Lizzie Williams
South Africa ZA
Apr 21, 2014 April 21, 2014

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Category: Highlight of the Month

Surrounded by the giant sand dunes of the Namib Desert, and on the west side by the icy waters of the Atlantic, Swakopmund is Namibia’s top destination for adventure activities.

The quirky town of Swakopmund features palm-lined streets, fine colonial architecture, seaside promenades and a pleasant summer climate, and also offers a number of adrenalin-charged activities in the surrounding desert.  A thrilling way to conquer the towering dunes is by sand-boarding and speeds easily reach 80 kilometres per hour, while the crests of the dunes can be explored by quad-bike and there are some excitingly steep ascents and descents.

The views of Namibia’s desert landscapes are tremendous from a scenic flight over dried-up riverbeds, rock formations and gravel plains, or take to the skies more dramatically by a tandem sky-diving jump from 10,000 feet. Tours of the dune-belt demonstrate how the desert is far from being a desolate, lifeless place, and is in fact full of scurrying, clinging life adapted to survival against the heat and aridity.

Guides point out little creatures such as geckos, insects, dancing lizards and desert chameleons or Namibia’s famous 1,500-year-old welwitschia plants. An action-packed day or two in Swakopmund compliments any visit to Namibia, and who would have thought sand could be so interesting.