Walvis Bay is the most important seaport of Namibia and the place is located between the mouths of the Swakop and Kuiseb rivers on the Atlantic Ocean. As you would expect, it owes its name to the many whales that can be found around the bay in the months of July to November. Walvis Bay is the second largest city in Namibia and has a large harbor that is important for the economy of the country. For tourists, the main attraction is the lagoon where seals, dolphins and special birds such as flamingos and pelicans can be seen.
Walvis Bay has a turbulent history, the area was popular because of its natural bay, which is rare on the coast of Namibia. The strategic location on the route around the Cape to India also meant that several countries wanted to own the area as their colony. From 1878 Walvis Bay was in the hands of the British despite the fact that most of what we now know as Namibia was in the hands of the Germans. After the outbreak of the First World War in Europe, South Africa took over power in Namibia. Although the country became independent from South Africa on March 21, 1990, it took four more years for Walvis Bay to be transferred to Namibia.
Just like in Swakopmund, which is about 30 kilometers north of Walvis Bay and was a German colony, the temperatures are fairly constant and there is very little rainfall. Because of the cold currents of the Atlantic, it never gets really hot, even though the city is in a desert area. Average daytime temperatures between 17 (winter) and 25 (summer) degrees Celsius.
On the south side of Walvis Bay lies the lagoon that attracts tens of thousands of birds including many flamingos. About 55 kilometers south of Walvis Bay, in the Namib Naukluft National Park, lies Sandwich Harbor Lagoon that can only be reached by 4×4 and when the tides allow it. These two areas are classified as ‘Wetlands of International Importance’ and birdwatchers in particular can indulge themselves. In Walvis Bay are tour operators who offer day trips to the area.
There is no shortage of fun and active things to do here, for example: sailing, surfing, sand boarding, golfing, kite flying, fishing, swimming or taking a boat trip to get closer to the dolphins. You can also book a tour to the Namib desert from here.
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