Swakopmund/Atlantic Coast

Swakopmund, coastal resort town in Namibia, was founded two years later than Windhoek, in 1892, by Captain Curt von Francois as the main harbour of German South West Africa. Increased traffic between Germany and its colony necessitated establishing of own port as Walvis Bay, located 33 kilometres south, was already in British possession.

The choice fell on Swakopmund where water could be found and because other sites checked (including Cape Cross) were unsuitable.


The majority of towns and villages in Namibia have grown out of indigenous settlements and very often were located close to sources of water. Names of places given by original inhabitants were very descriptive and in many cases those names were retained by European settles who sometimes simplified pronunciations of the names. Nama word ''Tsoakhaub'' can be translated as ''excrement opening'' which was offensive but accurate description of the waters of Swakop River at the time of coming down in floods carrying masses of mud, sand, pieces of vegetation and animal corpses. The masses of dirty and muddy water were emptied into the ocean and the indigenous name described it very well.

The Nama name was changed to ''Swachaub'' and with proclamation of Swakopmund as independent district in 1896 the present way of writing came into use. Present day Swakopmund offers wide variety of tourism activities that include quad bike tours, dolphin cruises, scenic flights and fishing.

Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay is second largest town in Namibia, after Windhoek, with population of around 80 000. The town is located 30 km south of Swakopmund and the only deep water harbour in Namibia. Walvis Bay became part of Namibia only in 1994, four years after country achieved its independence.

Further north along the coast is Skeleton Coast National Park, renowned for its fishing and remoteness. The park covers over 1.6 million hectares and divided into two sections: southern, between Ugab and Hoanib rivers and nothern, between Hpanib and Kunene rivers. Northern section is accessible by means of fly-in safaris only. The park was established in 1971.

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