THE COASTAL RIVIERA OF NAMIBIA!
The premier summer
holiday resort of Namibia, Swakopmund, an eclectic mixture
Bohemian and Bavarian, home to an intriguing mix of artists, hippies,
of German settlers, stately Herero women in Victorian dress, and the hard bitten
rangers, safari operators and fishermen. Swakopmund exudes romance and history,
a very rich
cultural melting pot of old and new.
The town was founded
two years after Windhoek, in 1892. Not an old, established settlement
by European standards, but, considering that the first contact Namibia had with
in the form of rule, was in 1884, Swakopmund is regarded as one of the older
contact before this was purely in the form of lone missionaries during the
period 1805 to 1840.
The name of the town
itself presents an interesting history. The majority of towns and villages in
Namibia have grown out of indigenous settlements and very often were located
close to water
sources (the scarcest commodity in Namibia). Names of places given by original
were very descriptive, in many cases these names were retained by European
often simplified these names as the local languages fell difficult on the
The river entering the ocean at this point, was named by the Nama peoples of the region as
the "Tsoak" River, and the river mouth was subsequently named
any western language - mildly put - meant "excrement opening". An
offensive but very
accurate description of the waters of the Swakop River at the time of floods breaking
ocean. It carried masses of mud, sand, pieces of vegetation and animal corpses
emptied into the ocean - an apt description by the indigenous name. The Nama
soon became "Swachaub" with the settlers. Eventually, after proclamation
of Swakopmund as
an independent district in 1896, the name which evolved into Swachaubmund
(mouth of the
Swachaub River) became Swakopmund (mouth of the Swakop River).
culturally still a relatively "new" country, Namibia in general
represents the story
of Earth, portrayed through the awesome results of Nature's essential
performance. This is also
clearly reflected in the immediate surroundings of Swakopmund - the Namib
Desert. A boom
town today, with something for everyone and activities that make use of the
without the normal destruction or exploitation thereof.
Also a Mecca for seafood
few photos to illustrate the larger picture of Swakopmund.
(Click on the photos for a very slightly larger image)
A "long shot" of the beach
Camel Rides - one of the optional activities
of the general German-colonial architecture found in Swakopmund
TO . . . MAP