Western Region

Western Region

Although feared by early mariners, the central Namib Coast has long been a popular destination with Namibians and visitors. Swartkopmund, the country´s premier holiday resort, is characterised by a wealth of well preserved German colonial buildings. Street names serve as reminders of former colonial rulers and administrators, while German is still wiedly spoken. Typical German cakes and confectionery can be enjoyed in the town´s cafes,while the shops are stocked with a mouthwatering selection of cold meats. Well-known historic buildings includes Woermann House, the old State Railway Station, Alte Kaserne ( Old Fort ) and the old Magistrate´s Court,which now serves as State House in Swakopmund.
Sandwiched between the dunes of the Namib Desert, the ocean and an extensive lagoon, Walvis Bay is Namibia´s major port, the centre of the country´s fishing industry and a rapidly developing tourist destination.

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The Walvis Bay  -- Large Concentration of Bird Species. 
The Walvis Bay wetlands are internationally renowned for large concentrations of waders, flamingos and shore-birds, while the southwesterly winds create ideal conditions for boardsailing and other water sports on the lagoon. The coastal dunes offer a variety of adventure activities such as sand boarding, parasailing and quad biking. 

Wetland and Canyons
At Sandwich Harbour, some 40 km south of Welvis Bay, the dunes sweep down to a pristine lagoon to create spectacular coastal scenery. Sandwich also ranks as one of the most important coastal wetlands in Africa. It is accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle only and is open to day visitors.
Inland of the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay lies the Namib section of the Namib Naukluft Park with its gravel plains, fascinating Moondlanscape, the rugged Kuiseb Canyon and one of the world´s botanical curiosities, the Welwitschia mirabilis. The Welwitschia Drive, a self-guided drive starting and ending in Swakopmund, provides a facinating insight into the desert environment. There are also two day walks in this section of the park and several campsites with basic facilities. Most of the area is accessible by sedan car.

Trophy Big Fishing
The National West Coast Recreation Area attracts thousands of hopeful anglers each year to angling spots with quaint names like Sarah se Gat ( Sarah´s hole ) Bennie se Rooi Lorrie ( Bennie´s Red Truck ) and jakkalsputz ( Jackal´s Well ). Cape Cross is not only home to the largest Cape fur seal colony along the Namibian coast, but is also of historic interest. It marks the spot where the first European, the Portuguese navigatorDiego Cao, set his foot on the coast of southwestern Africa in 1486.

Spitzkoppe  --  Top Rock Climbing Destination
Further inland, the Spitzkoppe rises abruptly above the arid and sparsely vegetated plains of the Namib. Also knows as " the Matterhorn of Namibia " the granite outcrop is a typical example of an Inselberg, or island mountain. With sheer granite rock walls of up to 600 m high, the Spitzkoppe is the country´s top rock climbing destination.

The Brandberg  -- Rock Paintings on the Highest Mountain in Namibia.  
The Brandberg is not only the highest mountain in Namibia ( the summit of the highest peak Koenigstein, is 2,574 m above sea level ), but is also Africa´s largest open-air art gallery. The most famous of its more than 44,000 rock paintings is the so-called White Lady frieze in the Tsisab Ravine. Although the central figure is no longer considered to be a white female, the name White Lady has persisted. Apopular back-packing area, the Brandberg is best ascended by hiring a guide as there are no clearly demarcated routes.

White Elephant
Also of interest are the Erongo Mountains, southwest of Omaruru. The caves and overhangs in the mountains and valleys contain a wealth of rock paintings, among them the famous " White Elephant " painting in the Philips Cave.