If you are in Namibia for the first time, you should definitely visit Swakopmund. It has a lot of similarities to small towns on the North Sea or Baltic Sea. And there are many possibilities for activities. So you can plan a few days there and fill them well with adventures!
This list should help you decide what to do in Swakopmund.
1. Walk through Swakopmund
You can take a super relaxed stroll through this cute town. There are several cafés and shops to explore. My favourite shop is the bookshop "Die Muschel". They have a lot of books about Namibia on offer but also German books, in case you have run out of reading material 😉
At the pier, you will find a selection of restaurants, all of which are recommended. The view is also great! If you walk further south along the sea, you come to the jetty, the very long wooden jetty, at the end of which there is also a restaurant.
2. Camel riding
I've never tried it myself, but it's supposed to be super cool! You ride the camels in the Swakop River towards the dunes and get a real desert feeling.
Costs: N$250 for 30 minutes
I've never been quad biking either, Martin did it recently with a friend and they were both absolutely thrilled. Definitely something for the adrenaline junkies among you!
Costs: N$ 390-790 for 30min-2h
4. Sandwich Harbour
My absolute highlight, definitely a must for me when on the coast! A bit more expensive, but the super high dunes bordering the Atlantic Ocean are breathtakingly beautiful. Most of the time the guides still drive over the dunes and you get a kind of rollercoaster feeling surrounded by masses of sand. Don't forget your cap and sunscreen. The sun's rays are underestimated and both times I was there I was totally burnt afterwards.
Costs: N$1900 for+-5h
5. Bootstour/Kayaktour Walvis Bay, Pelican Point
Both are pretty cool, of course on the boat you have less work, a small buffet and guides who give you great information. You can see all kinds of animals from the boats and depending on the season, you can even spot whales!
Kayaking is also super cool, especially getting close to seals. However, the chances of spotting dolphins or sunfish are much lower. But when whales are around, this is the closest you can get to them 🤗
Costs: Boat tour: N$1000 - Kayaking: N$800
It's very informative and not as overt as in South Africa, in my opinion! You learn a lot about the locals, how they live, typical local dishes and you get a warm welcome! We had an unplanned private tour and our guide organised a numbered taxi to take us around Mondesa for the afternoon. Cool experience, definitely worth the money if you are interested. We tried Kapana and Vetkoek and a home brewed drink, unfortunately I don't remember the name.
Costs: N$600 for ca. 3h
High on my to do list! It starts at the airfield in Swakopmund. Everyone who has done it so far raves about it. I will try it next and report back
8. Dune 7
It costs you nothing and is not quite as high as Dune 45 at Sossusvlei 😅
And the temperatures are usually more pleasant there! Dune 7 is almost near Walvis Bay, you can take the beautiful route from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay, which leads almost along the sea and enjoy the drive there. Especially if you are there anyway for the boat tour or Sandwich Harbour Tour!
9. Little 5 Safari/Living Dune Safari
Want to see how these little creatures survive in the desert? Guides show you how these special animals, which you often don't even notice, live. Very exciting because the guides have a lot of knowledge and you can learn a lot. You also learn a lot about the local plants!
Costs: N$700 for +-3h
10. Hot Air Ballooning
For me, on my first trip to Namibia, an absolute highlight, if not THE highlight. I always wanted to fly in a hot air balloon and my father finally made my dream come true in Namibia! You have to get up very early, but it was a real experience, you watch as the balloon is unpacked, everything is prepared and just before sunrise you go into the basket and take off. The view from up there was breathtakingly beautiful. And the peace! You have to experience it yourself to understand what I am talking about.
Afterwards we have a champagne breakfast and then we drive back to Swakopmund.
I can recommend Hot Air Ballooning.
Costs in 2018: +-N$4000