Seal Colony is worth a visit as it offers a taste of the Skeleton Coast and the seals are worth a visit. The Welwitschia drive is an interesting way to spend a few hours and introduces visitors to some of the fauna and flora of the Namib Desert. Bird wathing enthusiasts may visit the Swakopmund Salt Works or the Walvis Bay Lagoon, which in season is frequented by thousands of flamingos.
The Skeleton Coast in Namibia
The Skeleton Coast in Namibia includes the National West Coast Recreation Area north of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast Park from the Ugab River north to the Kunene. The National West Coast Recreation Area is a frequent haunt of regional fishermen providing excellent angling. The Cape Cross Seal Reserve north of Henties Bay is Namibia's best known breeding colony of Cape fur seals. The Ugab River Hiking Trail is a 3-day hike across the coastal plain into the jagged mountains and canyons of the interior.
The Skeleton Coast Park comprises two main areas:
The southern region of the Skeleton Coast Park between Ugabmund and Terrace Bay marks the southern-most habitat for large animals along the Namib Desert coast. Very strict measures to preserve the ecology of the Park are in force and entry permits for casual visitors are only available for day trips.
The northern Skeleton Coast Wilderness between the Hoanib / Mowe Bay and Kunene Rivers makes up almost 70% of the Skeleton Coast Park. This truly desolate region in Namibia provides the only realistic chance of seeing desert elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion but is strictly off-limits to independent travellers.
Walvis Bay in Namibia, Southern Africa
Walvis Bay is the principal port of Namibia located on the west coast of southern Africa. Walvis Bay, which can be translated as “Whale Bay” was discovered by Diaz as early as 1487. In 1795 it was annexed by the British from the Dutch and in 1910, Walvis Bay became, like the entire Cape Colony, part of the South African Union. After Namibia's independence, the only deep sea harbour on the Namibian coast remained under South African rule and only in 1994 did South Africa return it to Namibia.
Walvis Bay has about 50 000 citizens and most people are employed at the modern harbour terminal, in the booming fish industry and the processing of sea salt. The special attraction of Walvis Bay is the huge natural lagoon with its overwhelming abundance of seabirds where thousands of flamingoes and pelicans can be observed. Every year they are joined by 200,000 migratory birds.
A unique adventure in this region of Namibia is the 48 km drive to Sandwich Harbour which is a freshwater lagoon surrounded by dunes, and a favourite amongst anglers and ornithologists. For this drive, a 4x4 is required. Walvis Bay offers a variety of sports and recreation facilities for those who enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle including golf, tennis, bowls, surfing, swimming, angling and sailing.