Swakopmund Museum


When ill winds blow, head for this museum at the foot of the lighthouse, where you can hole up and learn about the town's history. The museum occupies the site of the old harbour warehouse, which was destroyed in 1914 by a ‘lucky’ shot from a British warship. Displays include exhibits on Namibia’s history and ethnology, including information on local flora and fauna. Especially good is the display on the !nara melon, a fruit which was vital to the early Khoekhoen people of the Namib region.

It also harbours a reconstructed colonial home interior, Emil Kiewittand’s apothecary shop and an informative display on the Rössing Mine. Military buffs will appreciate the stifling uniforms of the Camel Corps and the Shell furniture, so called because it was homemade from 1930s depression-era petrol and paraffin tins.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Swakopmund attractions

1. Lighthouse

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This operational lighthouse, an endearing Swakopmund landmark just off Strand St, was constructed in 1902. It was originally built 11m high, but an…

3. Marine Memorial

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Often known by its German name, Marine Denkmal, this memorial was commissioned in 1907 by the Marine Infantry in Kiel, Germany, and designed by sculptor…

4. Mole

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In 1899, architect FW Ortloff’s sea wall (better known as the Mole) was intended to enhance Swakopmund’s poor harbour and create a mooring place for large…

5. Altes Amtsgericht

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This gabled building, on the corner of Garnison and Bahnhof Sts, was constructed in 1908 as a private school. When the funds ran out, the government took…

6. Kristall Galerie

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This architecturally astute gallery features some of the planet’s most incredible crystal formations, including the largest quartz crystal that has ever…

7. Litfass-Saule

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8. Woermannhaus

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From the shore, the delightful German-style Woermannhaus stands out above surrounding buildings. Built in 1905 as the main offices of the Damara & Namaqua…