The Tug, Swakopmund, Namibia


A day in Swakopmund on our journey north between deserts. It’s a good staging post with some interesting architecture and good restaurants. Before the First World War Namibia was a German colony for just over 30 years – they didn’t have many. They developed infrastructure and farming, and constructed some safe but interesting architecture. Nothing too outlandish but definitely one step up from thatched sheds in the desert. Namibia then became part of the Union of South Africa which all went quite well until they decided to impose apartheid in 1948. Activists started to protest and Namibia finally gained independence in 1990. It’s now a safe and very welcoming country and, unlike our experience in South Africa, the organisations we visited are run by native  black Namibians.

There’s a lot of sand here, of the soft yellow variety, with dunes stretching north and south, and east inland. There’s a helpful road sign as you leave Swakopund going south, which says “Sand”. They have helpful warning about wildlife as well…

On the rest day we kayaked with the seals in the lagoon at Walvis Bay. Run by Jeanne xxx. She’s fully geared up, providing waterproof over trousers and tops, wet shoes and gloves and all the necessary safety gear including dry bags for cameras. On the day we did it the sky was blue and the sunshine was glorious. Apparently the area is covered in sea mist for 9 months of the year and our luck was underlined by poor weather on both the day before and the day after. Whew. She takes excellent photos and little videos, and provides snacks and drinks afterwards. Definitely a great thing to do – not just a time filler between safaris.

After excellent shopping in the afternoon we head for the Tug restaurant. Apparently a redundant tug, built in Glasgow on the Clyde, and operating here until 1981, you’d be hard pushed to tell it was a ship, with all the additions tagged on to add space – it’s deeply buried. Nonetheless, great seafood and one of the favourite places to eat in Swakopmund.

Restaurant The Tug Swakopmund

Inside and out...difficult to tell it'a tug

Inside and out…difficult to tell it’a tug

Kayaks at the ready...

Kayaks at the ready…

There are lots of seals...

There are lots of seals…

...and lots of flamingoes

…and lots of flamingoes



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