When it comes to travel to Namibia, especially to the Etosha area, you’ll see the same question asked again and again- should I visit Swakopmund, or make a turn at Walvis Bay? We at Go Touch Down Travel and Tours firmly believe the answer should always be ‘both’- and today we are going to show you exactly why.
The land of amazing contrasts
Namibia is a land of striking contrasts. It’s the very draw that keeps people coming back again and again to her harsh, demanding climate. That’s what makes Swakopmund and Walvis Bay such an appealing travel configuration- it gives you exactly that sense of difference that makes this landscape so enticing to begin with.
Swakopmund: land of dunes
Swakopmund has long been one of Namibia’s most characteristic towns, a thriving little beach resort with heavy Germanic influences. Founded in 1892, it was the major harbour for Germany’s colonial interests in western Africa. Today, it’s the second largest town, and some like to call it the ‘summer capital’. We like to think of it as the town of stark differences. With the cold Atlantic lapping its seafronts and the empty Namib Desert on its doorstep, mornings and evening here tend to be cold. In town, you find quaint Germanic architecture, while mere miles away orange desert dunes and wildlife call to your adventurous side. Palm-lined streets make a classic contrast to the white salt pans just outside the city limits. With an iconic waterfront and great eateries, this German-saturated town is a great home base for days spent exploring the dunes, venturing through the Skeleton Coast, skydiving, camel riding or quad biking. Don’t forget to pay the flamingos a visit too!
Walvis Bay seems unimpressive next to bustling Swakopmund, but is just as critical. This is the town the British claimed- mainly just to keep it away from the Germans! Sprawling over a wide lagoon, the town teams with marine birds. This wetland is a critical part of the ecological heritage of the area, playing host to millions of migratory birds each year. While the ever-present dunes and desert loom over this quaint town too, they aren’t the focus here as they can seem in Swakopmund- rather the sea dominates all. Here is your perfect home base for sea cruises to ‘hunt’ dolphins, and explore the freshwater lagoon.
The draw of Etosha
Both towns make logical stops if you’re heading out to the Sossusvlei and the Etosha salt pan and reserves. Each allows you to see a different side of this land where everything changes, yet seems ancient and unchanging itself. From the remarkable salt flats and ‘living dead’ landscape of Sossusvlei, to the elephants and remarkable animals of Etosha, this is a land that has to be experienced to be believed. Let the two towns draw you in in their own special way, and add a more homely touch to the sometimes surreal travel experience that is Namibia.
Go Touch Down Travel and Tours are here to make your Namibian experience perfect, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.