Must see attractions in Walvis Bay

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Salt Works

    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, these pans concentrate salt from seawater with the aid of evaporation. They are also a rich feeding ground for shrimp and larval fish. It's one of the three wetlands around Walvis Bay (along with the lagoon and Bird Island), which together form Southern Africa's single most important coastal wetland for migratory birds.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    The Hope

    During the winter, rail services between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are often plagued by windblown sand, which covers the tracks and undermines the trackbed and sleepers. This isn’t a new problem – 5km east of town on the C14, notice the embankment which has buried a section of narrow-gauge track from the last century. In front of the train station are the remains of the Hope, an old locomotive that once ran on the original narrow-gauge railway.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Bird Paradise

    Immediately east of town at the municipal sewage-purification works is this nature sanctuary, which consists of a series of shallow artificial pools, fringed by reeds. An observation tower and a short nature walk afford excellent birdwatching. It lies 500m east of town, off the C14 towards Rooikop airport. As with both other local wetlands, you can expect to see flamingos.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Lagoon

    The shallow and sheltered 45,000-hectare lagoon, southwest of town and west of the Kuiseb River mouth, attracts a range of coastal water birds and enormous flocks of lesser and greater flamingos. It also supports chestnut banded plovers and curlew sandpipers, as well as the rare Damara tern.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Rhenish Mission Church

    Walvis Bay’s oldest remaining building, the Rhenish Mission Church was prefabricated in Hamburg, Germany, reconstructed beside the harbour in 1880 and consecrated the following year. Because of machinery sprawl in the harbour area, it was relocated to its present site in the mid-20th century, and functioned as a church until 1966.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Bird Island

    Along the Swakopmund road, 10km north of Walvis Bay, take a look at the offshore wooden platform known as Bird Island. It was built to provide a roost and nesting site for seabirds and a source of guano for use as fertiliser. The annual yield is around 1000 tonnes, and the smell from the island is truly unforgettable.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Dune 7

    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 is now engulfed by sand, has several shady palm trees tucked away in the lee of the dune.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Port

    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 visit the fishing harbour and commercial port, and see the heavy machinery that keeps Namibia's import-export business ticking. Trust us, it's more interesting than it sounds. Don't forget to bring your passport.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Walvis Bay Museum

    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 mineral collection and natural-history displays on the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Coast.

  • Sights in Walvis Bay

    Lookout

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