Things to do in
Swakopmund

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Our most recommended things to do in Swakopmund

Walvis Bay: Marine Big 5 Luxury Catamaran Tour

1. Walvis Bay: Marine Big 5 Luxury Catamaran Tour

Begin your dolphin and whale spotting expedition by checking in at Walvis Bay Waterfront at 8:30 am. Depart from the Jetty between 8:45 - 9 am. From there you’ll begin your search for Namibia’s marine Big 5. Sip a hot coffee or tea as you approach Pelican Point. Admire its landmark lighthouse and see the 60,000 cape fur seals who live there. If visiting in-season ( from July to November), you'll be able to spot large sea mammals including the Southern Right Whale and the Humpback Whale. If you’re lucky, you may be able to see a gray whale or a pygmy right whale. Observe different species of dolphins including bottlenose, Heaviside's, and dusky dolphins. Keep a lookout for mola molas and leatherback turtles. As you make your expedition, you’ll encounter a variety of seabirds including kelp gulls, Hartlaub’s gulls, and cape cormorant. On the return journey, cruise past ships and oilrigs docked in the bay. As you make your way back, enjoy fresh oysters, sparkling wine, savory snacks, and desserts alongside light drinks and water. You’ll return to the waterfront at 12:30 pm. 

From Swakopmund: Desert Quad Biking

2. From Swakopmund: Desert Quad Biking

Experience the sheer thrill of riding a quad bike through Namibia's boundless expanse of shifting sand dunes. After the engines are revved up and ready to roll, an experienced guide will lead you through the Swakopmund River mouth into the dune belt.  Feel the freedom of riding through one of nature's great wildernesses. As the towering dunes approach, you’ll weave your way through the smaller dunes towards the Amphitheater. Power up and blast your way to the top of the first big dune via the Roller Coasters to the top of Big Billy. Stop for a drink and get the opportunity to capture the stark and savage beauty of the Namib Desert. After riding down Devil’s Dip, ride the berms, spirals and slopes as you cruise towards the Table Top, a great dune that offers a spectacular view of the sea. After the ride you will be led back to where everything started where you can relax and enjoy a drink at the pub.

Walvis Bay: 4x4 Desert Excursion to Sandwich Harbour Bay

3. Walvis Bay: 4x4 Desert Excursion to Sandwich Harbour Bay

After hotel pickup in Swakopmund or meeting your guide at the Walvis Bay Waterfront, admire the mass of flamingoes in the Walvis Bay Lagoon. Your 4x4 tour will head out to a tidal lagoon consisting of adjacent intertidal areas, mudflats, and sandbars that supports thousands of wetland birds. In addition to the many flamingoes, there are 11 species of endangered birds regularly observed at this RAMSAR site. Next, your tour will proceed to the Kuiseb river delta, a dry riverbed where springboks are sometimes seen. Here you'll also look for some of the area’s smaller creatures, such as the fog-basking beetle, dancing spider (white lady of the Namib), golden mole, shovel-snouted lizard, and palmato gecko. Then if weather and tides allow, you'll drive along the beach right to the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, one of Southern Africa’s richest wetlands and the second RAMSAR site for the day. Wedged between the sea and the Namib Dunes, this is one of Namibia's most important coastal wetlands and supports eight endangered species among the large numbers of wading birds. Finally enjoy a light lunch including a selection of oysters and snacks, salad, bread, fresh fruit and drinks atop a high dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or on the beach.

Quad Biking: Living Dunes Experience

4. Quad Biking: Living Dunes Experience

This is a living dunes experience on a quad bike. It is a slower tour where you are led by an expert guide and trekker into the Namib Desert to find the living creatures of the desert. You’ve heard of the Big Five, but have you spotted the Namibian Desert Little Five? Find the Namaqua Chameleon, the fastest chameleon on earth, Shovel Snouted Lizard, Web Footed Gecko, Sidewinder Puff Adder and the Wheel Spider. After the engines are revved up and ready to roll, an experienced guide will lead you through the Swakopmund River mouth into the dune belt. Feel the freedom of riding through one of nature's great wildernesses. Your guide will educate you on all the living creatures in the desert and how they manage to survive such harsh environments. Be amazed at how these creatures adapt to the conditions and the tricks they use to keep themselves fed and watered.

From Swakopmund: Living Dunes Experience

5. From Swakopmund: Living Dunes Experience

Discover how the ancient Namib is home to more endemic species than any other desert in the world. This living desert tour is an extraordinary exploration of the coastal dune belt just outside Swakopmund. To the untrained eye, the dunes are just a pile of sand, however, your skilled and experienced guides will introduce you to a wealth of life. Track Palmato Geckos, sand-diving lizards, the famous fog-basking tok-tokkie beetle, sidewinder snakes, spiders, scorpions, and chameleons. This 3-hour exploration will be rounded out with a short dune drive. Meet your driver at your hotel in Swakopmund and then travel into the coastal dune belt that’s just beyond the city limits. Spot some of the natural highlights of the desert landscape as you drive into the dunes, but many of the desert’s most fascinating sights require a trained eye and a firsthand look. Learn about the fascinating animals that thrive in Namibia's arid landscape; search for creatures that crawl, slither, and hop across the sand; and find out how to identify the subtle tracks they leave. Following the wildlife portion of this Swakopmund dunes tour, pick up some speed on a dunes drive, and finish with return transfer to your hotel.

From Swakopmund: Two-Day Sosussvlei Guided Tour

6. From Swakopmund: Two-Day Sosussvlei Guided Tour

This two-day, private exploration tour to Sossusvlei departs from the quaint coastal village of Swakopmund on a daily basis. Get picked up from your hotel and head into the world-famous Namib Desert. Begin with a visit to the lagoon and salt pan in Walvisbay; this shallow and sheltered 45,000-hectare lagoon attracts a range of coastal water birds and enormous flocks of lesser and greater flamingos. It is also home to chestnut-banded plovers and curlew sandpipers, as well as the rare Damara tern. From there, head to the dunes of Sossusvlei. These gigantic star-shaped mountains of sand are a sought-after subject for photographers because of their warm tints, ranging from pale apricot to brick orange and deep red, contrasted with the large white pans at their bases. Spend the night at a camp in Sossusvlei.  On the second day, spend a little more time admiring all that Sossusvlie has to offer before you head through to Sesriem Canyon, which is invisible from even a short distance away. Formed some two million years ago as the then mighty Tsauchab River cut its way through the sedimentary rocks, this geological phenomenon is now one of Namibia's most popular tourist attractions. The tour concludes in Swakopmund with hotel drop-off.

Swakopmund: Scenic Desert Bike Tour

7. Swakopmund: Scenic Desert Bike Tour

This is a unique must-do Swakopmund experience. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the oldest desert in the world in a fully ecological way without noise or air pollution and even ride up along the top of Namibia’s famous dunes from which you will enjoy once in a lifetime views of the desert, sea, and Swakopmund. This tour is for both the scenic appreciator and adrenaline seeking adventurist. When arriving at the office, you will be kitted with a bike to your size, a helmet and a bottle of water that fits onto the water holder on your bike. Receive a short safety and instructional briefing before a description of the tour then head off to enjoy your adventure.  The scenic desert tour is around 12-14km long and includes cycling from Swakopmund town center, along the dry Swakop river bed and up and down stunning dunes.

Kayaking at Bird Rock

8. Kayaking at Bird Rock

Launch near the historic landmark known as Bird Rock and paddle for about an hour in calm waters sheltered by the bay. Enjoy the wonderful bird life, see seals playing and dolphins swimming. See pelicans, cormorants and flamingos. Paddle for about 1 hour before enjoying some hot beverages on the beach. The brand new Fluid Synergy kayaks can be paddled solo or as a double and can accommodate a small child together with parents for fun for the whole family. Bird Rock is also known as Guano Island. Learn about one man's entrepreneurial drive to build a man-made island to harvest its “white gold.” By about 12:30 PM you’ll be back in Swakopmund to get ready for your afternoon activity.

Private Guide Township Historical Family Tour

9. Private Guide Township Historical Family Tour

Through this township cultural tour experience you will be introduced to the locals and learn about the different Namibian cultures. Touring with your private guide is like being a guest in the neighbourhood. Visit the guide's friends in their homes and shacks, hear their stories, and see their businesses. Hear the traditional Damara clicking language and smell the sidewalk barbecues - even have a taste if you'd like. Your guide wants to share with you a slice of life in the townships of Mondesa, so you have a real authentic Namibian experience. The tour will include a meal, usually a barbecue or a normal set-up of local traditional food with a local family. The daily tours include a visit to the women's day project. On Sundays, the tour includes a visit to a Church with prior arrangement. Most guests come away feeling positive and inspired. These tours are not about poverty - yes, you will see signs of poverty, but rather the tours are about people and how they are lifting themselves out of their poverty. They are positive, resilient, hopeful people who are friendly, welcoming and proud of their culture and history.

Walvis Bay Shore Excursion: Flamingos, Dune 7, Swakopmund

10. Walvis Bay Shore Excursion: Flamingos, Dune 7, Swakopmund

You'll be met at your cruise ship in the port of Walvis Bay. After a quick briefing, head over to the lagoon to view all the flamingos. From there, have the chance to climb Dune 7, the highest dune in the vicinity at 132 meters (433 feet) tall. Enjoy a drink of water and then move on to see the Welwitschia Mirabilis plant, an endemic living fossil. Stop to admire the lunar landscape of the Welwitschia Plains before spending lunchtime at Goanikontes Oasis (lunch at your own expense). After lunch, you'll be taken to the old German town of Swakopmund. Explore the town at your own pace and do some shopping. Finally, make your way back to your cruise ship via the coastal road.

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What people are saying about Swakopmund

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 193 reviews

The tour was absolutely brilliant. The guide Franz was very learned and informative, and pleasant to be with. He gave me all sorts of advice how to benefit from the Tour. He gave a very interesting picture of the relevant history. I felt welcomed by the Herero lady I met, also the San lady who gave me the Click tutorial. The mixture of very detailed knowledge and history was superb. We met with Helena for lunch. She is one of the originators of the Tour. I also met her family. The lunch was excellent and traditional. Helena was so good at creating the right atmosphere. We had a local musical group at lunch, very entertaining. Helena talked about Namibia and she and her sister made me feel very valued. I felt so much part of the Community. This tour is such good value for money, the best experience I had in Namibia. It is so authentic and I will remember it for ever. It deserves to be publicised and given lots of support, it is brilliant for the Community. I hope this review gets publis

This is a bucket list item if visiting Namibia, not for the faint hearted. The ride along the Atlantic between the dunes and the ocean was amazing. The excellent spread for lunch was yummy. The ride back through the desert up and down the dunes was an adrenalin rush. The guide was very informative, friendly and definitely showed us a good time on the trip.

Amazing excursion with our guide, Robbie that was really interesting and generous! He did know so many things about the desert and bush and showed us lots of beautiful animals! We warmly recommand this tour !

A great experience, weather wasn't the best, however we still got to see some of the ocean life. We also had an amazing guide, who did a wonderful job explaining everything.

Well organized. The guide responded to our wishes. We really enjoyed the tour through and over the dunes with spectacular views.