Walvis Bay , Namibia - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay

Country: Namibia

Population:  100,000 (2011 estimate)                                                                              

Dialing Code: +264

Currency: Namibian dollar (NAD), South African rand (ZAR)

Time zone: CAT (UTC+2)

Official language:  English

 

Walvis bay (Whale Bay)is the main harbor town in Namibia. The harbor is visited by many fishing boats, cargo vessels and an increasing number of cruise liners. It is the only commercial port in Namibia.

The bay is a safe haven for sea vessels because of its natural deepwater harbour, protected by the Pelican Point sand spit, being the only natural harbour of any size along the country's coast. Being rich in plankton and marine life, these waters also drew large numbers of southern right whales, attracting whalers and fishing vessels.

The Dutch referred to it as Walvisch Baye and the English as Whale Bay. In its eventual formal incorporation, it was named Walfish Bay, which was changed to Walvish Bay, and ultimately to Walvis Bay.

Walvis Bay, with its large bay and sand dunes, is an important centre of tourism activity in Namibia. Attractions include the artificial Bird Island, centre of a guano collection industry, the Dune 7 sand dune, the salt works, the abundant birdlife, and a museum. The Walvis Bay Export Processing Zone is an important facet of the local economy.

Information & Facts

Activities

 Attractions of Wlavis Bay include its lagoon well known for its prolific bird life and prospects for a lots of recreational activities such as golfing, kayaking, dolphin cruises and harbor tours.

Originally in the shadows of Swakopmund this harbor town is now rapidly developing into a thriving destination for tourists with establishments such as guest houses and hotels opening along the lagoon.

 Many of the water based activities such as dolphin cruises, catamaran trips, fishing expeditions and kayaking all start in Walvis Bay and while visitors staying in Swakopmund need to travel the 30km to participate, those who choose accommodation in Walvis Bay will find these activities starting on their doorstep.

 The Walvis Bay Lagoon is the main reason for visiting the town, the bird life on the lagoon is plentiful including flamingoes, pelicans and many small waders. The Raft restaurant deserves a special mention, it is built on stilts in the lagoon and reached by a short bridge. This is a pleasant place to enjoy a meal completely surrounded by water while entertainment is provided by the birds, jelly fish and even the occasional seal. A visit to the Walvis Bay harbour is well worth the effort.

Climate

Despite its dry climate, the city is relatively humid. Its sunny weather makes it a good destination for beach and sun. 

Eating Out

The Raft Restaurant Bistro and Bar. A Great Restaurant with great atmosphere, on a pier in the lagoon, an absolute must if you are in Walvis Bay.

Getting Around

The town is well serviced by public transport. Opposite the beach are the dunes where adrenaline seekers can try out quad biking or parasailing.

The town is laid out in a large grid pattern, and apart from the few shops in the centre that you can walk around, you really need a car, especially to reach the Yacht Club at the western end and to explore the lagoon. If you don't have your own wheels, there are plenty of taxis in Walvis Bay.

Kids Attractions

Spending some time Dolphin or whale watching or taking a catamaran cruise is a great place to start for kids. Quad biking (in Dune 7) the coastal dunes is lots of fun. Walvis Bay museum , bird island and MOTH Museum. 

Language

English is the official language and is widely spoken. Older Namibians in the South are more likely to speak Afrikaans or German.Afrikaans is spoken by many and is the first language of the Coloureds and the Afrikaners. English is spoken as a first language by the remaining English families, and German is spoken by the Namibians of German descent

Money

The Namibian Dollar (NAD; symbol N$) is in note denominations of N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1, 50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. It is linked to the South African Rand (R) on a 1:1 basis (South African Rand = 100 cents). The South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia.

Negatives

The harbour town having the highest HIV prevalence rate (28 per cent) in the country

Night Life

Nightlife in Walvis Bay is on the low side but with the opening of numerous establishments on the coast, it is on the rise. 

Restaurants

The Raft Restaurant Bistro and Bar. A Great Restaurant with great atmosphere, on a pier in the lagoon, an absolute must if you are in Walvis Bay. Large restaurant offering a huge a la carte menu, and bistro and bar area with the best pizzas and burgers for miles. 

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