Located about 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay is home to some of this desert country’s most scenic lagoons, dunes, wetlands and coastlines. Travelers to historic Walvis Bay, known for its deep waters and massive sea ports, can cast off from the shoreline fishing for some seriously large sharks, or chart a boat into the bitter-cold Atlantic for a different kind of deep sea adventure.
Visitors can also explore the dunes or wade through wetlands, where rare migratory birds flock to ocean shores and hibernate in cooler seasons. In addition to scoping for flamingos and sandpipers, travelers can beat the bay’s sometimes bitter cold and wander the halls of the local museum at the Walvis Bay Civic Centre, explore the Birdlife Information Centre or make a stop at the Rhenish Mission Church, built in 1880. Afterwards, tuck into some warm and traditional Namibian and German cuisine at one of the Bay’s bed and breakfasts or local cafes before heading out on a drive to Dune 45 or watching the sunset while relaxing on the shores.
Walvis Bay is one of the few Namibian cities that’s home to an airport, but most travelers find their way via the well-paved road between here and Swakopmund. Bird-lovers should hire a 4x4 and venture the 30-mile (48-kilometer) pass to Sandwich Harbor, where the dunes, birds and shores are incredible.