The Plight of the PangolinFebruary 15, 2019
Shipwreck Lodge – Whispered tales of a desolate placeFebruary 19, 2019
Text Nina van Schalkwyk
Photographs Xenia Ivanoff-Erb and Nina van Schalkwyk
Explore the Namib ’s micro-wilderness
Only kilometres from the outskirts of Swakopmund the Namib Desert starts to reveal its hidden microverse of plants and animals that survive in the harsh environment. During a guided tour one has the opportunity to see how this seemingly dormant landscape bristles with life. From side-winding snakes to head-standing beetles, tap-dancing spiders and see-through geckos, a tour of the desert reveals life in the most unexpected places.
Try: Charly’s Desert Tours’ Living Desert Experience, for N$650 per person for a three-and-a-half-hour tour.
+264 64 404 341 or +264 81 129 9076
Fat bikes are an alternative way to explore the dune ridges of the Namib. The bigger-than-usual tyres mean you won’t be sinking into the sand. Join a fat bike tour of the desert or a tour of historic Swakopmund. Or if you prefer solo exploration, rent a bike and simply get cycling.
Try: Swakopmund Fat Bike Tours‘ Scenic Desert Tour or the “Old City” Swakopmund Tour, both at N$350 per person for two hours.
+264 81 395 5813
Ride a camel
Traversing the desert landscape on the back of a camel is sure to make you feel like a treasure seeker of a different time. Although camels are not indigenous to Namibia, the humped creatures’ adaptation to deserts means they fit right in. Riding them is a fun experience and an out of the ordinary way to see the sights.
Try: Swakopmund Camel Farm for 20-minute camel rides; adults pay N$200 and children under 13 get half price.
+264 81 230 1758 or +264 64 400 363
Who could have known that snowboards had a use in the desert? Rush down the side of a dune at 80 km/h or attempt to do a jump. Don’t worry, it turns out that landing on sand is much softer than on snow.
Try: Alter Action Sandboarding for excursions into the desert where their guides help novices and experienced guests to get a feel for the sand. A session of lie-down boarding costs N$500 per person, while stand-up boarding costs N$600 per person.
+264 64 40 2737 or +264 81 128 2737
Take flight and explore the desert and the coast from the sky. Swakopmund is a hub of scenic flights, but try paragliding for a completely breath-taking experience. The wind in your hair and the sun on your cheeks, with the world passing by below. It’s the closest thing to flying for flightless birds like us.
Try: Namib Gliding. Paragliding instructor, Mario Oprandi, has many years of experience in the field and will create a unique paragliding safari for you.
+264 81 420 8070