Swakopmund - City of Namibia
Swakopmund City is a city on the Atlantic coast of northwestern Namibia, 280 km west of Windhoek, Namibia's capital. It is the capital of the Erongo administrative district. As a seaside resort, the weather is cooler here in December to January so the territorial administration moves to Swakopmund for these months.
NAMIBIA National Animal : Oryx (antelope)
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.
Attractions in Swakopmund include a transport museum, the National Marine Aquarium, a crystal gallery and spectacular sand dunes near Langstrand south of the Swakop River. Outside of the city, the Rossmund Desert Golf Course is one of only 5 all-grass desert golf courses in the world. The city is known for extreme sports. Nearby lies a camel farm and the Martin Luther steam locomotive, dating from 1896 and abandoned in the desert.
The Nama name was changed to "Swachaub" by German settlers, and with the proclamation of Swakopmund as an independent district of German South-West Africa in 1896, the present way of writing Swakopmund (meaning Estuary of the Swakop in German) came into use.
Swakopmund was founded in 1892, two years later than Windhoek, by Captain Curt von François. It was intended to be the main harbour of German South-West Africa. Increased traffic between Germany and its colony necessitated establishing a port of its own, as Walvis Bay, located 33 kilometres south, was in British possession. The choice fell to a site north of the Swakop River, because water was readily available, and because other sites were unsuitable. It should be noted however, that the site did not offer any natural protection to ships lying off the coast, such places being very rare on Namibia's western coast.
Swakopmund quickly became the main port for imports and exports for the whole territory, and was one of six towns which received municipal status in 1909. Many government offices for German South-West Africa had offices in Swakopmund.
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 reentry phase. Costing N$12 million, the complex covers 150m by 85m. It is equipped with five meter and nine meter satellite dishes.
In August 2008 filming commenced in Swakopmund on the AMC television series The Prisoner starring Jim Caviezel and Sir Ian McKellen.
NAMIBIA National Bird : Crimson-breasted Shrike