Earlier this year, Luke and I were lucky enough to travel to Swakopmund in Namibia with Legacy Hotels for some video work. Never having visited Namibia before, we were both super excited to see what this famous little desert/seaside city had to offer. Although most of our days were packed with film work at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, we were lucky enough to see and experience the city (that seems much more like a town) a bit as well… filming as we went of course. Here are my favourite things about Swakop.
I know this is SO obvious since most of Namibia is made up of desert, but Swakopmund’s dunes really are gorge. Perfectly sculpted by the wind, they look unspoiled and untouched. Changing all the time, the dunes are moulded into slightly different shapes everyday by the elements. Blown over paths, crevices and objects the sand smoothes over imperfections made by the humans and animals that visit daily. Quadbiking and sandboarding is an amazing way to experience this unique Namibian landscape. It really is a must while you’re in Swakop. We had a blast zooming up and down the dunes on boards and bikes trying our best to soak in the views as we went.
This second factor is what makes Swakop so unique… it’s the city where desert and sea meet and wowza does it make for some incredible views and for some chilly mists. This combo is pretty odd because it feels so unnatural, but that’s exactly what makes it so spectacular. In my opinion quadbiking through the dunes is the best way to see this landscape… rising up over a dune expecting to see more sandy desert only to be met with a view of the open ocean is a seriously spectaular surprise. Of course a stroll through this teeny city and a walk along the beach are also both recommended in order to appreciate Swakop’s brilliant position.
In order to really experience the ocean though, you need to get to venture off land. We went on a catamaran cruise in Walvis Bay and it was such a highlight for me. Although the boat was surprisingly full, the bay was not. It felt like we were the only boat out there at times, a welcome change for someone used to the Cape Town crowds. The views and scerenity were only trumped by the animal visitors. Seals and pelicans jumped on and off the boat throughout most of the cruise, showing off in hope of a fishy reward. With the birds balancing on the boat rails, the seals swimming in our slip stream and both species waddling through the rows of people, these animals were my favoruite part of the cruise hands down.
This may seem like an odd thing to point out and maybe it is, but I really loved Swakop’s pier. It might be because we don’t have one here in Cape Town (whyyyyy), but piers always get me pretty excited. This one in partiular is a firm favorite of mine. It’s free, it’s a great sea/city-watching spot, it makes brilliant subject matter for photos and it’s a the perfect place to watch the sunset… what’s not to love? Luke and I were also treated to a delish meal at a restaurant called The Tug, which is right next to the pier. Amazing food and the best ocean views make this a spot I’d hurry back to.
The city/town itself:
This tiny city is filled with friendly people, great places to stay and plenty of German bakeries (#win). I love how refreshingly cosy and small it is, even though it’s one of Namibia’s most famous and most visited cities. Swakopmund’s geographic position makes it unique and truly beautiful, but the city itself adds to the appeal as well.
Since visiting Swakop, a road trip through Namibia has been added to my bucket list of travel expeditions. I can’t wait to visit this little desert seaside city again sometime in the future.
*All images were taken by Luke Bell for Legacy.