Pamela MacNaughtan

The air was heavy with the scent of salt and sulfur as we stepped off the truck in Swakopmund to check out our accommodations for the next three nights. Unlike most of the nights on this leg of our trip, I get to sleep in an actual bed for three nights -which feels like the biggest luxury in the world right now.

After unloading all of my things from the truck, dragging them into the A-frame chalet I will be sharing with 5 other girls and throwing my things on my bed, it was time to have lunch, check out the Adventure Center and enjoy some free wifi (I will do just about anything for free wifi).

While some of the group decided to go sand boarding or on acrobatic flights, I decided to just explore the town, and catch-up on some things that need to be done. My decision was based on a few factors. One, I was having bank account issues. Two, I didn’t really want to spend $200+ for an optional activity. Three, I miss having more than 1.5 days in a town and I wanted to just walk around on my own and explore.

The streets of Swakopmund are filled with colourful colonial buildings, some dating back to the 1890‘s when the city was founded by Captain Curt von Francois. In the beginning, Swakopmund was used as the main harbor for the Imperial German colony, but over time the city has become a beach resort and an adventure hub in Namibia.

Walking down the streets of Swakopmund was more peaceful than I thought, which had to do with the fact that there were hardly any people around. Perhaps that’s because I was there during the off season or maybe because the town is always that way, I’m not sure. Either way, I quite enjoyed walking around the somewhat empty streets, staring at old colonial buildings, snapping photos and devouring chicken wings from KFC.

When I wasn’t engaged in the above activities, I was wandering through the grocery store, drooling at all the familiar foods and wishing I had cause to do a big grocery shop. I know, it sounds weird, but its something I miss doing -which also sounds weird. Anyway, no matter how weird it may sound to you, I really enjoyed my three days of exploration and relaxation. During the day I was wondering the streets, or writing at the Adventure Center (or the chalet), at night I was hanging with the group and either enjoying dinner at a lovely Italian place or cooking the world’s weirdest BBQ dinner.

Swakopmund was a breath of salty sea air (I wanted to say fresh air, but let’s face it, there was nothing fresh in the air in Swakopmund). Like Victoria Falls, it was the perfect place for me to have some much needed ‘me’ time and I enjoyed every moment I had there.

Thinking of traveling to Africa?

Traveling in Africa, solo, can be a scary thought -especially for solo female travelers. I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can. What I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with joining a group tour.

For 45 days I traveled from Kenya (Nairobi) to Cape Town with Intrepid Travel. This was my very first group travel experience. At first I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into, but as time progressed, I began to relax and fall in love with this type of travel. In fact, I would definitely travel with Intrepid again. 


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