Sossusvlei Dunes – Namib-Naukluft National Park – Swakopmund, Namibia
We begin our day climbing Dune 45 enjoying the magnificent views before making our way back down for a delicious breakfast. We hop onto a 4×4 and are transferred to Sossusvlei where you will embark on a walk through the Salt Pans. Tonight is spent under the breathtaking views of the desert stars. The following day, we enjoy an educational desert excursion with our local guide before leaving behind the Namib and crossing the Tropic of Capricorn on the way from the Atlantic Coast. We stop briefly in Walvis Bay at the lagoon before arriving at our next destination for the evening. There is a variety of activities available in Swakopmund.
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 the 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.
Accommodation: Two Per Room Namib Naukluft Lodge or Desert Camp (Day 1), Stay@Swakop or Haus Garnison (Day 2)
Facilities: En-suite bathroom Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered.
Included Highlight: Sesriem Canyon / Hike up Dune 45, 4×4 shuttle to Sossusvlei / Deadvlei, Tropic of Capricorn, Walvis Bay Lagoon
Activity Package: Guided desert walk with local guide