Namibia / Destinations / Walvis Bay
Namibia Safaris

WALVIS BAY

Walvis Bay (meaning 'Whale Bay') is a coastal town situated 30 km south of Swakopmund and Namibia's primary harbour town.

The town has had a chequered history. It had been discovered by Diaz as early as 1487. In 1795 it was annexed by the British (from the Dutch) and in 1910, Walvis Bay became - like the entire Cape Colony - part of the South African Union. After Namibia's Independence on 21 March 1990, the only deep sea harbour on the Namibian coast remained under South African rule and only in 1994 did South Africa return it to Namibia.

Walvis Bay features the very rare mild variation of the arid climate. Walvis Bay receives an average of less than 10 mm of precipitation per year, making it one of the driest places on the planet. Despite the fact that it has an arid climate, Walvis Bay seldom gets very hot or very cold, an extremely unusual feature for a town featuring this climate. This is primarily due to cold offshore currents near Walvis Bay. Temperatures averages around 24°C during January, Walvis Bay's warmest month and around 17°C during July, its coldest month.

A special attraction of Walvis Bay is the huge natural lagoon with its overwhelming abundance of seabirds - with innumerable flamingos and pelicans among them. Every year they are joined by 200,000 migratory birds.

A unique adventure is the 48 km drive to Sandwich Harbour, a freshwater lagoon surrounded by dunes, and a favourite amongst anglers and ornithologists. For this drive, a 4x4 is required.

Walvis Bay offers a variety of sports and recreation facilities for those who enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle including golf, tennis, bowls, surfing, swimming, angling and sailing.