Surrounded on three sides by the arid Namib Desert and on the west side by the cold waters of the South Atlantic, Swakopmund is surely one of the most unusual and fascinating colonial towns in the whole of Africa. In a period of a little more than 25 years the German Imperial Government built a succession of extravagant buildings, which today represent one of the best-preserved collections of German colonial architecture still standing. When approached from the desert, especially during the morning fog, the turrets, towers and pastel-coloured buildings on the skyline appear as a hazy mirage, and the quirky town comes as quite as surprise on the barren coastline.
Today, because of its olde-worlde charm and relaxed atmosphere, Swakopmund is Namibia’s premier holiday resort. Each year thousands descend from the heat and dust of the interior to enjoy the temperate climate of the coast and to indulge in a few weeks’ fishing and boating and, increasingly these days, adventure sports. There are lots of things to do, a wide choice of hotels, guesthouses and pensions, and several good restaurants and coffee shops selling traditional German pastries. You will not have a problem finding an apple strudel or a flagon of beer in this town.