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Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

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Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

Hi,

I'm planning a 3 week trip in Namibia and Botswana.

I want to start my trip in Windhoek and spending a couple of nights in Sesriem to visit the Namib desert. I see that most of the tours and travellers choose Swakopmund for a couple of nights, but we are not very interested in doing any activities there, but definetely would like to see the seals in Cape Cross.

My question is: Is one night in Swakopmund enough? (Considering we will be spending the previous night in Sesriem). After Swakopmund we want to go to Etosha, but I guess we should spend at least a night somewhere in the middle. Any ideas?

So in short the route would be:

Day 1: Windhoek

Day 2: Sesriem

Day 3: Sesriem

Day 4: Swakopmund

Day 5: Cape Cross and sleeping in ___?_____

Day 6: Etosha (and the rest of the trip)

Thanks!

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Hermanus, South...
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1. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

If you are not planning on participating in any adventures, and you are are right at the begining of your trip, so don't require a 2 day stopover to recover from travelling lots then you can easily just have the one night in Swakopmund as a stopover...especially if you need to lose a day from the itinerary to add elsewhere.

The only place to stay around Cape Cross is Cape Cross Lodge, which is roughly 1 1/2 hours from Swakopmund. It is a nice lodge and they now have camping facilities also.

Gemma Dry - Discover Namibia Safaris

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2. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

Thanks Gemma!

I have done some research in tripadvisor and read a comment where you suggested doing a kayak trip in Walvis Bay to see seals. I liked this idea very much. Do you know if there are kayak opportunities in Cape Cross?

Is it possible to cover Cape Cross to Etosha in one day?

Hermanus, South...
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3. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

I believe they do have kayaks at Cape Cross Lodge that you can use, but I don't think they do a guided trip as far as I know. If you want to do kayaking with seals I would recommend you stay in Walvis Bay after Sesriem. Do the seal kayak the following morning then head to Cape Cross.

Cape Cross to Etosha is pretty far. I would recommend stopping over en route...plus Damaraland is gorgeous. You don't want to just whizz through that rushing to Etosha.

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4. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

We did the seal kayaking at Walvis Bay with the guide recommended by Gemma and it was one of our best experiences in all of Namibia. Amazing! We did it this past March.

If it were me, I would do the seal kayaking in Walvis bay and stay in Walvis bay or Swakopmund and then skip cape cross since you will have spent hours interacting with several large colonies of seals. Then, add the extra time to Damarland. It is a beautiful area (maybe the prettiest in Namibia) and has some unique activities. Swakopmund to Etosha and to a camp would be quite a haul and you would miss this great area.

Do the desert elephant tracking, Twyfelfontein, Rhino trecking, Damarland Museum, Burnt Mountain, ORgan pipes. Spend 2 nights there in my opinion. You will not regret it. We stayed at Mowani Mountain camp and Grootberg Lodge (total 3 nights), but it depends on your budget.

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5. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

It depends on what you want to see. Swakapmond has great adrenaline sports like sandboarding, quadbiking and skydiving but all of those might require that you stay longer ( especially if you want to book while there).Where I quad biked had specific times they went out and you had to fall into one of those slots. Skydiving is also only in the morning with the company I did. There is also a vibrant night scene ( well for Namibia) if you are interested in meeting people and hanging out. The town is also beautiful and worth a walk around. There is also a bazaar of souvenir dealers selling " Namibian" ( I have heard they come from China) goods but interesting none the less. I stayed for two nights and that was the perfect amount of time to get in a few sports and hang around.

Hermanus, South...
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6. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

A lot of the carved African goods in the market are from the Caprivi region.....most are from Southern Africa at least....pretty sure they don't import from China lol!

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7. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

Thank you all for your suggestions! I'll look into them.

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8. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

We spent 3 nights in Swakopmund last September. We did quad biking, skydiving and sandboarding but if you don't want to do any of these activities I would say 1 night and 1 full day is enough to see the town. There are no towns near Swakopmund to visit. Cape Cross is about an hour's drive from Swakopmund. I can recommend the Napolitana restaurant. The food here is amazing, reasonably priced and you get rather large portions. Have a great trip, Africa is amazing!

Windhoek, Namibia
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9. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

Cape cross lodge is lovely, walking along the beach there is a great way to experience the remote feel of the Skeleton Coast. In Damaraland Camp Kipwe receives rave reviews from our guests for excellent service and lovely rooms built into the rocks, Mowani is more upmarket with luxurious, large rooms and then there is Aabadi Mountain Camp for a budget option, or Twyfelfontein Country Lodge which is well situated very close to the World Heritage Site, although it's larger than the others and attracts more group business.

Charlotte ATI Holidays

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10. Re: Help with planning for Swakopmund. Is 1 night enough?

Hi there, don't know when you are planning to do this trip, but can thoroughly recommend it! I would move to Swakopmund in a heartbeat, it is a gorgeous, clean, friendly town/city with lots to see and do.

www.gondwana-collection.com. They have great quality accommodation spread out all over Namibia. If you take out a Gondwana Card (very cheap) you get 40% discount on accommodation and 25% on evening meals and activities. Great saving and worth considering. You can also consider contacting a South African travel agent who specialises in bookings for foreign visitors (they did our previous Namibian trip) http://www.southern-eagle.com/ Their advice and local knowledge is well worth it.

There are plenty of great, reasonably priced restaurants, but booking is essential at most of them, if you are there in high-season. My favourite - The Jetty - tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g298357-d1… Whether you are interested in crystals or not - a visit to the Kristall Gallerie in Swakop is a must.

We did part of your trip in December 2011 and enjoyed every moment. I take it that you are planning on driving yourself. If you take into consideration the distance from Swakop to Sossusvlei (Sesriem) and the travelling time involved, I would not do that part again. Especially if you do not have too much time available.

We drove from Luderitz (in the south) to Sossusvlei - one day - and wrote off a tyre. We were one of 10 that was replaced at the only garage around (next one is in Swakop). The surface is relatively good for gravel road, but most tyres that are lost, is from being cut by the sharp slate gravel that forms the surface of the road. From Sossusvlei to Swakopmund is another day's travel.

What I would recommend, is the highlight of our trip : - We took a 2 hour 20 minute Cessna flip from Swakopmund, flying over the desert to Sossus and back along the coast - worth every cent!!!!! We used Bush Bird, but there are many other companies available.

There is no way you can appreciate the incredible detail of the desert scape from the ground. There is a airstrip in Sossus if you want to stay over for a night and do the sightseeing on the ground - which is also worth experiencing. Gondwana has accommodation of different price levels available in Sossusvlei.

We are doing the northern end of Namibia this coming December - starting from Swakop, going past the Cape Cross seal colony (which I am told stinks to high heaven) and sleeping in Terrace Bay. From there we will be doing the area around Khorixas and up all the way to the north. What I can't wait for is our stay in Orupemba at Etambura Lodge. Check it out on tripadvisor - sounds awsome! From there we are also going via Etosha to the north eastern end - Katima Mulilo - with a hop accross the border to the Victoria Falls.

Good luck with your planning. You are in for a holiday filled with joy!