Walvis Bay is Namibia’s natural deep-water harbour, located just south of the stark Skeleton Coast. Seamed by high-rising dunes, the town’s 3,000-year-old lagoon is a sanctuary for 200,000 migratory birds throughout the year. Its waters draw in southern right whales, rewarding whale-watchers with powerful displays of breaching, lobtailing, and spyhopping.
The town was grabbed by the British years before the German settlers could get a hold of it. As a result Walvis Bay lacks the old-world ambience of its northerly neighbour, Swakopmund. Instead the harbour town has surrendered itself to the cold Atlantic, to which it owes its thriving fishing industry and abundant salt fields. Dune 7 – the highest dune in the coastal region – rises 383m into the air, challenging climbers and sandboarders’ endurance.
Around 50km south of Walvis Bay travellers will find Sandwich Harbour, forming part of the Dorob National Park. Devoid of any human settlement, the harbour is a wilderness of colossal dunes sloping into the Atlantic which in turn washes into its lagoon. Fed by freshwater springs, the lagoon is speckled with pink and white from the colonies of flamingos and pelicans that seek haven here. Dolphins are visible offshore and the odd jackal can be seen trotting along the stretch of sand.
- Walvis Bay is located just south of the stark Skeleton Coast, with its shipwreck graveyards and Cape Cross seal colony
- The town’s 3,000-year-old lagoon is a sanctuary for birds and sees 200,000 migratory birds throughout the year
- The highest dune in the coastal region – Dune 7 – is nearby
- Sandwich Harbour is a wilderness of high-rising dunes sloping into the Atlantic and attracts colonies of flamingos and pelicans
- Dolphins and southern right whales are visible offshore, while the odd jackal can be seen trotting along the beach