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Cruise Port: Walvis Bay, Namibia

Cruise ships come into a container port.

Face to face immigration was carried out on the ship before disembarking.

There was no terminal. Vendors selling excursions were lined up on the dock and provided ship-side transportation.

The ship provided a shuttle to the downtown but there may be taxis available out side the main gate to the dock area, a reasonable walk from the ship.

Just outside the main gate are numerous street vendors selling a large array of carved wooden animals and a small amount of jewelry. This may be the best souvenir shopping available but the carved animals may have been made in China.

The route into town runs through a residential section.

The drop off area in the town has a small mall with a grocery story, pharmacy, and a few shops selling clothes. There were few restaurants nearby, this being the best.

Sites

Walvis Bay has no “must see” sites but has developed a tourist business capitalizing on the nearby sea, desert, and neighboring town, Swakopmund.

Desert
Dune 7, three miles east of Walvis Bay, is the highest dune in the area and can be climbed. The Moon Landscape and Welwitschia Drive are also worth visiting for a look at the desert.

Plants are scarce but well adapted to desert conditions.

The animals are even more scarce.

But if you go on a desert excursion, have no fear, you will have access to basic amenities.

The Lagoon
Located southwest of Walvis Bay, the area attracts coastal water birds and has a large number of flamingos.

Sandwich Harbor
Excellent site for watching migratory birds.

Swakopmund
Features numerous historic examples of German architecture from the turn of the century.

Background

Walvis Bay was claimed by the British Cape Colony in 1795, annexed by Britain in 1878, and passed to the newly formed Union of South Africa in 1910. Meanwhile, in 1842 German missionaries came to the nearby area and in 1884 Germany took over the region except Walvis Bay, and called it German South West Africa, founding Swakopmund, 19 miles north of Walvis Bay, in 1892. After World War I German South West Africa was given to South Africa to administrate. In 1990 South West Africa became independent as Namibia and Walvis Bay joined Namibia in 1994.

Walvis Bay has a population of about 85,000 people and has an active commercial port. Fishing is an important industry and tourism is on the rise. Walvis Bay receives less than 10 mm of precipitation/year and has a mild arid climate.

The unit of currency is the Namibian dollar which is traded on a par with South African Rands. South African Rands and US dollars are also widely accepted. Banks are open weekdays 9 am to 3:30 pm, Sat 9 am to 11 am. Mastercard, Visa, and American Express are widely accepted.

To buy books about Namibia from Amaon.com click here.

Namibia book

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