The special attraction of Walvis Bay is the huge natural lagoon with its overwhelming abundance of seabirds. 120.000 bird were counted lately in the lagoon, innumerable flamingoes and pelicans among them. Every year they are joined by 200,000 migratory birds.
Also worth seeing in Walvis Bay is the local museum in the Civic Centre, the Birdlife Information Centre and the wooden Rhenish mission church from the year 1880. "Dune 7" at the outskirts of town is the highest sanddune in the area. Once you have climbed to the top, you can enjoy stunning views. The town has to offer numerous good restaurants, cafes and bars as well as comfortable hotels and guest houses.
A very special experience is the adventurous 48 km drive to Sandwich Harbour, a freshwater lagoon which is surrounded by dunes, a favourite amongst anglers and ornithologists.
For this drive a 4x4 is indispensable. In parts the course of the road is difficult to identify, and long stretches lead through deep soft sand. The last piece has to be done by foot.
Walvis Bay lies some 30 kilometres south of Swakopmund. It disposes of a number of good restaurants, cafes and bars as well as comfortable hotels and guest houses. One can also get 4x4 vehicles for rent locally. Further information, travel hints and accommodation please find on the Tourist Info page.
Although discovered by Diaz in 1487 already - Walvis Bay was only founded in the year 1793 by the Cape Dutch. Two years later it was annexed by the British. In 1910 Walvis Bay became - like the entire Cape Colony - part of the South African Union. After Namibia's independence, the only deepsea harbour on the Namibian coast remained under South African rule and only in 1994 the former South African president F.W. de Klerk agreed to return it to Namibia.
Today Walvis Bay counts about 50.000 citizens and seems to be quite a busy town. Most people are employed at the modern harbour terminal and in the booming fish industry. Another production branch is precessing of sea salt. The salt fields of Walvis Bay have a size of 3500 hectares and produce annually 400.000 tons of high quality salt.
Top left: The harbour of Walvis Bay. Below: Langstrand. Top right: Sandwich Bay. Bottom right: Flamingoes in Sandwich Bay.