Swakopmund Kick Starts Festivities For 130th Anniversary

4 Aug 2022

The Swakopmund municipality has officially launched the festivities for the commemoration of the town’s 130th anniversary on 4 August.

The popular holiday town had a rather unspectacular “birth” on 4 August 1892 when the crew of the German naval ship “Hyäne” (hyena) discovered a reasonably suitable landing place, where the “Mole” (breakwater) was later built. They rammed two poles, with a small flag each into the sand as beacons to mark the spot.

A huge birthday cake bearing the anniversary motto “Shining since 1892” was cut by the Swakopmund mayor, Her Worship Louisa Kativa with the Governor of the Erongo Region, Neville André after a short ceremony at the amphitheatre close to the historic governor’s residence of the German colonial days.


Photo: Hofni Martin


The official event started with the singing of the national anthem, followed by a short opening prayer.

The keynote speaker, Erongo Governor Neville André noted that during the [German] colonial period Swakopmund was an important harbour, although the conditions were not favourable. “The coastal waters were far too shallow, a sheltered lagoon was missing and the surf was too strong. As the disembarkation of settlers and troops on boats was a life-threatening undertaking, an artificial harbour – the “Mole” was built at very high cost. A 325-meter-long, wooden jetty was built in 1902”, the Governor said.

An iron one in 1912 replaced the wooden jetty, which is now 110 ten years old.

Today, Swakopmund is a modern town, albeit with challenges like urban migration and unemployment, he said.

“As we go forward, we must hold hands in unity to develop this town further. Today’s celebrations are a testimony that we are all Namibians and that we celebrate our heritage together as a nation,” Governor André said.


Photo: Swakopmund Municipality


After sunset on 4 August 2022, ten historical buildings will be lit up to mark the birthday. Several activities until the end of August will mark the 130th anniversary.

Brigitte Weidlich

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