The twin towns of Swakopmund (“Swakop” to those of us who know and love her) and Walvis Bay are rare towns in a country of wilderness, sandwiched between the Southern Atlantic and the great sand sea of the Namib Desert. Both make an excellent stopping off point on a road trip between the desert and Damaraland, but are well worth a visit in their own right.
Swakop’s a pretty, airy, seaside town with wide streets, pretty gardens and a distinctively Germanic feel- a reminder of Namibia’s colonial history. There are some lovely simple fish restaurants (we had seconds almost every night we were here) and it’s a good place for trying out some of Namibia’s adventure sports. For something slightly more sedate, the harbour town of Walvis Bay is just a short drive further south, and is ideal for nature lovers, with some fantastic boat trips and kayaking to see the birds, seals and, if you’re lucky, dolphins or whales.