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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 26 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Richard Holmes

Swakopmund has become one of Africa’s adventure playgrounds, and the low-key holiday town of Swakopmund is the best place to score sandy thrills in Namibia. The setting is the nearby, sand-covered dune-filled wilderness of the Namib desert.

Quad bike adventures through the oversized dunes (some of which have enticing names like ‘Big Billy’ or ‘Devils’ Dip’) are top of the list for most visitors and a thrilling way to experience the desert’s unlimited expanse. Tours range from 45 minutes to two hours and cover up to 55kms of desert.

It’s also a great place to try sandboarding, with half-day trips to giant sand dunes that even beginners can be slaloming down in no time.

You can also mountain bike on the dunes and ride on a camel.

Price from: £20
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 6+
When: All year around
Duration: 45mins - 2 hours

Getting there & doing it

Swakopmund is a tourist-friendly town with a range of operators offering desert adventures.

Tour operators usually divide the participants into two groups: adrenalin-seekers and sightseers (for a more genteel experience). Make it clear which group you want to be in. Quad bikes are fully automatic and easy to drive, but can be heavy on the steering. Sand boarding requires some fitness.

For both quad biking and sand boarding it’s advisable to wear sturdy shoes and long pants.

Mountain biking is available for ages 7 and up. Quad biking is not suitable for children under 10, and even older children must be with an adult. Any age can go on wildlife tours.

When to do it

Tours run all year round, seven days a week.

Swakopmund is famous for its morning fog, which often only burns off around lunchtime. For the best views, go in the afternoon. Tours get busy during the December holiday season.

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Scenic Desert Tour by Bike


Scenic Desert Tour by Bike
Join us on an unforgettable and unique ecological Namibian cycling experience. Feel the fresh coastal air, take-in the silence and breathtaking scenery of the oldest desert in the world while enjoying the thrill of cycling up and down Namibia’s famous dunes. Guaranteed to excite and offer an unforgettable and unique cycling experience. A Swakopmund must for both the scenic appreciator and adrenaline seeking adventurist. No air or noise pollution and shallower tracks than even footprints makes Fat Bike Touring the most ecological way to explore our desert’s delicate habitat.

Price: Z450

Min age: 6

Rating 4.90 / 5 [134 ratings]

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