In 1994 we moved back to South Africa after a 13 year stay in Walvis Bay , Namibia. They say once the fine Namibian sand gets into your heart, there is no way you’ll get it out again. For us there are other contributing factors: it is where Desmond and I bought our first house, Namibia is where our children were born and as we had no Namibian family our friends became our family and support.
We tend to come for a holiday in either Swakopmund or Walvis Bay every 2 to 3 years and this December we did a home exchange with friends who live on the Walvis Bay lagoon, not far from ‘our’ house. Once again Desmond could carry his windsurfer across the Esplenade road and take off over the lagoon. We felt that we slotted right back into Walvis Bay life as if we never left : buying our daily ‘brotchen’ at Probst, going for a seafood feast at Anchors, going shopping in Swakopmund, meeting with friends for dinner or coffee…
Even though December and January is very hot in the interior, the weather is super on the coast – summer holiday weather at it’s best. Mornings often appear overcast, but it is only a high mist which will disappear at about 11 am, so be very careful to put on sunscreen every morning because your skin can burn even though the sun is not out yet. We are amazed by the development in both Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Tourism is the third biggest industry (after fishing and mining) and it shows.
My ‘must see / must do’ list for Walvis Bay:
1. Take an early morning walk along the Eplenade to watch the flamingos dance while they feed – the Walvis Bay lagoon is a birders paradise: Flamingos, Cormorants, Pelicans, White Chinned Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Cape Gannet, Black Oystercatcher. We were lucky enough to even see dolphins!
2. Go on a morning kayak trip on the lagoon with Naude and Katya Dreyer’s company Pelican Point Kayaking.
3. Book a kite surfing or windsurfing lesson at the equipment hiring kiosk just behind the ‘Raft’ for the afternoon when the wind will come up (this is Walvis Bay we’re talking about!)
4. Go for an afternoon cocktail at one of the watering spots on the rustic waterfront and for the BEST seafood EVER: the one and only Anchors…
5. Do not miss the little art gallery on top of the gift shop . I love the photography of Megan Dreyer
6. Go on a guided 4 wheel trip into the dunes.
7. Or book a 4X4 trip down to Sandwich Harbour and the Namib dunes.
8. Go on a catarmaran trip with Mola-Mola Safaris.
9. Climb Dune 7.
10. Go fishing…