It’s official. After our epic journey from Cape Town to Windhoek, we are completely hooked on travelling around Namibia. So, we feel particularly blessed that we have the luxury of time to be able to continue our adventures as we set off once again to fill in the blanks of our approach from South Africa. We are on our way to the seaside town of Swakopmund – adventure capital of Namibia, and possibly the world.
Roadtrips around Namibia
Setting off along the B2 among the now familiar tree-dotted hilly landscapes around Windhoek, we head for the tourist junction of Okahandja, 70km from the capital. Here we stop for coffee in the sunny courtyard of the aptly-named Brewed Awakenings and stock up on some biltong from Savannah Biltong Shop.
Crossing over the road to the local market, we admire the hand carved wooden bowls, masks and giraffes, and invest some time and a few dollars getting our names carved into keyrings made from makalani palm nuts.
Roadside Frisbees and hand-painted bowls
Then it’s onwards to our next stop at Wilhemstal an hour away, where, always the sucker for a roadside stall, I do some real damage to my allocated budget. Jams, Swakop olives and olive oil, health bread and preserves find themselves a new home in my shopping basket before we depart. We can’t leave without sampling some of their well-known apfelstreudel and freshly brewed coffee either.
On the way to Karibib we pass what seem like peddlers of large Frisbees on the side of the road. These goods turn out to be giant mushrooms (and great subjects for a quick Instagram post). This small town’s claim to fame is the Anita Steyn Gallery, which is adorned with hand-painted ceramics, courtesy of this famed watercolour artist. Regretting for once my impulsive roadside shopping, I content myself with browsing among these delicate pieces.
Around lunchtime, the Oasis farmstall and deli appears like its namesake out of the dry landscape at Usakos. Within minutes, some more farm produce and biltong has been liberated from its incarceration, and we settle down to enjoy a relaxed al fresco lunch of salads and sandwiches.
Glittering gems of the desert
Leaving this tropical paradise (by desert standards), we head for our next stop, the Ûiba-Ôas Crystal Market at the turn-off to Spitzkoppe. Here, attractive semi-precious stones from all over the area keep us occupied for a few minutes before the allure of the Massif on the sandy horizon draws us off track to admire it from closer.
The 30km drive along a gravel road proves well worth the effort as we witness the towering boulders already starting to glimmer golden in the afternoon sunshine. Wishing we had more time to spend, and vowing to return for a camping trip here someday, we head back to the main road toward our big weekend in Swakopmund.
By the time we pass the turn off to Goanikontes, we are totally surrounded by the red sands of the Namib, with the foggy mantle of the Atlantic looming on the horizon.
Upon arrival at our very swish accommodation at Swakopmund luxury suites it is all systems go getting prepped for our big night on the town. We have decided to take a ‘when in Rome’ approach to Friday night in Swakopmund and make tracks to Kücki’s Pub, which is 5 minutes’ walk away.
After lining our stomachs with the biggest eisbein outside of Germany, we enjoy a few rounds of what appears to be the national drink of Namibia – beer, and more beer, before hotfooting it to the Brauhaus to join in the traditional foot-stomping fun there. Prost!