Tag Archives: Swakopmund

Swakopmund, Namibia

The desert around Swakopmund seems to stretch away forever and forever. In the centre, this small, holiday town nestles on the edge of the cold Atlantic, waiting to welcome foreigners and locals alike. Although it is busy all year, it fills up more than usual during December. I struggled to find backpackers accommodation at short notice. Not that I’m complaining – I ended up staying in a lovely, comfortable B&B (Hotel-Pension D’Avignon). Between backpacker stops in Windhoek, a nice, comfortable bed and my own shower for a night wasn’t exactly a hardship.

Accommodation establishments aren’t scarce in the town, which is probably an indication of just how popular it is. They are scattered all over the place, many of them in beautiful old, occasionally nation-monument, buildings. Some are more distinctive than others. Turning a corner and coming upon the Hotel Europa Hof was delightful – a picture of (possibly movie-ified) old Europe, complete with dark roof and edging and window-boxes full of flowers. The government-run Youth Hostel is situated in the old army barracks, built in 1905 to house the 2nd Eisenbahnbaukompagnie while they built a landing jetty in Swakopmund. Pension Prinzessin-Rupprecht-Heim was once an old German Military Hospital, built in 1901.

Continue reading

Something like a desert

It is a terrible stereotype to say that Namibia is a desert. Namibia is a huge country (almost twice the size of Kenya according to my guide-book), with something like 29 different climatic/environmental zones. Two of these are desert – Namib and Khalahari – but even these are not anything like uniform. I knew all this long before I took off from OR Tambo on the last Thursday in November. And yet, I found myself, as we came in to land in Windhoek, surprised that the veld below me looked green and pleasant and rather like the Northern Cape. Stereotypes are hard to break.

Continue reading