Walvis Bay, Namibia - Stein Travel
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Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay is often overlooked by tourists travelling to Namibia. However on closer inspection the county's second largest town has a lot to offer. Visitors to Walvis Bay get to step away from the rat-race and enjoy the serene and lonely beauty of the some of the country's most evocative desert scenery. The town is the gateway to a host of endless dunes, freshwater lagoons, birdlife, sea life and silence. The dunes just outside Walvis are both majestic and tragic as they dissipate into the ocean in a timeless battle that will never be concluded. The freshwater lagoons found at the base of some of these dunes provide life to a range of highly specialised and adapted desert wildlife. Visitors to Namibia should not miss the opportunity of visiting this diamond in Namibia's desert crown.

Aside from the awe-inspiring scenery, Walvis Bay offers a range of other activities and sightseeing opportunities for adventurous visitors or those who just want to relax and commune with the wind. This seaside town is Namibia's only working sea port. Walvis Bay is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding desert regions including the beautiful Sandwich Bay and Cape Fur Seal colony at Cape Cross, and the nearby seaside resort of Swakopmund. Other popular activities include deep-sea fishing excursions, dune-boarding, dolphin watching and scuba diving.

Walvis may be a small dusty town along Namibia's barren and harsh coastline, with hot days, cool nights and mornings shrouded in sea fog but it offers up something magical that few can resist. Even the Hollywood glitterati like Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have fallen for its charm. Walvis is the perfect place to relax, zone out and commune with your surroundings as you sip a cold beer while watching the colours of the fiery sunsets compete with the flamingos in the lagoon.

Information & Facts

Climate

Walvis Bay has a desert or arid climate, and is one of the driest towns on the planet. However, despite its lack of rainfall, Walvis is not an overly hot place. The cold Atlantic Ocean and the prevailing offshore currents ensure that the temperature in Walvis averages around 75°F (24°C) in summer (February) and 64°F (17°C) in mid-winter (July). The town experiences no humidity but in the evenings a dense sea fog often rolls in off the ocean. This fog can sometimes be quite thick and most animals in the region use it as their principal source of moisture in the unforgiving desert climate.

Language

English is the official language, but many people also speak Afrikaans and German. There are also several indigenous languages spoken, mainly in the rural areas.

Money

The official currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD) divided into 100 cents. Its value is equal to the South African Rand, which is also accepted as legal currency in Namibia. Major credit cards are accepted. Travellers cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank or bureau de change, though cash is more expensive to exchange than travellers cheques. ATMs are available in larger towns only.

Sightseeing

Visitors to Walvis Bay are spoilt for choice when it comes to sightseeing options. 4x4 trips to Sandwich Bay offer visitors the opportunity to see some of the desert's most unique and rare wildlife as well as amazing photo opportunities. Dune boarding is a must for the adventurous and fishing, diving and dolphin viewing excursions are fantastic opportunities to see the wealth of sea life Walvis has on offer. Evenings are best spend sipping a cocktail or ice cold beer while watching the flamingoes sift through the waters of the lagoon.

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