Seven decades down the line, and the Swakopmund Municipal Bungalows still rock!

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marita By Marita van Rooyen 




Remember the days when we were still youngsters and couldn’t wait for the December holidays?

We were literally counting the hours until we finally hit the long road to fun, sun and sand.

And then, when we finally got to the coastal Mecca of Swakopmund, we’d first stop at Bonus Mark for a cold ice-cream refresher and then head straight for the famous A-frame units, where we’d be spending the holidays amongst friends, newly acquired “family members” and fellow beach lovers.

The Swakopmund Municipal Rest Camp, as it is officially known, has been around since forever.

Built under the old South West African administration to cater for fishermen and tourists who used to visit Swakopmund during the festive season, it started out as a public camping ground in the 1940s.

Actually it was in the exact year 1940 when the first 12 tents were erected to cater for holiday goers.

In my minds eye I can see hordes of men and women in their 40s attire tie down their horses, pitch their tents and get the campfires going.

But that’s probably an overstatement because with only 12 tents there couldn’t really have been “hordes of them”…

But, at then end of 1947/48, the numbers of campers had increased to 788; in 1948/49 the numbers stood at 907; and in 1950/51 the happy campers had grown to more than 1 000 people.

Camping and coastal fever had officially hit the nation and the crowds started hitting Swakopmund like never before! Then finally, in 1955 the first 26 holiday bungalows were erected, to cater for those who needed to have a bit more of a comfortable stay.

The facility was later handed over to the Municipality of Swakopmund and with growing tourism activities in the area, the establishment was enlarged by building more accommodation units.

The rest is history.

As I booked into my bungalow some weeks ago (just before the holiday rush, so I was lucky to find a last-minute spot), I was immediately hit by the vacation vibe the place oozes.

This is one of those holiday “homes” where you just can’t help but join your neighbour for a cold beer, invite the family from three bungalows away for a tjop on the fire, or drag the kids next door to the beach.

It’s a place where you see the same faces year in and year out – who eventually become like family – and you almost can’t imagine a holiday without the smell of fried onions on New Year’s Day from the unit next door.

According to rumours the bungalows are usually fully booked come June. Have you booked yours for 2013 yet?

Why choose the Swakopmund Municipality Restcamp: Mike Iipinge, general manager of community development services at the Swakopmund Municipality says,We offer affordable, self-catering accommodation in a variety of forms; are situated in a great location for exploring the town; we have a well-equipped conference centre; trained and motivated staff; have an efficient operations system in place; are safe and secure, neat and well maintained; and of course, the number of visitors who book year after year speak for itself!”



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