Eco-friendly travel guide to Swakopmund advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Swakopmund, Namibia.
- Air quality: 4/ 5
- Exploring by foot: 5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 1.5 / 5
- Parks: 4/ 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$50 - $130
- Budget per day: US$100 - $130
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
People refer to Swakopmund as the beach city in Namibia, assuring you that it is a great place to explore. Swakopmund is a city in Namibia, in the Southern part of Africa. We cannot say that it is a popular holiday destination, but it gives you something different from the norm.
If you have been searching for a cozy and friendly place to visit, we recommend this city. It is a small city, so some people might say that there is not much to do. However, you can go for hikes, explore nature and the beach.
Traveling responsibly to Namibia involves being friendly with the locals and getting involved in some local activities.
Air Quality and Pollution
Having perfect air quality constitutes a characteristic of a conducive environment, and foreigners are usually on the lookout for this factor when choosing their next holiday destination. If you have it on your list of things to consider and wish to visit Swakopmund, there should be no hesitation as there is high air quality in the city.
It is not wrong to say that air pollution is curbed in this city since it is small. Although they might have lapses sometimes, the air quality stays on a high scale, making the environment conducive for living.
As a foreigner, we know that you will have no issues with the air quality while there.
Respect the Culture
We can say that Swakopmund locals are easy-going, so foreigners usually have a swell time in the city. However, you must exhibit characteristics that appeal to them if you want them to flow with you.
To show respect to these people, you must not look down on their city or country. Suppose you are coming from a place that is better than their environment. It does not mean that you are superior to them.
It would help if you also respect their culture and tradition. If you show eagerness towards it, they are willing to teach you. Having an open mind while in the city usually goes a long way.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Some people might say that one should not have high expectations concerning Swakopmund since it is a small city. However, it presents different tourist attractions that will surpass your imaginations. They might not be much, but you will have a wholesome experience in the city.
Some of its top sights are:
- National Marine Aquarium: Are you usually fascinated by sea animals? If yes, you should visit this aquarium in Swakopmund. They have different sea animal species, and we know that you will have an exciting experience learning about them.
- Kristall Galerie: It is a place for jewelry lovers as you will see different crystal exhibitions. These gems are usually gotten from different locations globally. There is a gift shop within the gallery, so you can purchase something for yourself after feeding your eyes.
- Hohenzollernhaus: There is something about this building that leaves people intrigued, and you cannot pass it without taking a second look. Thus, it is not surprising that it is the most photographed building in the city. You will not have a complete stay in the city if you do not visit this building.
- Snake Park: A majority of the foreigners in Swakopmund have never been to a snake museum before. However, you get to do so in the city. Snakes are interesting creatures, and you get to learn more about them when you visit this park. The tour guides allow people the freedom to touch the snakes while exploring, but you must do it with caution.
- Swakopmund Lighthouse: One may say that it is common to see a lighthouse in cities, but we do not know if you have seen one with a restaurant. Visiting this place gives you access to one of the best restaurants in Swakopmund.
- Peter's Antiques: It is impossible for a foreigner not to shop in a new place, and this is a place to carry out such activity in Swakopmund. The owners are warm and friendly, ready to share their historical knowledge of the city if you desire. You can always get local souvenirs from this place.
- Swakopmund Mole: The ice-cream sold at this place is usually one of its most talked-about features. There is a lot to explore when you visit this place, so add it to your to-do list when in Swakopmund.
- Swakopmund Paintball Centre & Adventure Park: You cannot say that you had a pleasant experience in a new city if you did not have fun. By visiting this place, you will have one of your most exciting experiences in Swakopmund. It also allows you to meet your people.
We find it unthinkable that anyone would visit a new place and want to stay cooped indoors. A typical characteristic of tourists is to explore different places until they are tired. Even when tired, they ensure to renew their energy so that they can cover many areas before leaving the city.
If you agree with this, it means that you desire to explore all that Swakopmund has to offer, and we know that you will not be disappointed.
It is a small and promising city, and we sometimes wonder why it is not high on the popularity scale of holiday destinations. However, we are sure that you will recommend it to others when you leave.
Sometimes, one of the first points of call to explore for foreigners is the city parks.
Your options in Swakopmund are:
- Jörg Henrichsen Park: We can say that it is one of the most relaxing environments in the city, so you should not hesitate to visit it. It is a perfect place for taking a walk, sunbathing, or getting involved in games and activities. You know that you can connect with others when you visit this place.
- Swakopmund Paintball Centre & Adventure Park: We had earlier highlighted this place as one of the city’s top tourist attractions. It is an amusement park where people visit to have fun and let out their inner child.
It is only right to assume that there will be national parks in place if it has city parks, and one would want to visit these places to enjoy the view.
Unfortunately, foreigners cannot enjoy this when visiting Swakopmund as there are no national parks in the city. If you are determined to visit national parks, there are some close to Swakopmund, but none within the city.
Since exploring is something that foreigners should do, you should not see it as a hassle leaving the city to visit these national parks as it is not far. We know that you would have fun while exploring, so do not hold back.
It is not right to have visiting beaches as a top thought if you are in Namibia as they are not famous for beaches. However, some people describe Swakopmund as the beach city in the country, so you can explore the beaches while in the city.
The available options you would have in Swakopmund are not much as the beaches are few. Thus, if you love to relax at a beach, you should not hesitate to visit the ones you see.
You will meet people there and get involved in different fascinating activities. Thus, you are sure of having fun.
It should not be surprising that some of the tourist attractions in Swakopmund will serve as landmarks. After all, a landmark is an outstanding building or structure, and Swakopmund is a small city.
Some of its landmarks are:
- Altes Amtsgericht: It is impossible to pass this building without taking a second look due to its beauty. Its architectural features are outstanding, and people usually use it as a guide when describing a place or area. You cannot miss it when in Swakopmund.
- Lutheran Church: It is a high church building, so you can see it from a distance. Thus, it is not surprising that this is one of the landmarks in Swakopmund.
Some of the museums in Swakopmund are:
- Swakopmund Museum: It will not be wrong to describe this place as the most famous museum in the city, and you will get extensive knowledge when you visit it. There are usually many exhibits to see, giving an insight into events that have happened in the city. The tour guides are usually friendly and helpful, so it is also an experience to visit this museum.
- Woerman House: It is helpful to know that entrance into this place is not free. People are usually intrigued by its architecture, and you will also learn more about Swakopmund’s history.
Foreigners usually get intrigued by different things when in a new place, and one of such is the available meals. Trying out the local foods is something that many people look forward to when visiting a new place, and tourists in Swakopmund are no exception.
You should know that the available local meals in Swakopmund are what you will get in other Namibia cities.
It is best to know that the locals are lovers of meat, so it consists of most of their meals. It is hard to see a local meal that does not have an infusion of meat. It would be best if you tried the Potjiekos vegetable stew before leaving the city.
Traditional Local Restaurants
It is only ideal that one is on the lookout for local restaurants when in a new place as that is typically the best place to enjoy the available traditional meals. You are sure that they have expertise in preparing these meals, so all you need to do is go there with your stomach and enjoy the food.
One of the best traditional local restaurants to visit in Swakopmund is:
- Hafeni Traditional Restaurant: If you are on the lookout for something fancy, it will not meet your expectations. However, it surpasses the imagination when it concerns enjoyable and satisfactory local meals. It gives a warm feeling that leaves you happy as you eat.
Vegetarian and Vegan
It is almost unimaginable that there will be a vegan restaurant in Swakopmund since most traditional foods have an infusion of meat. However, these people are considerate and understand that everyone cannot have the same food preference.
Thus, if you are a vegetarian, you are covered when in this city. One of the vegan restaurants is:
- Farmhouse Deli: As the name implies, you can tell that it meets the needs of vegans. Anyone can eat at this place, and people always testify that the meals are tasty and delicious. Thus, it should be your point of call if you are a vegetarian. They have an array of options, so you will always have varieties.
If you can remember, we said that there is almost always an infusion of meat in most Namibian meals, and their street food is not an exception. Street foods are those easy meals that one can get at the roadside. If you are a lover of such, you will get many enjoyable options in Swakopmund.
Biltong is a street food option in the city, consisting of dried meat that remains tender and juicy. We know that you will not want to stop eating it once you start.
Another available street food option is Kapana & Fat Cakes. Kapana is also a variety of meat, but fat cakes do not mean actual cakes. Instead, it is a round dough made from sunflower oil, yeast, and flour. It is always an enjoyable combination.
Since we have already covered the local meals in Swakopmund, it is also right to talk about the drink options. After all, some people cannot eat without having an accompanying drink.
It is helpful to know that you can get both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in Swakopmund, so you do not need to worry or have reservations as you are free to drink anything you desire.
You will realize that most Namibians are lovers of beer, so you will see different beer options. Some tourists usually have a swell time exploring the different varieties.
There are also fruit drinks and other options to try. The city does not lack when it concerns drinks.
There are certain reservations people have when it concerns traveling to a new place, and the state of its tap water is usually one of them.
People want to know if tap water is consumable as it helps them plan the water they will drink and know what to avoid. Thus, we also had to research the state of tap water in Swakopmund to give people a heads-up.
Most of the reviews we got about tap water in Swakopmund are positive, as it is what the locals drink. Thus, a foreigner can drink from it. However, it is your preference to buy bottled water or boil tap water before drinking.
Some of the organic cafes in Swakopmund are:
- Monkey Puzzle Café: One can say that it is a place conducive for families as it has a playground for children. You will get a warm and cozy feeling when you visit this place, and the services are always great. You are sure of getting excellent, tasty, and healthy meals from this café, so it classifies as one of the top organic cafes in Swakopmund.
- Bojos Café: It is one of the best places to eat in Swakopmund if you are looking for healthy options. People also give special commendations to their coffee, and we know that you will not regret visiting it.
We cannot say that there are many breweries in Swakopmund, but you can be sure of seeing some. If you did not know, some people would not have a complete stay in a new place if they do not visit any of its breweries. This typically comes in handy for drink lovers.
Some people say that great friendships are established at a brewery, and we cannot fault this logic as we see it often happening. One of the breweries in Swakopmund is:
- Namib Dunes Craft Brewery: Beer lovers will have a swell time at this place as you get access to an array of beer options that we are sure you would love.
People are usually enthusiastic about visiting a place when there are sure that there would be many exciting activities to do. After all, no one wishes to be bored in a foreign city.
When talking about activities that foreigners can do in a new place, some people mention fishing and kayaking. These activities are dependent on the availability of water bodies in the location.
The locals in Swakopmund are not strangers to these activities. Thus, you can join them in it if you desire. We cannot say that they get involved in fishing or kayaking always, but it happens in Swakopmund.
Yoga and Retreats
If you did not know, yoga also classifies as one of those exciting activities that people look forward to doing while in a new place. Sometimes, these tourists are pro yogis, or it could be that there are newbies with an interest in yoga. Thus, it is refreshing when yoga is a famous activity in the city.
If you are a yoga enthusiast and plan to visit Swakopmund, you are in luck as this activity is famous in the city, so you can join in the fun at any time. There are some yoga studios in the city that comes in handy to help people.
You can visit these studios to join others in this activity, and there is usually a trainer to help newbies.
Everyone would agree that you cannot have a swell time in a new place if you do not have proper accommodation plans. A tourist needs to plan where they would stay while visiting a new city. You will be frustrated if the plans are not solid since it is foreign terrain.
Every foreigner needs to have an accommodation budget before traveling. However, it comes in handy when you research the various available accommodation options so that you can have an idea of their prices and know how to make adjustments to your accommodation budget.
It is not right to visit a place blindly without an idea of its accommodation options.
It is usually refreshing to some tourists when they realize that their destination city has green hotels. A green hotel is an eco-friendly place, and it is what these foreigners strive to be as it entails responsible traveling.
Some of the green hotels in Swakopmund are:
- Strand Hotel: It is not wrong to say that one would have an encompassing stay at this place as it has many amenities that make people comfortable. The environment is always clean, and the staff are friendly, ensuring to provide excellent services. It is one of the best in the city.
- Hansa Hotel: There is the conception that green hotels are expensive, but this place goes against that thought. Customers are usually treated like royalty, and you get to enjoy free Wi-Fi if you lodge in this place.
Hostels and Guest Houses
When talking about accommodation options, some cities have hostels and guesthouses on their list. We cannot say that there are hostels in Swakopmund as a part of their available accommodation options, but you will see many guesthouses, and you can stay in any of them.
One of them is:
- Sandfields Guesthouse: Asides from the fireplaces, which make the guesthouse warm, there is a feeling of warmth and welcome you will feel if you stay at this place. Although it does not have many amenities, it assures you of your comfort. It is also helpful to know that it is a smoke-free property and children-friendly. It is suitable for those on a tight budget.
Some people will prefer to stay in an apartment when in a new city, so they are hopeful that the city will have apartments as a part of its accommodation option. Understandably, it is not every city worldwide with apartments, but Swakopmund is not a part of this list.
Some of its apartments are:
- Am Strand Apartment: The cleanliness of this place appeals to many people, making it one of the city’s top apartment complexes. People say that it gives value to your money as their services are exceptional. Due to the homey feeling you will get, you are assured of a comfortable stay.
We know that not everyone has heard of this term before. Still, we expect that every avid traveler and tourist knows this as it comes in handy when it concerns accommodation, especially if you are traveling on a tight budget.
Some foreigners are usually happy when they can stay in a place for free, and it happens with Couchsurfing. There is usually a website where some of the locals who have space in their homes can signup and identify so that foreigners can link up with them.
You might have reservations about staying with a stranger, but you will realize that it can be fun when you know how to make compromises.
If you are the adventurous type, we know that you would want to go camping in a new place as it helps you explore nature and connect with the environment. Some people say that it is more fun to go as a group. However, it does not mean that you cannot go solo.
Camping in Swakopmund is usually fun as you hear stories from the locals, and they share some of their tricks. It helps you connect with them better, and you will have a swell time.
You will realize that there are campsites in the city, helping to make your experience more comfortable.
How to Get There
Knowing how to reach your destination is also important when traveling as it helps to make your movement easier.
It is also best when you know what transportation means to use from your current location that takes you directly to your destination. After all, no one likes stress, and we know that you will prefer not to break your journey.
Also, getting a direct means of movement helps save costs, and you will get there quicker. Some people might wonder how they would get this information, but we know that researching and asking questions is usually helpful.
However, we would also help with useful information.
To use air to a place, you have to be sure that it has an airport, which is the determining factor. It comes as a thing of joy when people know that there is an airport in Swakopmund. However, we always advise that they should hold on the jubilation.
Although there is an airport in the city, it does not accept passenger flights. The closest airport to Swakopmund that accepts passenger flights is 35km away from the city.
If you are in some South African cities or already in Namibia’s capital, you can get a flight to the closest airport. We hope that this gives you an idea of how to plan your journey.
It is also feasible to use a bus to get to Swakopmund. However, this can only work if you are already within Namibia. It is unimaginable to think that you can use a bus to this city from another continent.
Some people may feel they can use a bus to the city if they are already within its region, but it is impossible.
If you desire to use a bus to Swakopmund, you need to find a way into Namibia first and get on a minibus going to Swakopmund as there are usually minibuses that get to the city, especially from the country’s capital.
If there is a railway in a city, it will not be surprising that people would consider using a train to get into it.
You may be wondering why someone would want to use a train, especially as trains are slow. However, people have different preferences, and we cannot question them.
Using a train to Swakopmund works similarly to using a bus as you need to get to Namibia before it is possible. Once you are in Namibia, you will see intercity trains operating, so it will not be hard getting one that takes you to Swakopmund. It is usually a hitch-free and enjoyable ride.
There is also the idea of getting a free ride when traveling to a new place, and it is called hitchhiking. Some people look forward to it because it helps them meet new people, while others are scared. We do not know the category you fall under.
However, you should know that hitchhiking to Swakopmund is possible, but you should already be within Namibia.
We cannot say that the idea of hitchhiking is popular in the country, but it happens. We usually advise foreigners not to put much hope on it so that you will not be disappointed. It is not out of place if you want to try it, but there should always be a backup plan.
Another viable option for getting into Swakopmund is to use a ship. We cannot say that it gets you directly into the city, but you will get close enough.
If you wish to use a ship to Swakopmund, it stops at Walvis Bay, and you can get a taxi from there to Swakopmund.
If you are in South Africa, you can get a ship from cape town that operates to Walvis Bay. Some people may not be up to this method as they deem it stressful. However, others look forward to traveling via a water body, and we know that it will be an interesting and exciting experience.
Once you have reached your destination, you also need to consider moving around as it is what helps you get from one point to another. Despite any argument that may happen, all foreigners need to know the various means of moving around once they are in a new place.
By getting this information, you get to know the amount people pay from the various options, and it helps you make a choice.
Although we would highlight some of the available options, it is proper for you to get more information from a local as they are in the right place to give a detailed operation description. Thus, it would be best if you are friendly.
Walking around is almost the best way of moving around in Swakopmund as it is a small city.
People say that it is sometimes difficult to get a taxi, and you will realize that there is no need to pay to get to a destination when it is close.
You can also see walking as a way of exercising and exploring, so it comes in handy as a means of moving around.
Swakopmund’s environment makes it conducive for cycling, so one can also consider using a bicycle to move around in the city.
We would not say that it is common to see bicycle rental shops, but we know you would find a place to get one.
Once you have a bicycle, you will enjoy cycling around as it helps to relieve stress and worries.
The locals of Swakopmund are not new to using a scooter, so it is a feasible means of moving around the city.
Although it may seem hard to rent one, we are sure that you will figure out a way around it.
It is best to be careful when riding a scooter, especially as you are not used to the terrain. However, it always comes in handy.
Unlike some other places where you have public buses to move around, it is not so in Swakopmund. One can say that there is no public transport in the city.
Although you can see taxis, it is not easy to get one as they do not operate always.
The idea here is that the city is small, so they feel no need for public buses.
Tram, Train and Subway
The idea surrounding the use of a public bus in Swakopmund also comes to play when it involves trains. Although there is a railway in the city, one cannot say that it is a means of moving around.
You can use a train to get into Swakopmund, but you cannot use it to move around as they do not operate within the city.
Some people say that shopping is inevitable when it concerns foreigners and we sometimes agree with that claim. However, how and where do you shop when in a new city?
It is always best to patronize the locals to buy the sustainable items that they sell. This is a way of proving that you are a responsible traveler.
We assure you that you will not regret buying any of the items.
A way of engaging in sustainable shopping in Swakopmund is to visit their food markets. After all, these are local items, and the support would go a long way.
If you love the local cuisines, we are sure that you would also want to experiment, and the best way is to buy their ingredients.
The sellers are usually helpful when it comes to making a choice.
Asides from food markets, buying things from a flea market also classifies as sustainable shopping.
People say that you can do price negotiations at a flea market, and the process is usually interesting as you get to have friendly banter with the sellers.
You will realize that it is also an avenue to become more friendly with the locals and the items are usually cheaper.
Second Hand Stores
Some people may have reservations about shopping at a second-hand store, but it is one of the best places if you wish to engage in sustainable shopping.
From the name, you can tell that the items are not new. However, the sellers ensure that they are in a quality state.
Thus, you get to buy them at a lower price. There are any second-hand stores in Swakopmund that sell an array of items.
Eco-fashion is an infusion of sustainability into the making of clothes, so it classifies as a way of sustainable shopping when you buy them.
You will realize that designers now use recyclable materials to make clothes. Thus, they are eco-friendly.
It is a new trend, but it is gradually gaining waves, and people love what they see. We encourage that you support this business in Swakopmund.
It comes in handy that there is a recycling plant in Swakopmund, ensuring that the city stays eco-friendly.
You will see that the people try to separate their dirt and recycle some they feel can be used again. It is a welcome initiative, and we commend their effort.
As a foreigner, you should also key into the recycling idea as it goes a long way.
It is not out of place to call Swakopmund a clean city. Thus, one can say that they have an effective waste management system.
Foreigners are usually advised against littering, especially as yo9u do not want to get into trouble with the authorities in a strange terrain.
It is best that you dispose of your waste appropriately. Follow the steps of the locals if you are confused.
Work and Study Abroad
Although the educational institutions in Swakopmund are not much, we see some people wanting to school at these places. However, they are also curious about the work and study regulations in the city.
There are no laws concerning working while studying in Swakopmund, so students can work while studying.
They believe that a student should know how to manage their time effectively so that no area would be affected.
We cannot say that Swakopmund ranks high in terms of educational institutions. However, people who want to experience life in the city are usually inquisitive about exchange programs.
You should check if your current institution is in collaboration with any of the colleges in Swakopmund, as that is the way an exchange program can happen.
By subscribing to an au pair program, you get to surf the website for available jobs. These are usually menial jobs, but they always come in handy.
Thus, eliminating the idea that there you cannot earn while in the city.
You can use the au pair to keep busy before getting your dream job.
It could be that you love the culture and atmosphere of Swakopmund, but there is something you desire to change.
If that is the case, you can go to the city as a volunteer and change that sector. People use volunteering as a way of going to their desired city and making an impact.