Tag Archives: windhoek

My favourite things to do in Swakopmund

Namibia is one of my all time favourite places to visit. I spent many happy years traveling back and forth for work. It didn’t seem like work to me – it was a pleasure and a privilege to travel to that beautiful country. In my spare time, I did get to see a bit of the country.

Windhoek-Swakopmund Roadtrip

The changing scenery on the road from Windhoek to to Swakopmund
The changing scenery on the road from Windhoek to to Swakopmund

The coastal town, Swakopmund, is about 261kms (162 miles) from the capital Windhoek. Off course you can fly to Swakopmund, but then you’ll miss the sheer beauty and stark scenery change from bushveld to rolling sand dunes, all in the space of 3 hours. Rent a car at the Hosea Kutako International Airport and make the trip – the roads are good, and there are 2 towns in between Karibib and Usakos where you can stop and get refreshments. This road trip itself is an event to savour. Put on your favorite music and enjoy the drive.

Cafe Anton

Legendary coffee shop, Cafe Anton, sublime coffee and delicious German cakes and pastries
Legendary coffee shop, Cafe Anton, sublime coffee and delicious German cakes and pastries

This coffee shop is legendary and any visit to this quaint desert town on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean is not complete without a visit to this warm and cozy German bakery. The coffee is sublime. The home-made cakes and pastries made from traditional German family recipes are mouthwateringly good! Cafe Anton is part of the Hotel Schweizerhaus. Sit on the patio and look over the palm trees at the rolling Atlantic waves, and if you happen to be there at sunset, be prepared for a wonderful experience.


Zipping down sand dunes on a piece of masonite is thrilling. Alter-action are one of the many adventure providers in town. In addition to the masonite boards, they introduced snowboards to skim down the dunes. You can choose how you want to do it – masonite or snowboard. I chose the masonite, the snowboard just looked too daunting for me. There are about 6 routes to skim down, and you move from one to the next. Off course, the fun part is going down – because to go down again you have to climb up the soft sand dunes. This operator provides water, and at the end a light lunch. They also take photos and video as a memento of your experience. Remember your sunblock and hat.

Die Muschel

Fairy cakes at Die Muschel served with style
Fairy cakes at Die Muschel served with style

This is a bookshop with a coffee shop on the patio outside. Let me get this out of the way – the coffee is sublime, and the home made cupcakes divine, served in style with folded napkin and little silver fork. Now to the rest. It’s a book shop and an art gallery too. Browse through the english and german books, and admire the local art, for sale, on the walls. It’s in a cute little arcade in the centre of town, and is popular with locals and tourists.

The Beachfront

Swakopmund jetty over the rolling waves of the Atlantic, with the Tiger Reef Bar in the distance, and the dunes of the Namib desert just behind it
Swakopmund jetty over the rolling waves of the Atlantic, with the Tiger Reef Bar in the distance, and the dunes of the Namib desert just behind it

This is not one specific place – it is actually a walk you can take, along the beach or on the paved palm-fronded promenade. Start at The Mole, the sea-wall originally intended to be a harbour, but now protecting the beach. Admire the beautiful bungalows and double storied beach houses, until you get to the restored jetty. If you feel hungry, try the restaurant at the end of the jetty and enjoy spectacular views of the town, the sea and the desert. while enjoying sushi, tapas or seafood  Or you can lunch at The Tug, the boat shaped restaurant,in front of the jetty. Continue along the beach until you get to the National Marine Aquarium. After visiting the Aquarium, walk along the beach to finish the day off with sundowners at the Tiger Reef Beach Bar while watching intrepid kite surfers ride the strong wind and sea currents.

Swakopmund is a friendly town which offers so much more than that mentioned above. Visit sites like Trip Advisor, for more information. It’s a popular tourist spot, with natural, cultural and heritage sights to visit, and activities to do for anyone and everyone.

A storm over Windhoek

Incoming April storm in Windhoek, Namibia

I love photographing natural phenomena like storms and sunsets. I am not a professional grade photographer nor do I have professional grade equipment. I take loads of photos. Out of all those photos a handful will be stunning, for me. There is a certain pride, “Did I capture that? Wow!” I especially love capturing the progression of sunsets and storms and then seeing them in sequence, moving very fast, like a stop-frame movie.

A few years back I spent a lot of time in Namibia. It is such an amazing country. The colours of Namibia is what I remember the best. The raw naturalness of the landscape. No matter where one is, nature is right there. It is beautiful, and dangerous, a land of extremes.

Windhoek is boiling in summer, and freezing at night in winter. It is a small city by comparison. It is a charming city, its architecture a mix of German and colonial. It is a city is built on hilly terrain. The Hosea Kutako International Airport is located 50 kms away from the city because it is the closest strip of flat land where a runway could be built.

The road to the airport is a good well maintained road, well marked and sign-posted. It is a beautiful drive. From the centre of Windhoek it takes about 30 minutes to get there. There are passing lanes in case of slow traffic. If one is lucky, game can be seen on the side of the road. The recommendation is to stick to the speed limit (it’s a respectable 120 kms per hour) in case of needing to brake suddenly to make way for crossing animals.

This post’s photo was taken atop a koppie in the western suburbs of Windhoek. I used to love driving to the highest points in Windhoek to see how many storms I could see in a 360 degree radius. It was amazing to see 4, sometimes 5 storms in the distance. Sometimes they moved over the city. Sometimes they didn’t.

This particular storm moved in right over where we were. There was thunder and lightning. We stayed until the rain started, then rushed down the track to the car. It was exhilarating.

I haven’t been back for 4 years and I miss Namibia. Hopefully I will make it there this year.