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Swakopmund

Sandwiched between Atlantic rollers and the Namib Desert, Swakopmund is one of those great traveller way stations along the African road. At once Namibia's adventure capital and a surreal colonial remnant, part destination in its own right and part launch pad for an exploration of the Skeleton Coast and Namib Desert, this is a city with as much personality as it has sea frontage. Like Lüderitz on the south coast, with its half-timbered German architecture, seaside promenades and pervasive Gemütlichkeit (a distinctively German appreciation of comfort and hospitality), Swakopmund, especially out of season, can feel like a holiday town along Germany’s North Sea and Baltic coasts transplanted onto African soil. But the city is also thoroughly African and its multidimensional appeal means that most people end up staying longer than they planned.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Swakopmund.