Compiled by Marita van Rooyen
Namibia’s coast is a hotspot of activities. Here we chronicle some of the 10 must see’s and do’s:
You’ve had a long day’s fishing? Your car is stained with salt? You’re feeling hungry? Thirsty? But you have to clean all that fish first? The one-stop-fix in Henties Bay you’ll not find in the ’middle of town’ but rather in the ‘location’, is Skubbe Bar, where you’ll be offered fish cleaning and a car wash in addition to slaking your thirsty throat while you wait for what is probably Africa‘s most fabulous Eisbein. Oom Paul makes everybody part of the family, while Queen Petro governs over the kitchen crew. This family space with its spacious veranda provides a true Henties experience, 6/7 from 10:00 till 22:00, Sundays from 11:00 till 21:00.
Situated right where the Swakop River meets the ocean, Tiger Reef might become wet from time to time. But this never stops the action. The family-friendly beach bar is the place to be if you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere right next to the sea. Light meals are available on a self-service basis, and kids and dogs are welcome. Bring your bikini and lie in the sand or lounge on the chairs with a cold one in hand. On 28 December things will pick up a notch as Red Bull’s Da Party hits the bar with a whole list of international DJs, and a shuttle bus to make sure the partygoers reach home safely. Other big events are Das Feten Fest (26 Dec) and the New Year bash. Tiger Reef is open every day from 11:00 until the last person heads home.
+264 (0)64 40 0935
Gruniz Pub at Grüner Kranz is where you’ll find large groups of young folk fighting for the main spot on the dance floor, that is when they’re not crowding the bar. Theme parties are the order of the day and the latest tunes are blasted late into the night. Because it’s located in the middle of town, many feet find their way here during the late hours of the evening. Lonely Planet comments: “The hotel is extremely popular with overland trucks, so it’s a safe bet that the upstairs bar is probably bumping and grinding most nights of the week.” Who knows? Strange as it may sound, you might even walk into a bull-riding competition… Find this lekker pub in Nathaniël Maxuilili Street, Swakopmund.
+264 (0)64 40 2030
Local artist Jost Kirsten is the reason why Desert Tavern boasts such a funky interior. As a partner in the business, he added a good dose of his creative flair to the watering hole. The other partner, Peter Schneider, adds his bit by manning the bar and being available for customer queries, amongst others. The two make a mean team and have won the popular vote by playing host to long evenings of live performances by local musicians. Think Crimson House Blues, Tribe Union, Gazoline and Out of Nowhere, and you’ve got the idea. Of course, the Tavern also hosts a restaurant and cosy courtyard for meeting up with friends. Bring a buddy and a good mood, and get into the vibe! Desert Tavern is located in Swakopmund Street, on the southern edge of town.
+264 (0)64 40 4204
The latest addition to Swakop’s entertainment scene, Cosmopolitan, is fast becoming the favoured Mojito drinking joint. Barman Santos Shangombe proudly concocts this speciality drink ‘just like they make it overseas’, but alas, will not give away his secret ingredients. For the festive season, this lounge bar/restaurant will have live music over weekends (the schedule includes a world-famous Italian composer), performing a selection of jazz, old school and other chilling-out music. The owners, Michelle Itolua and Amelio Bortolus, are as cosmopolitan a couple as you’ll ever get, with the mood reflecting their unique vision. Specialising in cocktails, cigars, sushi, and other ‘easy foods’, the lounge bar is where you want to find yourself on a lazy evening. Cosmopolitan is open from Mondays to Saturdays, 16:00 till late. Find the maroon-coloured building at 37 Daniel Tjongarero Street.
+264 (0)64 40 0133
Where ‘life’s too short not to be Mexican’, cocktails, tortillas and tostadas make up the main forms of entertainment. If this does not tempt you yet, maybe the fact that this is where the international team from the Mad Max movie hung out will. They totally loved it. The courtyard is where the action happens, with fairy-light-covered palm trees and an open fire creating a lekker atmosphere. Big TV screens show the latest sporting events, perfect to keep the men busy and hanging around the bar. A word of advice though: if your stomach isn’t made of steel, be wary of the Jalapeño Bullets! Pizzas (tostadas in the N’Amigos dialect) are half price on Tuesdays. Find the ‘place of the three friends’ on the corner of Daniel Tjongarero and Nathaniël Maxuilili streets in Swakopmund. And don’t be fooled when you look through the window; this place is full of life until the wee hours of the morning.
+264 (0)64 40 6711
Another place where you shouldn’t be fooled by its quiet appearance, or become confused by the restaurant section, Naps Bar is where the energised spend their time trying to compete for the mike on karaoke evenings. It can get loud and rowdy, but it’s always fun. Charlize Theron was even glimpsed here on a certain Friday night… it’s located in Nathaniël Maxuilili Street, Swakopmund.
+264 (0)64 40 2773
By the time the diehards have left their seats at the bar counters throughout Swakopmund, things start happening at Paradise. Those who are still looking for a couple of final twirls on the dance floor and a drink for the evening, come here to end, if not start, the day. Local and international DJs provide entertainment for the masses, while CD launches of local artists are the order of the day. Open until 2:00 the next morning. Find the lounge in Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue.
Flare your nostrils to the flavours of Ulong Melon and Guava, Belgium Chocolate Truffle, Lapsang Souchong, spicy Mulled Wine Blend, and Grandma’s Fruit Basket. As not everyone likes to unwind with an alcoholic beverage, Swakopmund’s Tea Time fills the spot for the more reserved among us. Sit down at one of the antique tables, admire the funky tea-inspired décor, and call owner Brigitte Harz over for a crash course in brewing tea and choosing your flavour. All you have to do from here onwards is slow down and put your feet up; the Tea Time’s magical blends will take care of the rest. Tea Time is situated on the corner of Tobias Hainyeko and Daniel Tjongarero streets and is open from 11:00 to 17:00 from Tuesday to Saturday.
+264 (0)64 40 6769
You can’t visit Walvis Bay without dropping in at The Raft, meeting ‘the very cute’ resident ridgeback Mutley, and admiring the spectacular 360-degree views. Built on stilts in the middle of the Walvis Bay Lagoon, you won’t find any other place where you can admire flamingos milling around in circles and windsurfers chasing the currents, while enjoying an ice-cold beer. If you’re lucky, you might even spot happy schools of dolphins splashing around. The cold ones can be accompanied by snacks such as Snake Bites and Bobotie Spring Rolls, and the chef makes the meanest, most Dangerous Dough Balls! And don’t give the Horny Rhino – Walvis’ ultimate pizza – a miss! The Bar is open from 12:00 until late, which is usually only during the early hours of the morning, and The Raft is open on New Year’s day!
Tel +264 64(0) 20 4877
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