The tiny SA Express plane was small enough for me pretend it was a private plane but too dingy to do so convincingly. Yet its miniscule windows suddenly felt huge as the breadth of the Namib Desert stretched underneath us. My world fell away where the ocean and the desert met. For a second the Flat Earth Society didn’t seem so crazy. That sentiment evapaotated as we came crashing down headfirst… no wait… we were just landing on a strip that had jumped up from beneath the sand.
Thank you for humouring me and getting through that overindulgent paragraph. The editing starts here. I’ll let my Plus One’s beautiful photos of our Swakopmund trip via Walvis Bay tell the story from here. That and an unverified list of the cheapest things to Swapkopmund towards the end of this post.
The cheap things to do in Swakopmund
At $10 you get more than your money’s worth. Wear your big girl pants and act like you are 5 while sitting in the portals.
Strand St, Swakopmund
With the full sized taxidermy there is a Penny Dreadful season 3 feel about the museum. But that’s not the selling point. Hidden in a corner next to an interactive display that is a little too big for the space there is an incredible collection of Ekipa, stunning jewels carved from ivory by the Owambo.
Strand St, Swakopmund
+264 64 402 046
Stand next to World’s Largest Quart Cluster (on display). Buy your birthday stone. If you’re lucky like me it’s only a semi-precious like a garnet that is mined in Namibia and really affordable.
Corner of Tobias Hainyeko and Theo-Ben Gurirab Avenue, Swakopmund
+ 264 64 406080
Most people will tell you that this drive is only possible with a 4×4. We did it in the tiniest rental car available in Walvis Bay. Just take it VERY slow. Quite a few official tours whizzed past us but they missed out one of the best things about being in a desert, the silence. We didn’t do nearly enough homework so the informative and surprisingly passionate descriptions of the 13 beacons on the Welwitschia Drive that was casually stapled on to the permit ($70: $30 pp + $10 for the car, buy the permit at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, it is a breezy experience) made the day. The best stop for a picnic/desert G&T is at beacon 12, next to a 1500 year old Welwitschia. You know you’ve made it as a noteworthy plant when there’s a shaded area and 2 long drops for the people visiting you.
Ministry of Environment and Tourism
Corner Bismarck Street and Sam Nujoma Avenue, Swakopmund
+264 64 404 576