Namibia: More alluring on coastline


If you are a globetrotter and haven’t been to Namibia, then you must add this South-West African country to your bucket list.

Though one of the driest and most sparsely populated countries on earth, Namibia is an endless adventure awaiting discerning visitors.

While Windhoek, its capital city is like a beautiful lady, very shy but flirtingly inviting, its coastline cities are the deal for the ‘adventurous’.

Spanning 1,572 km from the southern border with South Africa, until the northern border with Angola, the coastline is rich in geographic diversity, natural beauty, sights and activities, as well as sprawling coastal cities, harbours and ports.

Of course, a visit to the coastline of Namibia is never complete until one’s bare feet and hands touch the high sand dunes of Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. While frolicking on the desert dune, wining and dining as well, there is a must-visit portion on the desert.

The Sandwich Harbour, where the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean, is a rare sight, just one in the whole world and top among the reasons Namib Desert is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From the harbor, Swakopmund beckons with more thrills. The gracious flamingos, thunderous ocean waves and magical sand dunes make Swakopmund the coastal city to bet in Namibia.

The city, which sits in the west of Windhoek, allures with sandy beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean, amid eternal beauties, tranquility and very hospitable inhabitants that will leave you breathless. One cannot afford not to fall in love with Swakopmund at the first meeting with this eternal city, where with nature, all things are possible.

On a city tour, Madam Sepe, a custodian of the Herero heritage, who also adorned herself in colourful traditional attire, amid cow horn shaped scarf, will usually go down the history lane with her visitors.

The 82-old woman, with some of her grandchildren surrounding her, noted that originally the city was not Swakopmund, but took the name in 1892 with the arrival of Germans who named it from their language, and meaning ‘mouth of Swakop’, alluding to historic overflow and flooding of the Swakop River.

But apart from the expansive, alluring Atlantic Ocean shore, and sand dunes, Swakopmund offers other attractions.
In reflection of its German colonists, the city has some colonial landmarks worth visiting. They include; the Swakopmund Lighthouse and the Mole, an old sea wall, the Swakopmund Museum, Swakopmund Railway Station, now a hotel, among others.

As expected, food is not a problem for visitors. Namibia is rich in culinary offerings. While there are many places to dine and wine in the coastal city, a visit to Heinrich Hafeni Restaurant in Swakopmund is rewarded with delicious local cuisines.

After a visit, you will realize how African food and culture tell stories; an experience that visitors take back to their countries.

Beyond Swakopmund, Namibia coast cities abound
From Luderitz, Walvis Bay, holiday villages of Wlotzkas Baken and Henties Bay, Cape Cross and Terrace Bay, there are more to explore along the country’s 1,572 km coastline.

The cities offer water-based tourist attractions, moderate accommodation facilities, desert adventure, fishing, among others.

One of the major activities along the coast is desert safari, which has seen many safari companies dot the Namib Desert with many 4×4 SUVs full of visitors on adrenaline show.

On such adventures, the visitors are at the mercy of nature, while the tour guides do less as nature speaks volume of its beauties to the visitors, the drivers crisscross the undulating dunes in seeming careless manner that makes the drive adventurous.

Again, another major highlight of the Namib Desert safari is the night party, where tour guides use headlamps of their SUVs to light up the desert in late evenings, amid dances, wining, dining and photo shoots.

Like Ludwig Handers, an American tourist said of his visit to the country, “I have seen beaches in the world, swarm in ocean shores across the world, but the coast of Namibia is different, it offers rare trappings, and pairs two nature bodies in an uncommon union”.

While Namibia awaits your visit, its coastal cities lay ambush for more indulgence and thrills for visitors.

This feature was first published in the October 2023 edition of VoyagesAfriq Travel Magazine


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