Swakopmund (German for “Mouth of the Swakop”) lies on the coast of western Namibia, about 280km west of the capital, Windhoek. The city is surrounded by the Namib Desert on three sides, and from various viewpoints in the city you can see the golden orange sand dunes of the desert rolling up to meet the Atlantic waters.
It’s a lovely city to stay in for a couple of days and explore on foot. The city was established as a German colony in 1892 so much of the architecture is European. If it wasn’t for the sand dunes and palm trees you’d sometimes forget that you’re actually in Africa at all. In fact a sizeable part of the population is still German-speaking today, which only serves to contribute further to that feeling.
Swakopmund is largely a beach resort and is Namibia’s most popular tourist destination, with pier, lighthouse, shops, cafes, and plenty of interesting things to see and do. In many respects it reminds me of some of the coastal destinations in the UK; Brighton, Eastbourne etc, with the pier acting as one of the main focal points of the city.
As an amateur photographer the pier held my interest as well of course. It’s here that I first started experimenting with long exposure photography, but without the essential ND filter, or tripod (used the rocks instead),
I wasn’t that successful really. With the light fading and the clouds gathering I did my best to get that almost misty look as the waves crashed against the pier supports. I have since got a little better at this technique (more on that in later posts), but for the record, this is how it all started…
As you’d expect, there are many excellent seafood restaurants in Swakopmund as well, all in all the perfect place to act as a launchpad for heading into the interior of the Namib Desert, which was my next destination the following day.
Not far out of Swakopmund there’s a wonderful lagoon that we passed on our way into the Namib Desert. Luckily is was populated by a fair number of flamingos, so we stopped for a few minutes to enjoy looking at them before moving on.
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