Swakopmund, Erongo Region, Namibia

🇳🇦 Swakopmund is a city on the coast of western Namibia, 352 km (219 mi) west of the Namibian capital Windhoek via the B2 main road. It is the capital of the Erongo administrative district. The city is situated in the Namib Desert and is the fourth largest population centre in Namibia.

Swakopmund is a beach resort and an example of German colonial architecture. It was founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa. As of the 1970s, German influences remained evident, including German street names, a German daily newspaper, and the German language being spoken by some residents, prompting The New York Times to describe it as "more German than Germany". A 2008 New York Times article describes the town as having "the dislocating feel of a Baltic Sea resort set in the tropics."

Buildings in the city include the Altes Gefängnis, a prison designed by Heinrich Bause in 1909. The Woermannhaus, built in 1906 with a prominent tower (Damara tower), is now a public library. Attractions in Swakopmund include a Swakopmund Museum, the National Marine Aquarium, a crystal gallery, and spectacular sand dunes near Langstrand south of the Swakop River. Outside the city, the Rossmund Desert Golf Course is one of only five all-grass desert golf courses in the world. Nearby is a farm that offers camel rides to tourists and the Martin Luther steam locomotive, dating from 1896 and abandoned in the desert.

Swakopmund lies on the B2 road and the Trans-Namib Railway from Windhoek to Walvis Bay. It is served by Swakopmund Airport and Swakopmund Railway Station.

Economy and infrastructure

Mining The discovery of uranium at Rössing 70 km (43 mi) outside town led to the development of the world's largest opencast uranium mine and the foundation of Arandis. This had an enormous impact on all facets of life in Swakopmund which necessitated expansion of the infrastructure of the town to make it into one of the most modern in Namibia.

Tourism The city has scattered coffee shops, night clubs, bars, and hotels. There are balloon rides, skydiving, quad biking, and small marine cruises. The Swakopmund Skydiving Club has operated from Swakopmund Airport since its founding in 1972. There are three museums, the Swakopmund Museum, the Kristall Galerie (English: Crystal gallery) and the Martin Luther (steam locomotive) museum outside town.

Technology In October 2000, an agreement was signed between the Namibian and People's Republic of China governments to build a satellite tracking station at Swakopmund. Construction was completed in July 2001 at a site north of Swakopmund to the east of the Henties Bay-Swakopmund road and opposite the Swakopmund Salt Works. The site was chosen as it was on the orbital track of a manned spacecraft during its re-entry phase. Costing N$12 million, the complex covers 150m by 85m. It is equipped with five metre and nine metre satellite dishes.

Education The German school Regierungsschule Swakopmund was previously located in the city. There are three secondary schools, Secondary School Swakopmund, Namib High School and Coastal High School. West Side High School and Atlantic High School include both primary and secondary grades. Primary schools include Hanganeni Primary, Tamariskia Primary, Festus ǃGonteb Primary, Swakopmund Primary, Namib Primary and Vrede Rede Primary Schools.

Public health The main healthcare provider in the city is the Cottage Medi-Clinic, a hospital with 70 beds. The other public health facilities found in Swakopmund, are Swakopmund State Hospital and Tamariskia Clinic.

Windhoek Time 

Swakopmund has a population of over 44,725 people. Swakopmund also forms the centre of the wider Erongo Region which has a population of over 150,809 people.

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