20 August 2013

Namibia: Why You Should Visit Swakopmund

As many of you know, 
Jurg and I toured through Namibia for a month during this past December and January.
If you're new around these parts, you can catch up here.

Tips for exploring Swakopmund, Namibia

Over the years, the coastal German town of Swakopmund has remained the single constant across our Namibian travel itineraries.  Having been to the country four times now myself, it's sort of warped into our place... our Namibian home away from home if you will.  We've slowly gotten to know the town to the extent that we've developed our own favorite restaurants, cafes and bars that we tend to go back to over and over again.  We also always make sure to see a movie at the tiny cinema and spend a couple hours browsing through the little aquarium situated right off the beach.  It's not the type of place where you want to have a set schedule, just wake up each morning and let the day decide how it wants to unfold.

A previous German colony, Swakop has perfectly retained what it means to be German.  German continues to be widely spoken by its residents and there are German restaurants, cafes and ice-cream parlors on every corner.  If you appreciate pretzels, schnitzels, sauerkraut, brotchens and beer, then you've officially found your foodie heaven.  When the quaint German architecture, crowded coffee shops and cozy bookshops are also considered, it's no wonder that Swakop has become the official holiday destination of the Namibians.

Room at Sandfields Guesthouse, Swakopmund Accommodation
Sandfields Guesthouse, Swakopmund Accommodation

While Jurg and I usually look for self-catering options while traveling, in Swakop the variety and quality of the restaurants is just too tempting to ever want to cook for ourselves.  For this reason, we always choose to stay in B&B's.  The only trick is to find one that is centrally-located, as you want to be within walking distance of both the beach and the city.  Having had bad luck with this on past trips, this time I elicited the help of Trip Advisor and immediately came across Sandfields Guesthouse.  The B&B had rave reviews and claimed to be only a couple of blocks away from the ocean {something I could never seem to find previously}.  After a few email exchanges with Jean {the owner}, we confirmed our booking.

During our stay, we loved that we were able to actually go on morning jogs next to the beach without having to get in our car and physically drive several miles first, which is exactly what we've been looking for.  Although Sandfields is a B&B, I loved that our room had a private entrance so that we could easily come and go as we pleased without disturbing anyone.  We also loved that board games were readily available for use by guests, and Jurg and I found ourselves spending most of our evenings playing cards next to our fireplace.  Jean really goes out of her way to include small touches that you wouldn't typically find in other B&B's... and I'm not being compensated for saying this.

But before I end my rant on the loveliness that is Sandfields, I need to also spend a moment gushing about their breakfasts.  Each morning you order off a menu and then the most visually appealing plate of food is set right in front of you... eggs, bacon, mushrooms, fruit, yoghurt... you name it.  Since it's included in their rate, Jurg and I took full advantage of this every morning.  I think it's safe to say that we've finally found our place in Swakop.  Jean, we'll be back!

Swakopmund, Namibia
Brotchen at Cafe Treff Punkt
Although Swakop in and of itself is enough to occupy an entire visit, the town is also a hub of activities.  Adventure sports, yacht tours, township walks... the whole gambit.  We normally try to tick one thing off our list each time we visit.  So far we've done the dolphin and seal cruise, sandboarding and quad biking.  I'm still working on persuading Jurgen to go sky diving, but I'm not sure if I'll ever succeed at this one.

In terms of restaurants, our very favorite is 22 Degrees South {it's located right at the base of the lighthouse}, and we also always make a point of having brötchens at Cafe Treff Punkt.  Cafe Anton is the place to be for afternoon cake and coffee, and Brauhaus is perfect for German beer, schnitzels and a lively atmosphere.  Jetty 1905 and The Tug Restaurant are both nice if you want to eat right on the ocean.  To be honest, it's difficult to go wrong when it comes to food in Swakop.
Lighthouse in Swakopmund, Namibia

Swakop just has a way of drawing people in that is difficult to put into words.  If you're ever fortunate enough to find yourself touring through Namibia, I urge you experience its charm for yourself!

By the numbers:
Rates: R600 {$40} per person per night
Breakfast: Included in the above rate
For more information on Sandfields' see here.  
For more Swakopmund hotel and accommodation options, see below.

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Tips for exploring Swakopmund, Namibia.

1 comment:

  1. This is so different from the Namibia I see in my head, a place I've wanted to visit for a very long time. Would love to see this other side of it too now.


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