Adventure sports and Swakopmund go hand in hand. From quad biking up the crest of a soaring seaside dune to jumping out of a plane at 3000m, Swakop is one of the top destinations in Southern Africa for extreme-sports enthusiasts. Although filling your days with adrenaline-soaked activities is certainly not cheap, there are few places in the world where you can climb up, sandboard down and soar over towering sand dunes.
Most activity operators don’t have offices in town, which means that you need to arrange all of your activities through either your accommodation or the Namib-i tourist information centre.
At the lagoon at the Swakop River mouth you can watch ducks, flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, gulls, waders and other birds. There are even better birding sites away to the south, around Walvis Bay.
North of town you can stroll along kilometres and kilometres of deserted beaches stretching towards the Skeleton Coast.
A fascinating short hike will take you across the Swakop River to the large dune fields south of town. The dune formations and unique vegetation are great for solo exploring.
Swakopmund is Namibia’s main beach resort, but even in summer, the water is never warmer than around 15°C (remember, the Benguela Current sweeps upwards from Antarctica). Swimming in the sea is best in the lee of the Mole sea wall.
The best surfing is at Nordstrand (Thick Lip) near Vineta Point.