Namibia Beaches and Water Sports

(Namibia, NA, Southern Africa)

Swakopmund beachfront photoHome to many hundreds of miles of coastline, Namibia offers plenty of opportunity for sunbathing on a tropical, often deserted stretch of soft golden sand. However, Namibia is certainly far from being packed with touristy beach resorts, sun loungers, holiday water sports and amenities, although it is fair to say that the best beaches can be quite special and unique.

Fronting the chilly Atlantic Ocean and often backed by the Namib Desert, the beaches of Namibia are at their very best along the Skeleton Coast, which can be found on the far north-western side of the country. Named after the high concentration of seal and whale bones once littering the beachfront during the days of whaling, the Skeleton Coast is a vast wilderness with a seemingly endless beachfront, superb photo opportunities and a magical coastal road (permits are required).

Another view of the beach at Swakopmund

General Information

Another popular beach is Cape Cross, which is part of the National West Coast Tourist Recreational Area. However, visitors should be prepared to share the beach with the hundreds of fur seals that live here and make up the protected Cape Cross Seal Colony.

For a more traditional seaside flavour in Namibia, head to the neighbouring towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, sited roughly 280 km / 174 miles to the west of capital Windhoek. Swakopmund boasts a palm-lined promenade, a pleasant harbourfront and plenty of boats.

Skeleton Coast pictureThe beach at Swakopmund is very popular with holiday makers, with activities ranging from kitesurfing and windsurfing, to sledging down the sizeable nearby sand dunes. Walvis Bay is known in Namibia for its deep-sea fishing trips, dolphins and seasonal whale watching. To the north, the small beach resorts of Dolfynstrand and Langstrand may also appeal.

The harbour town of Luderitz, next to Grasplatz and Kolmanskop, also offers a decent beachfront, with strong winds suiting those on holiday in Namibia and wishing to try their hand at kite surfing and sailing. Further attractions at Luderitz include cruises to nearby seal colonies, as well as large numbers of pink flamingos.