Discovering the Dunes

Swakopmund is Namibia’s main holiday destination (albeit seasonal) and definitely not boring. Because of its unique location nestled between the cold Atlantic Ocean and the warm sandy Namib Desert it affords a myriad of attractions and activities. These range from fishing and lounging on the beach to more extreme activities such as skydiving and dune boarding. It’s the latter that has earned Swakopmund the title as Namibia’s adventure capital.

This is off course why when an old friend Anton came to visit I had to take him to Swakopmund. There is so much to see and do that a visit to Namibia is not complete without a visit to Swakop (local abbreviation).

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We chose to go quad biking, an attraction which over the years have boomed and fortunately become more environmentally friendly. It is an activity that I would recommend to every visitor to Swakop. There are several operators in the area and packages vary. It used to be simple 1 or 2 hour rides, but these have evolved to include breakfast runs, sundowners and combos with other activities such as dune boarding etc. If you are looking to do more than one activity a combo will usually save a couple of bucks.

We went with DareDevil adventures (www.daredeviladventures.com) situated between Swakop and Walvis Bay opposite Langstrand. They’ve been there for ages so for a local it is the obvious pick. Simply choose your package, complete the paperwork, pay and you’re off. All packages include a guide. Going off into the desert on your own is neither safe nor good for the environment.

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The guide takes you on predetermined routes which guarantees a bit of excitement and depending on the composition of your group will include more or less “daredevil”. Ours had more “daredevil” and I managed to roll my quad on two occasions. Fortunately no harm was done to me or the quad.

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As mentioned this is a must do activity. One of the most unique ways to explore the Namib.  It is affordable, fun and accommodates the entire family. It usually does not require a booking and operators are accessed easily from the main roads.

Few tips:

-The maximum you should go for is about 2 hours after that it gets long, except of course if you are going for a sundowner or breakfast run.

-Many of the companies offer a free pick up service which saves money on having to use a taxi

-Book directly, operators add quite a bit. Also check online, many of them do not even require booking

-Take a good camera, there will be ample photo opportunities. A GoPro even better

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