Swakopmund: A city that has 4 faces

Monday, July 27, 2009
Swakopmund, Namibia
From the slums where people wait for years for a basic house to only a few kilometres away where on the beach front Europeans, South Africans and Namibians own their holiday beach houses (like Aucklanders and their holiday homes down at Coromandel's Pauanui), this small German influenced city has its extreme contrasts.

Swakopmund is also an adventure capital of Namibia so was a welcome break from the last few weeks of travel.

With two nights spent here at Dune's Lodge, I paid the extra for the luxury of a single room to both undertake a near complete machine wash of my clothes, then be able to spread out and repack for the last few days till Capetown.

I did the Township tour yesterday afternoon to see the DRC (Development Resettlement Community) slums where 40% are unemployed but still have to pay for water, a toilet is provided for every two houses, rubbish collected weekly for the whole street in jumbo bins, street lighting but no power; then up to the next level up with a basic 2 or 2 bedroom house. After this are what I call normal owner occupied or rented houses that I am used to in the western world then finally by the beach are streets of luxury houses shut up as the owners are absent.

My title of this blog is "A city that has four faces" meaning this city has to me four distinct types of living conditions with people still living in poverty to the rich.

My final blog will be titled something like: "Africa, a Continent of Contrasts".

A morning walk north along Swakopmund's waterfront where the sea mist rolled from the Atlantic Ocean to where the houses are locked up by absentee owners.

Bit of adventure now ... off quad biking, but the 10 km walk this morning along the coast seeing the closed up luxury houses was done in the cool sea fog air coming from the west. This was in contrast to yesterday's Township Tour seeing how 2/3 of the city 48,000 live as that was done in a hot east wind coming off the desert.

More contrasts!


Swakopmund being a sea port is renowned for its fish meals!

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