The Accessible Skeleton Coast
Swakopmund. This thriving coastal town offers more entertainment in a 24 hour period than any other town in the country, including the capital. Namibians love it for the cool Atlantic air, the (literally) endless beaches, the fresh seafood and the fact that Swakopmund is about playing and not working. I personally love it for the fact it sits between two contrasting habitats and contrast is what makes Namibia so special. The sun baked desert collides with a rich marine habitat in a world of breaking surf and fortified dune. The perfect day in Swakopmund starts with an exploration of Walvis Bay whose protected waters are are force fed nutrients by the powerful Benguella Current. Take a skippered speed boat out to Pelican Point or paddle yourself in a sea kayak and you will be amazed by the concentrations of wildlife. The resident fur seal colony may make the most noise (and smell) but pelagic bird life here is wonderful and the dark water also contains dolphins, porpoise, shark, sun fish and seasonal whales. Brunch on-board usually involves local oysters, sparkling wine and warm bread.
The afternoon in Swakopmund is really a toss up between non-educational (quad biking, sand boarding, sky diving) and educational in the form of a guided tour of the dune habitat around Sandwich Harbour. The latter is where I would put my money, there are some wonderful local guides who can conjure a Shovel Snouted Lizard from a dune face and wax lyrical about the Tenebrionid Beetle. You can be back in the comforts of Villa Margherita by 16h30, showered and planning your culinary route for the evening. The dining and drinking choices in Swakopmund are vast but you won't go wrong with a sun downer at Tiger Reef (to see the locals at play) followed by the genuine Italian menu at Villa Margherita or fresh line fish at The Tug.
Villa Margherita website.