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Walvis Bay

To the east lies the vast and oldest desert in the world with dunes sloping up to skyscraper heights. To the west lies the expansive, untamed Atlantic Ocean. Nestled in the middle and protected by the Pelican Point Peninsula, is the port city and only natural deep-water harbour in Namibia, Walvis Bay.

‘Walvis’ translating to ‘whale’ in the Afrikaans language bears testament to what can be discovered at the bay which truly is a marine wildlife marvel.  Step aboard a catamaran for an unparalleled organic experience. During whale season, be on the look-out for the tail fin of a humpback, southern right or (very rarely) orca whale. Lean over the rails and watch the dolphins gliding alongside the boat or greet a friendly Cape-fur seal as it bounces onto your craft to entertain you on your cruise. Keep an eye out and you might spot the large body of the rare sunfish (mola mola) or the leatherback sea turtle.

Photo-worthy moments are to be found around the picturesque Walvis Bay lagoon at all times of the day. The Walvis Bay wetlands are considered to be of international importance (a Ramsar site) and accommodate up to 150 thousand exotic and beautiful birds at certain times of the year. While jogging or taking a stroll around the lagoon you are bound to spot pelicans, kelp gulls, chestnut banded clovers, curlew sandpipers and all sorts of other fascinating feathered beings. Prepare to be enthralled as an expanse of light-pink blush descends upon the blue lagoon as thousands of greater and lesser flamingos sweep in to look for food.  At dusk the lagoon is a romantic spot to be with a loved one, as it is set alight with shades of orange, yellow and pink as the sun sets behind the silhouettes of the palm trees.

Dubbed the highest sand dune in the world, the mighty Dune 7 challenges anyone willing to climb it and rewards with impressive views. Situated just outside of Walvis Bay, Dune 7 provides a great day trip out to the Namib Desert.  Grab your dune board for a thrilling ride down or for the more fearless, stand on a sand board as you ski down the sandy slope.  The Dune 7 adventures present quad biking in the dunes, swimming in their pool or for the more wild-at-heart take a roll down a dune in the hydro ball. Another very special experience is to take a 4×4 tour to the unique lagoon of Sandwich Harbour and enjoy a picnic of fresh oysters and sparkling wine as you admire the unique landscape and wildlife rich surroundings.

For the water lovers bring your wetsuits to brave the notoriously cold Atlantic Ocean.  Stand-up paddle boarding and kite-surfing are options for the brave and a truly thrilling experience can be found for professional surfers at Donkey Bay. Nicknaming it ‘the donkey’, professional surfer, Shaun Payne, described the wave as the most powerful he’d ever surfed.  Back at the lagoon, a kayaking trip around Pelican Bay is a great way to get in the sights of dozens of Cape-fur seals and see the lone shipwreck.  An old lighthouse, now converted to a lodge stands as the only constructed element on the spit and is both hauntingly and isolatedly beautiful.

Need a break from all the activities?  There are lot of interesting phenomena to be explored around Walvis Bay such as the moon landscape caused by Damara Granite or the pink lake of the salt flats.  Alternatively, park off to a delicious meal of fresh sole fish or rock lobster and a local beer while taking in the sights and sounds of the lagoon. Sentimental couples, lively families or adventurous solo travelers – everyone can enjoy what Walvis Bay has to offer.