Namibia by car. Central Coast (II), Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.


A popular tourist destination in Namibia, seaside, hotels and holiday houses (real state is growing too much). It doesn´t look like Africa, german style around the city center.
But, we found no special interest or beauty in Swakopmund, just a few “old” german buildings, near the jetty. A town surrounded by the desert.

If you want to keep busy, there are a few museums, aquarium, and many special activities for tourists: sandboarding, quarts, jeeps, sky-diving… But quite expensive.

The Atlantic Ocean is rough and cold and the wind is strong. So maybe not the best beach destination… just for surfers in summertime.

Summertime holidays (december&january) expect to pay much more for the accommodation and many places will be full booked.

 Things to do, to see 

  • Climb the dunes around Swakopmund 
Just south of town, on the way to Walvis Bay. There´s a parking and you can climb and see the views, the dunes and the ocean.
It´s free. 
  • From the road you can see a Salt Factory (just north), but is not possible to go inside.
  • Namib National Park. 
          To visit some areas around Swakopmund and to camp in this huge park, you need permits,
          so ask if interested first. There´s an office in Swakopmund.
  •  Welwitscha Drive” (Moonlandscape), just east of Swakopmund. 
           Price: 50 N$/pp
           Tourist tour of the area

  •  Sandwich Harbour (south of Walvis Bay). 
           We didn´t go, but also need a permit in advance as it´s the Namib NP. 
     We just visited Sesriem-Sossusvlei (also Namib NP), where you have a direct control and gate.

Cheap accommodation in Swakopmund
Many options for all the budgets. A few backpakers (Youth Hostel for example, maybe also possible to camp) and campsites (Tiger Reef, 100 N$/pp but more than double price during holidays).

We did Couchsurfing, there´s a small community. We stayed in town with Leon´s mother, Trudi. Very nice!


Namibia´s port, big, industrial, but the city is modern, new, organised, around the port activity.

Thing to do, to see for free in Walvis Bay

You can visit Walvis Bay lagoon (just south of the port), to see thousand of flamingos.
The road is tarred, passing the lagoon til the salt factory (7 km south of Walvis). Then to head on south to Sandwich Bay (50 km) you will need a 4x4 and a permit.

Another recomended plan is to climb the Dune 7:

Close to Walvis Bay´s airport (10 km east of town, getting out of the C13 to Solitaire and following for a few km the back road Walvis-Swakopmund).
Steep, possible to climb. Free. Great views. 
You can book activities there: quads, jeeps, sandboarding, etc.

Cheap accommodation in Walvis Bay:
Swakopmund is not far, and the tourist offer in Walvis is really limited. More options in Long Beach (10 km north of Walvis). No backpackers and few campsites in Walvis.
We did couchsurfing, really small community. We stayed with Bernette.

  Services in the central coast of Namibia:
Walvis Bay is the second city of Namibia (still a small town), you will find everything you need there. Same in Swakopmund. Several supermarkets, banks, gas stations, etc. Henties Bay is small but there are also a couple of supermarkets, ATM, Petrol…

Warning: if heading south (Sesriem and further south) or northwest (Twyfelfontein, Damaraland), don´t forget to bring cash and food, as there are many km of emptiness, no supermarkets or towns.