From Strand Hotel to Sandwich Harbour

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Compiled Sanet van Zijl | Main photo ©Paul van Schalkwyk

Strand Hotel Swakopmund is situated along the Namibian coast, making it the ideal base from which to explore the surroundings. Not too far from Swakopmund you will find Sandwich Harbour, one of Namibia’s wetland wonders and top birding destinations.

At Sandwich Harbour the desert and the sea come together, creating a distinct landscape of contrast. Here you can stand on a sand dune with one foot and the other in the sea.

From Strand Hotel you can book a 4×4 drive to explore Sandwich Harbour. Tours will take guests in Land Rovers over the endless dunes. All of the guides are well educated on the environment in that area. They have a great knowledge of the bird life, salt pans. dunes and wildlife that you will encounter on your trip.

Dune lark. Photo ©Pompie Burger

Sandwich Harbour is a protected area and sanctuary to various species of birds. It serves as home to an endemic to Namibia, the dune lark, as well as the African oyster catcher and many other birds such as the Damara tern can be found breeding here.

The dunes in this area change shape continuously. In the past whalers and fishing vessels were attracted to the natural harbour with its abundant fish life, however the area is no longer suitable for a harbour. Depending on the tide at the time of your visit you can be taken to a fossilized riverbed.

Damara tern. Photo ©Damara Tern Project

The scenic drive includes a snack in the dunes with biltong bites, fresh oysters, and a variety of tasty pastries. You can wash this down with champagne, soft drinks or water. After your snack the drive becomes a bit more exhilarating as you will drive up and down dunes taller than any buildings on the coast. The drive is not really an adrenaline seeking adventure, but the blood does flow a bit faster while crossing over some of the larger dunes. You will be sure to experience the “roaring dunes,” which is an interesting characteristic of the dunes. Air is released from the dunes as a result of the weight of the vehicles going down the dunes and produces a distinct roaring sound which you can hear even when the engine is on.

Photo ©Paul van Schalkwyk

There is a wide diversity of small creatures to be found, including the palmetto gecko, the dancing white lady spider and the sand diving lizard. You are also likely to see ostrich, jackals and springbok.

It is a fascinating, beautiful trip, and well worth doing on its own. Bookings can be made at the Adventure and Activities Office at Strand Hotel Swakopmund.

Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia is a high-quality glossy Namibia travel and lifestyle magazine tasked with promoting Namibia to the world. With riveting stories, first-hand encounters and magnificent photographs showcasing tourism, travel, nature, adventure and conservation, TNN is the ultimate and most comprehensive guide to exploring Namibia. Travel News Namibia is published in five different editions per year. These include four English- language editions and one German. Travel News Namibia is for sale in Namibia and South Africa.

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