Swakopmund - Namib Naukluft National Park

Day 4 – Jun 22: Namib Naukluft NP – Swakopmund

Just before Walvis Bay is a bird sanctuary lagoon, with hundreds of flamingoes. We also saw our first jackals here.

Two of a kind: the greater and lesser flamingo.

We arrived late afternoon at our camping place Alte Bruecke, where we checked-in and then walked straight to the Tiger Reef Bar, next to the Swakop river estuary, for sundowner beers. It was very misty and this sunset turned out to be the only forgettable one of our trip.

Day 5 – Jun 23: Pelican Point & Sandwich Harbour

Today's program: in the morning kayaking with seals at Pelican Point, a sandy peninsula protecting Walvis Bay from the Atlantic Ocean, followed by a an afternoon off-road jeep ride towards Sandwich Harbour, through the sand dunes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, where the desert dunes meet the Atlantic Ocean.

Jackal and some cranes from the Walvis Bay harbour in the background.

At Pelican Point the wind was blowing hard and the seas was unusually rough according to our guide. He gave us a good brief about the conditions, as he knew not everybody would be comfortable under these conditions, so the first question was actually whether or not we wanted to canoe. It was freezing cold, choppy water and the wind was almost blowing my ears off... We saw another group half a kilometre down the beach, and they decided to not go into the water. And so we went in; it was hard work to canoe into the currents, so we warmed up fast. We ended up getting pretty wet but had a great time with the seals.

Seals and the famous Pelican Point lighthouse.

After an excellent lunch we drove back towards Walvis Bay, where halfway we met our guide who would drive us towards Sandwich Harbour with his jeep, for some spectacular desert dune sand driving. The scenery is spectacular, but the large number of jeeps driving around takes away a lot of the feeling to be really out in the outdoors.

Desert meets Ocean.

A lot of jackals scavenge the coast line, mostly for dead seals.

These jeeps can do a lot more than I ever thought possible.

In the evening we stocked supplies for the entire next week, to last us until Grootfontein.

We spend the afternoon driving and walking around Sossusvlei, before heading to a dune just east of Dune 45, where we enjoyed sunset without anyone else around. What a serene experience.

Day 6 – Jun 24: Swakopmund – Spitzkoppe

Yesterday we decided to give up today’s planned detour via Cape Cross, saving about 3 hours driving, as we felt we had seen enough seals at Pelican Point and this gave us the opportunity to do a half day Living Desert tour instead. I believe this was an excellent decision, as we wanted to arrive early afternoon in Spitzkoppe to make sure to have a nice camp site and then fully enjoy the surroundings.

So, early morning we were picked up again for a desert tour, in search for desert-adapted wildlife in the dunes around Swakopmund: Sidewinder or Peringuey’s adder, Fitzsimmon’s Burrowing Skink, Namib Web-footed Gecko, Namaqua Chameleon, Shovel-snouted or Sand Diving Lizard, Namib Sand Snake, Namib thick-tailed Scorpion, the fog basking Tenebrionid Beetle, etc. 

Web-footed gecko.

Sidewinder or Peringuey's adder.

Our guide was excellent! Here he's digging up a lizard.

Sand-diving lizard.

Sand, as far as you can see.

That was Swakopmund and surroundings, time for our next destination, DAMARALAND.