Namibia’s Wild Coast 

Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are the most well-known coastal towns in Namibia. Swakopmund is approximately a 4-hour drive from Windhoek and has a lot to offer for a small town. Surrounded by the high sand dunes of the age-old Namib desert and the icy-cold water of the Atlantic Ocean, this intriguing little town will make you feel like you’re in another world. From the breath-taking coastal landscapes to the adrenaline-pumping extreme sporting activities, this coastal town really has something for everyone to enjoy. Swakopmund is also known for its moderate coastal climate and colonial German architecture. The Atlantic Ocean provides the area with moisture, which presents itself in the form of fog, sometimes reaching as deep as 140 km inland. Although this fog can bring a mysterious atmosphere, it plays a very important role in the nourishment and hydration of some of the desert fauna and flora. Swakopmund was founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South-West Africa, and the German influence remains even today. From the relaxed holiday atmosphere, comfortable coastal accommodation and many wonderful restaurants and cafes, Swakopmund is one of Namibia’s most beloved towns.

Marine wildlife is definitely something to enjoy while at the coast. Walvis Bay, about a 30-minute drive from Swakopmund, boasts a wildlife-rich lagoon where you can see various different bird species, including the hundreds of flamingos that give for a pink tint and marvellous photo opportunities. Another popular activity to explore when in Walvis Bay is the boat rides offered at the harbour, where you can see more amazing marine birds including pelicans, the hundreds of seals gathered at Pelican Point Peninsula, Leatherback turtles, and some Bottlenose, Heavenside’s and Dusky dolphins. From July to November Humpback and Southern Right whales can also be seen. Some of the tour operators will also sometimes spot an Ocean Sunfish or Mola Mola which is actually one of the heaviest bony fish in the world weighing up to 2000 kg. Another activity not to miss out on is to climb dune 7, just outside of Walvis Bay, which is the highest sand dune in Namibia.

Other popular activities of interest in this amazing coastal area include Sandwich harbour, south of Walvis Bay known to be an avian paradise. The amazing desert landscapes on Welwichia drive, just outside of Swakopmund. The Namibian “small five” which can be explored in the desert with a knowledgeable tour guide. Cape Cross, out on the Skeleton Coast, about 120 km north of Swakopmund which is home to Namibia’s largest seal colony. Other activities include skydiving, quad biking, sandboarding or for those seeking less of an adrenaline rush enjoy some of Swakopmund’s gift shops, the crystal gallery, or a sundowner at one of the local restaurants or bars.


Humphreys, R., 2020. The Rough Guide to Namibia: With Victoria Falls. Rough Guides.