The coastal town of Swakopmund is often included in vacations in Namibia for its art deco and Bavarian-inspired architecture. Namibia was colonised by the Germans as was known as German West Africa before independence. The Germans left their legacy in the architecture of Swakopmund and German is commonly spoken here. Visitors will also find many local dishes have a Germanic influence.
Swakopmund has a reputation as one of the adventure capitals of southern Africa. From here visitors can take day trips into the Namib Desert in search of the many small critters which live in the dunes like the Palmato Geko and golden mole. Adventure sports such as sandboarding or dune surfing on the dunes and quad bike tours are popular. Sky diving is also a popular activity with visitors who want the thrill of seeing the desert below.
Another popular day trip from Swakopmund is a day trip to the Welwitschia plains. This region about 30km from Swakopmund is home to a desert plant called Welwitschias. Each plant can be thousands of years old and they are among the oldest living plants on the planet. Each plant only has two tough leaves which grow continually. They grow in a very harsh environment and get most of their moisture from fog.
Access: How to get to Swakopmund
The closest airport is at Walvis Bay about a 40-minute drive from Swakopmund but most visitors will fly into the capital Windhoek which is about a 3-hour drive away. Swakopmund is one of the main access points for visitors wanting to drive up to the Skeleton Coast.
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