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SWAKOPMUND

Swakopmund, known as Swakop, is situated on the coast of Namibia, and is surrounded by the Namib Desert, which is said to be the oldest desert in the world. Swakop is the country's biggest coastal town and a mecca for Namibians on holiday.

Swakopmund was founded two years later than Windhoek, in 1892, by Captain Curt von Francois as the main harbour of German South West Africa. Increased traffic between Germany and its colony necessitated establishing of own port as Walvis Bay, located 33 kilometres south, was already in British possession. The choice fell on Swakopmund where water could be found and because other sites checked (including Cape Cross) were unsuitable.

There is a strong German architectural influence in the town, which has many Bavarian-style buildings. There are salt, garnet, and uranium deposits in the region, as well as a Chinese orbital tracking station.
Some historical dates...

1892First building is erected in Swakopmund (a barrack for troops).
189419 inhabitants.
1895First people to be buried in the local cemetery - 5 sailors who drowned in boat accident.
1896Lieutenant Troost's attempts to solve transport problem by introducing ''Martin Luther''.
1897First post office in town.
1899Introduction of cable telegraph service. Water pipeline from Swakop.
1901First passengers is landed at the Mole. Telephone service established with 40 subscribers.
1903First wooden pavements.
1905Jetty opened. The newspaper Deutsche Suedwestafrikanische Zeitung published. 1433 inhabitants.
1909Swakopmund is an independent municipality.
1911Shipping connection with New York. First Swakopmunder Zeitung published.
1914Shelling of the harbour by British naval cruisers. Swakopmund is evacuated inland.
1915Occupation by SA troops. Shooting of more than 1500 horses and mules outside of the town.
1926Railway bridge opened over the mouth of Swakop river.
1929Hansa Brewery is opened.
1930First guano platform constructed.
1931Railway bridge is destroyed by flood.
1935Railway bridge constructed 5 km upstream from Swakop river mouth.
1951Opening of museum by Dr. A. Weber.
1959Opening of salt road to Walvis Bay.
19604 701 inhabitants.
1967Tar road from Windhoek reached Swakopmund.
1970Tar road to Walvis Bay opened.
1973First 3 traffic robots.
19825 800 vehicles registered in town.
1994Swakopmund Hotel is opened.
Click here to see what some of our guests had to say, as well as a few of their photos »

Tommy Collard has been involved in conservation, tourism, herpetology and farming all his life. You will find his enthusiasm for desert life catching!

Although Tommy specializes in the 'Living Desert' Tour, which he personally developed over a number of years, he is fully experienced in doing all the half-day and full day tours that the area has to offer. The 'Living Desert' tour, which allows you to experience the unexpected life in the dunes up close with a conservation-minded approach, has become one of the most popular 4x4 tours at the coast.
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