Walvis Bay, Namibia Cruise Port
While sailing the South Atlantic Ocean and heading for Africa, you may encounter the cruise port of Walvis Bay, Namibia; the name translates to "Whale Bay," and true enough, it's an excellent place to seek these amazing marine mammals. While Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias arrived here in 1487 and even named the town “O Golfo de Santa Maria da Conceição,” he didn’t settle here; instead, the British staked a claim in 1884, with Walvis Bay finally becoming part of the newly-created Union of South Africa in 1910. It wasn’t until 1994 that the city and the Penguin Islands became part of Namibia. Today, Walvis Bay is the country's only commercial port, with fishing making up a great deal of the area's economy. One of the driest cities in the world, its climate is perfect for outdoor activities. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Walvis Bay, Namibia:
While a boat tour of the bay is enjoyable, one of the best ways to get up close to nature is by kayaking. Companies such as Pelican Point Kayaking can take you out to see seals, getting close enough to touch them, along with Benguella Dolphins and plenty of birds. Bonus: Because this is quieter than a motor boat, you're less likely to scare off the animals.
For shops, restaurants, and birds, take a walk along the Walvis Bay Waterfront. Along with tons of flamingoes, you'll also see some cute penguins; it's a nice place to relax, and it tends not to get terribly crowded.
If you decide to take the motor boat tour, companies such as Mola Mola Safaris are popular among tourists for their ability to get close to seals, dolphins, and pelicans and for their personable, knowledgeable guides.
The shallow lagoon at Sandwich Harbour is south of Walvis Bay and contains the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest game park in Africa. It's an excellent spot for birdwatchers, even if you opt not to tour the park. You can get there via guided tour, although some of these are limited to certain times of year, so check ahead.