Tourists crossing the street in Walvis Bay, Namibia, Africa.
Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson/© Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson
Perched between South Atlantic beaches and lagoons and the massive sand dunes of the Namib Desert, the town of Swakopmund reflects a Bavarian-meets-African heritage in its buildings, cuisine and language. (It was the main harbor of German South West Africa, which lasted from 1884 until 1915, when South Africa took over the administration of the area.) Learn about the history of the town at the Swakopmund Museum, with exhibits on native flora and fauna, historical objects and archaeological relics, and the ethnology of the Namibian people and their cultures. The architecturally striking Kristall Galerie showcases Namibia’s mining history and includes the world’s largest quartz crystal cluster, a gem garden and a studio and shop for fine jewelry and precious stones.