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NACJ26 Day 06 – 07: Swakopmund

Swakopmund

Today we meet a local expert guide who will lead us on a walk through the desert. Adventuring on foot, we will be educated by our guide about the delicate ecosystem surrounding us. Following this, we cross the Tropic of Capricorn on the way from the Atlantic Coast. Finally, we make our way to the adventure capital of Namibia, Swakopmund. Here you will be provided with all the information you require about the various Optional Activities on offer.

Swakopmund was founded in 1892 by German settlers and was planned to be the primary harbour of German South-West Africa. However, with the elevated amount of traffic between Germany and its colony, a port of its own was established due to Walvis Bay, situated just 33 kilometres south, being in British possession. The decision of where to build this port landed on a site just north of the Swakop River where water was freely available. With its Bavarian-style buildings, including the Altes Gefängnis prison (now converted into a public library), the prominent German architectural influence is still very evident within the town of Swakopmund.

The town was originally known as ‘Tsoakhaub’, a word that was derived from the culture of Namaqua and, directly translated, means ‘excrement opening’ which is an unpleasant, but unfortunately very accurate description of the Swakop River waters when they once flooded and carried masses amounts of mud, sand, vegetation and animal corpses out into the Atlantic Ocean. This name was shortly changed to ‘Swachaub’ by German settlers, and with the declaration of Swakopmund as an independent region of German South-West Africa in the year 1896, the current use of the name ‘Swakopmund (meaning ‘estuary of the Swakop’ in German) came into play. Swakopmund is encircled by the Namib Desert on three sides and by the icy Atlantic waters to the west and therefore experiences a pleasant, balanced climate.

Though rainfall is scarce, the cold current of Benguela provides moisture to the region in the form of fog that reaches as far as 140 kilometres inland. The animals and vegetation of the area have adapted to this spectacle and now rely upon this fog as a water supply. Swakopmund is renowned for its incredible selection of adventure activities, including skydiving, sand boarding, quad biking and more. Your local guides will help you with your decision on which activities you should partake in, however, if you wish to devote some time to relaxation, feel free to explore the town and enjoy the wide selection of coffee and souvenir shops available here.

Meals: Breakfast X2, Lunch X1
Accommodation: Two per room: Stay@Swakop
Facilities: En-suite, hot showers
Route: Hammerstein to Swakopmund. +/-430 kms
Travel Time: +/- 6-7 hours
Activity Package: Guided desert walk
Optional Activities: Dinner out, quad biking, sand boarding, sky diving, scenic flights, etc.

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