Walvis Bay

Travel Guide Africa Namibia Walvis Bay

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Introduction

Walvis Bay is a small city along the central western coastline of Namibia, about an hour south of Swakopmund. Most visitors to this part of Namibia head to nearby Swakopmund and avoid Walvis Bay, and for good reason. It is not a particularly pretty or interesting town, and when the coastal winds are blowing sand across the streets it looks positively grim.

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Sights and Activities

  • Wetlands. There are three important wetlands for migratory birds. The lagoon is south-west of town and the habitat for flamingos and the endangered Damara tern.
  • Flamingos. Flamingos feed in the shallow waters by the beach and in the wetlands.
  • Dolphin watching, ☏ +264 64 205 511. Check out Mola Mola cruises for dolphin and seal cruises.
  • Dune boarding. Buy a dune board in town and head 6km out of town to Dune 7 for an inexpensive thrill.
  • Fishing, ☏ +264 64 2016111. Rods can be rented. You need a fishing permit though which can be bought at the ministry of fisheries for 14 N$ for 30 days (Inspectorate Office, 1st Street, Monday-Sunday 8-13). Speak to the locals about the various fishing spots.
  • Kite surfing. Head on down to the lagoon to ride the waves. Lessons and equipment available.
  • Surfing. Pro surfers come from around the globe when the conditions are right to surf the world's longest left-hand break with a sandy bottom at Donkey Bay, also known as Skeleton Bay, on the long Pelican Point sand spit that protects the port of Walvis Bay. You'll need a 4x4 vehicle to get to that spot.

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Getting There

By Plane

Walvis Bay Airport (WVB IATA). Air Namibia provides flights within the country from Walvis Bay Airport, while South African Express offers flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg.

By Train

The national train company TranNamib runs an overnight service from the capital Windhoek via Swakopmund daily, except Saturdays. There are economy and business class seats, but no sleepers.

By Car

The fastest route from Windhoek is the tarred main road B2. It takes 5 hours and passes through Swakopmund, a coastal town 35 km (20 minutes) drive north of Walvis Bay.

By Bus

Minibuses from Windhoek (departure from the taxi rank closed to Rhino Park hospital, 110N$) or from Swakopmund (taxi rank out of town, 25N$) are available throughout the day. Not too comfortable, but the true African way of travelling.

Although the minibuses are slightly cheaper and are an experience, they have no fixed time schedule and are often overloaded. So check out these operators:

  • Intercape operates a service from Windhoek via Okahandja and Swakopmund. Intercape service also extends to South Africa and Zimbabwe..* Econolux Tel +264 64 205935 operates a service to Cape Town twice a week.

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Getting Around

Cars can be hired at Walvis Bay Airport.

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Eat

  • Crazy Mama's. Funky bistro with pizza, salad and vegetarian options.
  • Probst Willi Bakery. A German cafe serving some of the best sandwiches. Try the "rawhak" roll.
  • The Raft Restaurant, The Esplanade (on a pier opposite the Pelican Bay Hotel), ☏ +264 64 204877. A large top-class restaurant with great atmosphere, on a pier in the lagoon. The main restaurant offers a huge a la carte menu. There's also a bistro offering great views, wood-fired pizzas and the best burgers for miles. Also has a lively bar. A must if you are in Walvis Bay.

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Sleep

  • Pelican Bay Hotel.
  • Langholm Hotel, 18-22 2nd Street West, Lagoon (Off 5th Road, turn left into 2nd Str West.), ☏ +264 64 209230. Check-in: 13h00, check-out: 11h00. Great facility, friendly and helpful staff, great fun the NightCap bar - feels like home from home. Should be first choice for all persons visiting Walvis Bay. from N$655.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are Internet cafes in Windhoek, Swakopmund and Opuwo, and hostels often have access as well. Wifi is on the rise, but still not on the level of neighbouring South Africa.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Namibia's country code is 264. Each city or region has a two-digit area code. When calling long distance within Namibia, prefix the area code with a '0'. Mobile phones are very common and run on the GSM network, using the same frequency as Europe and the rest of Africa. Be aware that when you get off the beaten track signal can be erratic.

To avoid high costs, switch off data roaming and/or buy a local SIM card instead. Internet rates especially are extremely high still, but you will also save money on calling costs.

Post

Nampost is the national postal service of Namibia. It has post offices in most major cities and towns or postal services are incorporated within small shops in the smallest settlements. As for many countries in Southern Africa, services are actually fairly reliable but not very fast. Count on 2 weeks or more for postcards or letters to be send to countries in Europe or North America. Most post offices are open from 8:00 or 9:00am to around 4:30pm, with shorter hours (mornings) on Saturdays. Note that local variations may apply. For parcels, you might choose more expensive but faster companies like DHL, UPS, FedEx or TNT.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -22.948601
  • Longitude: 14.508820

Accommodation in Walvis Bay

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Walvis Bay searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

Contributors

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This is version 13. Last edited at 9:34 on Jul 30, 19 by Utrecht. 13 articles link to this page.

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