…Palm-lined streets, sea breeze, sand dunes and decent beaches
Following the biggest youth football competition (The Namibian Newspaper Cup) in Swakopmund a few weeks ago, all roads will be headed to the coast again today for the Namibia Annual Music Awards, but in Walvis bay this time.
Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are the places that are most like traditional seaside towns. Whether you have been there before or simply the first time for the sake of NAMAs the coast of Namibia has so much on offer while you wait for the night, most rewarding.
Walvis Bay has a far more relaxed feel to it with a prolific bird life. It has nature’s sanctuary which consists of a series of shallow artificial pools, fringed by reeds.
There is also a shallow lagoon that attracts a range of coastal water birds and enormous flocks of the leggy and gracious flamingo. Cheating slightly on the beach theme and bird viewing you can also hire quad bikes to ride down the dunes or take on a Dune 7 hike which is only a few kilometers from the town.
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, Swakopmund only 30 kilometers away from Walvis Bay will be pleasant to visit. The road from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay provides breathtaking views of the grant dunes of the Namib Desert meeting the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Coupled with the palm-lined avenues the beautiful town of Swakopmund has so much history, so much to do and so much to see. Whether you prefer racing through the sand dunes in a quad bike or experience the desert life up close through a camel safari, there is no scarcity of adventure in Swakopmund.
Apart from the seaside cafes, restaurants and art galleries the town also has a museum that is built at the base of the popular light house. This is the best place to understand the towns past colonial history. The exhibits of the museum do not only include artefacts celebrating the Namibian ancient culture but also include descriptions on the country’s fauna and flora.
You may also choose to visit the National Marine Aquarium. A transparent tunnel through aquarium allows visitors to have an up view of several south Atlantic’s marine species such as the Galjoen, West Coast Steenbras, Baardman, Ragged-tooth Shark, Shyshark, Kipfish, African penguin, Cape cormorant, Blacktail among the others. The Aquarium is small but worth a visit. It only cost N$10 if you’re from a SADC country and R30 if you’re from elsewhere.
A visit to Swakopmund simply isn’t complete without a visit to the Jetty. It offers unrivalled views of the Atlantic Ocean. From the end of the jetty you could also look back to the coastline and see the unspoilt panoramic view of the little hamlet of Swakopmund with its historical architecture bordered by sand dunes.
But before getting to the beautiful and busy towns, getting there safely should be first priority. Those traveling by air are not much of a concern but road users are cautioned to drive safely. Motorists, especially those from the capital have labelled the road to the coast as short and often competitions are held to see who can get there the quickest.
The best time to drive to the coast is during the morning. Else, it becomes difficult during the sunset hours as the sun shines straight in your face, obstructing your vision on the road.
The road between Okahandja and Karibib is often enjoyed by motorists as it is an excellent road with wide open spaces. However, that changes drastically as the road between Karibib and Usakos can be an accident threat as it is very narrow and bumpy. Motorists are thus advised to drive within the speed limit and keep their hands firm on the steering wheel.
The road to Swakopmund from Arandis introduces you to the coastal wind, which can also be a problem especially for small cars when intersecting with heavy duty trucks. Lastly, remember not to drink and drive. This is sure not only to save your life and that of other road users but it also saves your budget. Our Road traffic officials are always on the road looking out for those who do not respect road rules and wish to be fined.
The beauty and entertainment in the coast this weekend and every other day to come remains but your safety getting there is nothing you should gamble with. Enjoy!