Swakopmund Over the Years

Swakopmund Over the Years #1
Swakopmund Over the Years #2

I have been living in Swakopmund since 1979, and I am astounded by all the changes that have occurred in this town over the years.

In 1979 Rossing Uranium Mine was relatively new and was recruiting people from all over to work, however they did not have any houses available for the influx of people to the town, so when we arrived here we had to live 10km outside town at the Rossing Country Club in a mobile home for six months while housing was being built for all the employees.

Those years Swakopmund was a very boring town aesthetically as there were so many open sand plots right throughout the entire town. However now there are none and the entire town has been built up with flats or shops.

The main street of Swakopmund as you drive in from Windhoek had hardly any businesses or buildings, the apartments that are alongside the road as you drive in to town now were not there and the Shoprite centre was also just an open lot, in fact three blocks down towards the sea was all open lots. Opposite the police station where the Crystal Gallery now is was just empty ground as well as opposite where the Am strand Complex is, this was just a huge empty pit, which we used to play in. From the police station down to the sea used to be open and you could see the sea and the beach from there.

The residential area has expanded so much, when I was a child Mile 4 was far away from us and made a good jogging destination, now days Mile 4 and Vineta are joined. Vineta used to be the only residential area then with a house and then an empty plot and a house again. We now have four new residential areas and there are just about no more empty plots. There are new mines that have opened and once again there is a shortage of housing for all the influx of people to town. The building never stops and more and more apartments are going up left right and centre as well as new shopping complexes being built in the new residential areas.

Swakopmund sure has changed from the sleepy little retirement village to a bustling Mecca that soon will have a city status. I wander when it will all stop; I am all for change and expansion, but this change has been explosive. 15 to 20 years ago there was not tourism here and now Swakopmund is one of the most popular tourist destinations and has the most exciting activities on offer, such as quad biking in the dunes, skydiving over the sea and desert, kayaking with the dolphins and seals, marine cruises and many more to offer. I highly recommend that you come and visit Swakopmund and experience this amazing place for yourself.

By Alison Berg

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