Bay, with its large bay and sand dunes,is the tourism activity center
of Namibia. The bay has been a haven to sea vessels because of its
natural deep water harbor, the only one of any size along the country's
coast. Being rich in plankton and marine life, these waters also
drew large numbers of whales, attracting whalers and fishing vessels.
We took an all day private tour with our group of 16, arranged
by one of the couples in advance of the cruise. It was much cheaper
than those offered by the ship and nicer to be in a smaller vehicle,
a 22 passenger van. Walvis Bay was settled by the English and they
drive on the "wrong" side of the street. How great it
was to see normal streets and houses, very clean and no tin shacks.
Our first stop was the Walvis Bay Lagoon to see hundreds of flamingos.
They are here year round to feed on the rich food of the lagoon.
we drove along miles of sand dunes. Dunes in the Namib-Naukloft
Park are some of the oldest in the world. Winds from the ocean create
shifting sands and often cover the roadway. Fortunately the winds
were calm while we were there. We stopped at Dune 7 which is the
tallest in the area.
Some of us tried to climb to the top but it was very steep and the
soft sand made it even more difficult. We made it about half way
up! But the slide down was fun. To see a quick video of the slide
down, click here.
it was a drive through the Swakop River Valley to a lookout of the
Moon Landscape. Created by the winds that reduced mountains to spectacular
rock formations and sand, this vastly-eroded valley has an appearance
similar to that of the moon's surface. Unique plants subsist in
the desert sand and rocks including 100 different kinds and colors
of lichen. The area has several mines, especially noted for their
stop was the town of Swakopmund. While Walvis Bay was settled by
the English, Swakopmund was German. It resembles a Bavarian village.
We learned it is primarily a tourist area, both for people like
us but also for Namibians living in the interior and South Africans
who have vacation homes there.
The shops were very nice but pricey. We stopped at a local hotel/restaurant
for some tea and pastries. It was hard to choose between the apple
kucken and the black forest cake! Just outside the bakery was an
area where handicrafts were displayed for sale. Of course we couldn't
returned to Walvis Bay along the coast with miles of very clean
sand beaches. Our last stop was a salt processing plant. They bring
in sea water, dry it to crystals, wash it then ship it out as table
salt, rock salt for animal consumption or industrial salt.
After dinner the ship held an outdoor dance on the pool deck. It
was a beautiful night with the lights of the city twinkling on shore
(coastal fog hid the stars). This was our first and only night in
port as the ship normally sails to the next port during the night.
To view more photos from Walvis Bay, please go to Namibia
Photo Gallery. To read about the next location visited, go to
Cape Town, South Africa.
Locations Visited Photos Map