Sandwich Harbour

Top choice in Skeleton Coast

Sandwich Harbour, 56km south of Walvis Bay in Dorob National Park, is one of the most dramatic sights in Namibia – dunes up to 100m-high plunge into the Atlantic, which washes into the picturesque lagoon. The harbour is now deserted and a stirring wilderness devoid of any human settlement. Birdwatchers will have a field day and Sandwich Harbour 4x4 facilitate half- and full-day trips down here.

Sandwich Harbour historically served as a commercial fishing and trading port. Some historians suggest that the name may be derived from an English whaler, the Sandwich, whose captain produced the first map of this coastline. Still, others contend that the name may also be a corruption of the German word sandfische, a type of shark often found here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Skeleton Coast attractions

1. Salt Works

22.67 MILES

Southwest of the lagoon is this 3500-hectare salt-pan complex, which currently supplies over 90% of South Africa's salt. As with the one in Swakopmund,…

2. Rhenish Mission Church

26.76 MILES

Walvis Bay’s oldest remaining building, the Rhenish Mission Church was prefabricated in Hamburg, Germany, reconstructed beside the harbour in 1880 and…

3. Lookout

26.84 MILES

A good spot for getting an overview of the bird-rich ponds.

4. Bird Paradise

26.98 MILES

Immediately east of town at the municipal sewage-purification works is this nature sanctuary, which consists of a series of shallow artificial pools,…

5. Walvis Bay Museum

27.22 MILES

The town museum is located in the library. It concentrates on the history and maritime background of Walvis Bay, but also has archaeological exhibits, a…

6. The Hope

27.52 MILES

During the winter, rail services between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are often plagued by windblown sand, which covers the tracks and undermines the…

7. Port

27.69 MILES

With permission from the public-relations officer of the Portnet or from the Railway Police – beside the train station near the end of 13th Rd – you can…

8. Dune 7

27.99 MILES

In the bleak expanse just off the C14, 6km by road from town, Dune 7 is popular with locals as a slope for sandboarding and skiing. The picnic site, which…