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Mike Baley

Travelled to 10 countries / regions

Written 18 briefs
Visited Namibia in March 2018 for 3 days

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Africa > Namibia > Trip Briefs
Updated on Aug 06, 2018 Trip Brief

How to visit where sand dunes plunge into the ocean in Namibia

  • Namibia is home to some of the biggest sand dunes in the world, and there's a stretch of coast in the country where the desert meets the ocean and these sand dunes plunge straight into the Atlantic. It makes for spectacular sights and photography. Here's a picture of what it looks like:

User submitted photo of Namibia

  • Where I was based: a town called Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast of Namibia
  • Swakopmund is the base camp to see a lot of the top desert sights in Namibia (Tripadvisor has a list of these sights here), as it's right next to the Namib-Naukluft National Park and right on the Skeleton Coast, which are two gigantic areas that contain lot of these sights
  • I flew into Walvis Bay Airport (WVB), which was a 45-minute taxi ride to Swakopmund
  • I stayed here for 3 nights in total. I paid US$98 per night for my hotel, and when I looked most of the hotels ranged from US$70-$130 per night
  • Lay of the land: map of some of the main places on my trip

User submitted photo of Namibia

  • How to see the dunes:
  • You'll need to book one of the privately run tours to see the desert. It's not really possible to do it yourself
  • There are a bunch of tour operators based in Swakopmund that offer dune buggy tours and aerial tours
  • Tripadvisor has a list of some these tour operators
  • But I actually found Google to be better. The list provided by Tripadvisor was pretty incomplete. There were a bunch I found on Google that wasn't listed on Tripadvisor. I just Googled "Swakopmund aerial tours sossusvlei" and "Swakopmund desert ATV tours"
  • I ended up using these guys for my dune buggy tour and these guys for my aerial tour
  • For dune buggy tours, to see the most spectacular sights you should take one of the full-day tours south to Sandwich Bay / Harbour. The one I did was offered by these guys and cost US$130
  • For aerial tours, to see the best sights I recommend taking one of the aerial tours south to Sossusvlei. The stretch of coast south between Swakopmund and Sossuvlei is spectacular. The one I did was offered by these guys and cost US$450 (but this includes a ground tour at Sossusvlei as well)
  • The flight from Swakopmund to Sossusvlei and back is only ~2.5 hours
  • But, Sossusvlei itself is really beautiful (and one of the top sights in Namibia) and worth seeing, and some aerial tour operators (like the one I did with) will also offer full-day excursions to Sossusvlei that included not only the aerial tour of the coast but also ground tour at Sossuvlei (this is what I did and I highly recommend it)
  • What to pack:
  • Temperature at Swakopmund was really nice when I went, 15C - 20C. I was wearing my shorts and t-shirt and it was very comfortable
  • Power adapter: Namibia uses type D socket, like this. If you're North America or Europe (actually if you're from anywhere other than India or parts of Africa) you'll need a power adapter

User submitted photo of NamibiaUser submitted photo of NamibiaUser submitted photo of Namibia