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About Walvis Bay

Pretty Walvis Bay only returned to Namibia's control in 1995, after years spent as part of the South African Union. It was a welcome return for the Namibians due it being the only deep-water harbour on their coast, and also a major fishing town and prime production area for sea salt - its 3,500 hectares of salt flats produce 400,000 tons every year.

Though the town is well-endowed with restaurants, bars and shops, nature is the big attraction of Walvis Bay; this cruise destination's lagoon, salt flats and sand dunes are home to a fabulous array of bird life including pelicans and flamingoes. On our cruises to Walvis Bay you can see the region at its best from the top of Dune Seven - the highest in the region making Walvis Bay cruises a must see.

 

Shore excursions in Walvis Bay

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Living Desert

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 5¼ hours

A unique opportunity to discover The Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world.

The word Namib means place of emptiness, and this tour shows the life in this desolate landscape by 4x4 vehicles. The scenic drive will take you to the famous Namib Desert to search for the living creatures of the desert. Your knowledgeable guide will help seek out the elusive Palmato Gecko and Desert Sidewinder, both inhabitants of the dunes. Follow the caterpillar tracks across the dune slip-face to possibly find a Sidewinder lying submerged in ambush for an unsuspecting Aporasaura Sand Diving Lizard.

The 4x4 drivers will drive you over the mighty dunes, stopping to teach you about the flora whilst allowing ample opportunity for photography to capture amazing memories of this unique part of the planet. A stop will be made at Sundowner Dune for refreshments and to relax and take in the magnificent views. Discover where the Fish Moths live, and even hear a dune roar during the adventure. There might even be the opportunity to spot the Damara Tern, an endangered bird, before taking the coastal road and returning to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by 4x4 vehicles and on foot. A bus transfer will be provided either to or from the Namib Desert to join the 4x4 vehicles. It is extremely hot and dry in the desert therefore sun hats, sun block, sunglasses and bottled water are essential. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. This tour is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Pregnant women and children under 12 may not participate.

Mondesa Township

Activity medium

Duration: 4½ hours

Experience the reality of conditions of those living in the Mondesa township, as well as the great spirit of the people and their children.

Drive along the coastal road, to the Mondesa Township in Swakopmund, which was established in the early 1950's to provide housing for Owambo, Damara and Herero people working in Swakopmund.

Discover another world as you enter Mondesa, a side of town that is more African, more complex and, with the assistance of your specialist guide, will become much more personal. Mondesa is a township where poverty and unemployment is high and where low income families live. By opening their lives to travellers and visitors, the township community raises awareness and can provide opportunities for growth, friendship, support and a greater understanding between varied cultures.

This unique cultural experience depicts a different style of life; each customised tour lasts about 3 hours with the aim of immersing visitors in township life. All interaction with the community is done in a non-intrusive manner respecting their privacy at all times. Learn some history, bridge the cultural gap through understanding, taste some unusual food and enjoy some entertainment.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of intermittent walking on this tour over some uneven surfaces. Please take care of personal belongings at all times at the Township. A portion of each visitor fee is deposited in a community fund. Please note that most of the sites visited on this tour are part of an African Township, with much poverty. Be prepared for this aspect of the tour, as it is definitely a ‘no frills’ experience. Tour itinerary order may vary. Sun block, hats and comfortable shoes are recommended.

Moon Landscape and Welwitschia Valley

Activity high

Duration: 4½ hours

Venture to Namib Naukluft Park to discover of the treasures of the Namib.

Your scenic coach drive will take you to the Namib passing by endless waves of sand dunes, stopping for a photo at Dune 7.

Turn onto the Welwitschia Drive where the landscape becomes dotted with the extraordinary Welwitschia Mirablis plant. These prehistoric plants that are unique to Namibia, have adapted to their harsh habitat, they only produce two leaves in their lifetime and have a lifespan of over 500 years.

Continue onto the ‘lunar landscape’ of this vast area of eroded valleys where you can almost imagine you are on the moon. Enjoy the breath taking views, before driving onwards to Walvis Bay via the coastal road, passing sand dunes on one side and the sea on the other.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour is involves walking over rocky and uneven terrain. Passengers will spend time outdoors, standing in the sun, so comfortable clothing and shoes, a sun hat and sun block are strongly recommended.

Sandwich Harbour by 4x4

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 4½ hours

Exceptional views and an exhilarating journey by 4x4 make this an unforgettable tour.

Board your 4x4 vehicle for the journey south to Sandwich Harbour. Wedged between the sea and the Namib Dunes, Sandwich Harbour is one of Southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands. The extensive mudflats are a wildlife lover’s dream due to the concentration for migratory shorebirds, waders and flamingos.

Pause briefly en route at the Walvis Bay Lagoon to photograph the masses of flamingos and other birds that inhabit one of the biggest natural wetlands in the Southern Hemisphere.

On the approach to Sandwich Harbour you’ll be greeted with the sight of giant sand dunes running straight into the ocean. These giant dunes must be crossed to reach Sandwich Harbour so hold on tight as your experienced driver/guide steers you over the dunes on a thrilling ride.

Have your camera ready as you explore the unique landscape which is just waiting to be discovered. Afterwards your driver/guide will find a suitable place to stop to allow you to enjoy a refreshing a glass of sparkling wine or soft drink refreshment.

The return journey is certainly not for the faint-hearted. It will really test the power of your 4x4 vehicle against the dunes, with a 130-foot-high Roaring Dune being the main challenge.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by 4x4 vehicle. If the sea conditions are very rough or the tides are too high, it will not be possible to reach Sandwich Harbour. In the event that the lagoon is not accessible via 4x4, you will have the opportunity to view the lagoon area from a lookout point instead. It is extremely hot and dry in the desert therefore sun hats, sun block, sunglasses and bottled water are essential. This tour is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Pregnant women and children under 12 may not participate. The ride and terrain can be very challenging at some stages. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

Seal and Dolphin Cruise

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Experience the spectacle of meeting dolphins and seals on this thrilling wildlife cruise.

Take a short drive from the harbour to the jetty, where you’ll board an open ski boat for a cruise on the Walvis Bay Lagoon. Cutting across the Lagoon, you may catch a glimpse at the inquisitive seals which may swim up to the boats for a bit to eat.

At Pelican Point, there is a large seal colony and schools of dolphins, which swim alongside the boats, providing entertainment. Dolphins sighted are the Heavyside and Bottlenose.

For bird lovers, apart from seeing pelicans and cormorants, there are also common sightings of the White Chinned Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Cape Gannet and Black Oystercatcher.

To round off your tour, sparkling wine, soft drinks and open sandwiches will be offered.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by minibus and boat. Please kindly refrain from touching or playing with the animals. Operation of this tour is strictly weather dependent. As the temperature on the water is cooler than ashore, you are strongly advised to carry a jacket. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. Your tour ends at the waterfront area; from here passengers are required to use the ships shuttle bus service to return to the ship.

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