Swakopmund

 

Arriving at Swakopmund, the destination that is advertised as a highlight of Namibia, we were quire disappointed, especially after driving hundreds of kilometres through a boring monotonous desert (at least for us, landscape photographers).  It is just another city with some unpleasant beaches.  I have to say though that we are quite spoilt by the choice of beautiful beaches we have in New Zealand and Australia. Because we still had a couple hundred kilometres to the next destination, we decided to have breakfast in one of the local German restaurants.  Food here was really nice and very reasonably priced.  For two full breakfasts plus an extra muffin, banana pancakes and a nice coffee, we only paid about 20AUD.  

 

We strolled through the few streets Swakppmund has to offer and found a nice shop with souvenirs.  We bought nice carvings and masks as a reminder of Namibia.  We headed towards the Walvis Bay with high sand dunes on the left hand side and the sea on the right.  

 

We were warned by locals that the strong sandy wind in this area can easily take the colour off your car.  Another 30km and we arrived at the famous Dune 7.

 

 

Dune 7

 

 

 

Dune 7 in Namibia is the highest sand dune in the world. It's height from the base is 383m and is 570m above sea level.  You need to take a left turn from the main road to get to the dune and drive a few hundred meters before you reach the large carpark at the base of this giant sand dune.

 

First things first, stock up on drinks, lock up the car, put sunscreen on and start hiking to the top.

 
 

It was not an easy task to climb it in 40C temperatures and very strong winds.  We had our cameras in our backpacks most of the time and took them out only to take a few shots.   Hiking in the deep sand is quite exhausting as you always feel like you are moving backwards rather than forward.  With each step you slide down a few centimetres so ascending is very slow.

 

Once we got to the top, the view was amazing.  Our car parked under the dune looked like small dot and even Zdenko had enough when he reached the top:-)

 

The best time to climb is in the morning while the temperatures are still quite pleasant but if the wind is blowing (which is the case of most mornings), it is not recommended to attempt it.  Firstly you can't see more than 10m ahead of you and the sand storm will definitely damage your car.  

 

If you do decide to climb it, we suggest you go up along the side, rather than straight up the slip face, which is the steepest side of these crescent shaped dunes. The view from the top is amazing.  Although it is usually foggy on one side, you can see never-ending dunes on the other.

 

From there, you can walk as much or as little as you want but most importantly, have fun running down the dune to the carpark:-). If only it was that easy and quick to climb.

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