the lighttower of Walvisbay
When you come to Walvisbay on a cruise you will pass by this lighttower in some distance. The lighttower was built on a sandy Island some kilometres outside of the port and many times it will be hard to be seen, as there is a certain haze over the landscape like in my Pictures here as well.
There are a lot of other birds than the Flamingos to watch in Walvisbay. My favorite of These photos is the one here in my main Picture: a seagull had cought an eel and is flying home with it.
Flamingos love to walk in the sand of flat beaches and find their food that way. Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae and their typical pink Color comes from carotenoids in their food and plant Plankton. This is why you will find Flamingoes of different Colors, some are darker and some are almost White while some are really pink all over.
Flamingos at the end of the Esplanade
At the end of the Esplanade you will get to a place, where a tiny river flows into the sea and this seems to be a place, where the Flamingos find some Food that they enjoy very much. That is why you will always find some hundreds of them approaching that spot and only the trucks passing by on the closeby coastalroad or the tourists of bustours will make them step back a bit or even fly away in panic.
sit down and wait for the best pics
Sit down on the beach like I did and wait for the Flamingos to come closer and closer. As soon as you stand up, they walk or even fly away.
But when you sit and dont move they will not care about you.
This is why the people on the touristbuses will never see the flamingos so very close. Those tourists will have maybe 20 minutes there, they will never totally give up moving and they are a lot taller and that way also intimidating for the birds.
When you are the only person there and when you sit down you will have the best results !
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Where the Desert meets the Sea
In Walvisbay and other places in Namibia you will find a lot of places, where the desert meets the atlantic ocean, that is something that will not happen many times on this earth.
When you make a vacation in Walvisbay you will be offered lots of adventure-tours with 4x4 cars to such Dunes, but when our ship got there all of These tours had been booked already.
b.t.w.: When you ship arrives, take a look out on the highest deck and you will see the dunes right after the portarea like in my Pictures here, even when it is a bit hazy.
Walvis Bay Esplanade
Walvisbay Esplanade is a great way to walk along the bay from the port to the place in the Lagune, where you will see the flamingos gathering. That way is about 30 minutes to walk and you will pass by some great villas, restaurants and hotels. You will hardly meet a lot of people, even when a cruiseship is in town with almost 2000 passangers onboard as most of them will go on a bustour.
- Hiking and Walking
Walvis Bay harbour tour is wonderful for wildlife!
To be honest, I would probably not have bothered with the harbour tour at Walvis Bay if my parents hadn't done it a few months earlier and waxed lyrical about how wonderful it was. And, if I hadn't, I'd have missed out on one of the most fun ways to pass half a day in the Swakopmund/Walvis Bay area - which is saying something given how many marvellous activities are on offer for tourists in this region.
The trip starts with a tour of the harbour, which is surprisingly interesting. There are quite a range of boats at anchor, from the seaworthy to old rusting hulks over which the birds and the seals have long since established squatter's rights. There are also often fishing boats - usually Chinese or Spanish - which have been caught fishing illegally in Namibian waters and have been impounded.
However, by far the most interesting thing about the tour is the wildlife you encounter. When we started our tour, I couldn't work out why there seemed to be so many old tyres floating in the water - until I realised that these were seals, fast asleep with their snouts tucked into their tails! They come in to feed on the outfall from the petfood factory, and gorge themselves to the point where they need to sleep off their gargantuan meal! When we visited, one of the seals who has become habituated to people leapt in to join us in the tour boat, narrowly avoiding catapulting a whole tray of open-faced brotchen (German bread rolls) into the ocean!
The tour then proceeds out past the harbour limits towards a nearby seal colony. As you approach, the sound and smell of the seals becomes overwhelming (better hope that you're upwind!) and the seals and magnificent pelicans gather around the boat hoping for easy pickings - see photo of one slipstreaming in our boat's wake. The reason for their enthusiasm become apparent when you weigh anchor and the captain assuages your thirst by distributing cold beer and sparkling wine before starting to shuck local oysters. When we did the tour, my husband thought that he had died and gone to heaven as the oysters kept coming and coming ... he finally gave up after a couple of dozen (the captain was all set to keep shucking!).
The marine birds are superb, and apparently the tours often encounter dolphins and whales (in season), as well as the occasional leatherback turtle and more exotic creatures such as sunfish.
The tour lasts about 3.5 hours, and may initially seem a little on the expensive side (I don't have a handle on current prices, so consult a recent travel guide or websites). However, when you consider the duration of the trip and the generosity of the catering, it is actually good value for money, and I would highly recommend it. There are several operators who offer boat tours - both of the harbour and the lagoons at the mouth of the Kuiseb River, so I suggest you shop around to see which best matches your interests and requirements.
Walvis Bay is a twitcher's paradise
Walvis Bay is a 'twitcher's' (bird watcher's) paradise due to the diversity of the ecosystems - mudflats and lagoons sheltered from the open ocean by a sand spit - along this section of the coast. Birdlife International states that "In terms of numbers and species of birds, this is the most important coastal wetland in southern Africa, and is probably one of the three most important coastal wetlands in Africa". The coastal birds such as cormorants and pelicans are the obvious stars of the show, but the lagoons at the mouth of the Kuiseb offer a chance to see species such as flamingo and other waders, and also provide seasonal homes for a huge range of migratory species.
Perhaps the best introduction to the birdlife is to take the harbour tour in Walvis Bay, during which you will see masses of cormorants, pelicans and heron. If you are keen to visit the lagoons, then there are both boat and 4 x 4 tours that will take you there.
In town, the best birding spots sound unlikely: the sewage works and the salt works. Both have been afforded nature reserve status and offer great opportunities to observe a wide range of wading species.
Walvis Bay Esplanade
This is a fast-growing town with current population at around 65,000. The nicest place to hang around is the Esplanade where there is a long promenade facing the Walvis Bay Lagoon. Both the lagoon as well as the beautiful houses lining the promenade are very, very interesting. When I grow up I want to live here in one of the magnificent villas :-) But I know it will never happen, because I will never grow up!!!
The Desert around Walvis Bay
The city of Walvis Bay is surrounded by the desert every where one goes.
Not being used to be in the desert myself, walking a little bit through it was an experience managed to try.
MF, Walvis Bay, April 2010.
We did a boat tour with Mola Mola and were lucky enough to have Billy as our guide. There were about 8 of us on the boat and we set off at around 8.00am.
Our guide was funny and informative about the local area especially the Bay.
Be prepared to have a drink or two as we started with sherry at about 9.00am. Up until lunch we were offered refreshment with local beer or I should say Namibian beer and sodas.
After our visit with the Cape Fur Seals, Flamingos and Dolphin, we stopped in the bay for lunch of fresh Namibian oysters and S.A. sparkling wine. Excellent. We were back in our hotel late afternoon.
Mola-Mola also offer other trips such as 4x4 drivinbg in the dunes and fishing trips.
- Food and Dining
- Luxury Travel
If there is a beach, you are bound to find them. We met a number of them whilst cruizing in the harbout hoping that they would also get a bit of freeby fish that was being fed to the seals and pelicans.
One of the best things to see in Walvisbaai is the Flamingo's. Sometimes they are quite close to the roadside, other times a bit futher away. They have two kinds there, the black flamingo's and the pink flamingo's.
If there is something that I will recommend without a doubt, it will be the Dolphin Tour. We used Molo-Molo and they were very professional and our guide has a tremendous knowledge of the seals and marine life in general. We met 5 seals in person, they climbed into the boat and Sally the surfer was surfing behing the boat for quite some time before getting in and catching a bit of a ride. It was truly amazing.