Although small, Walvis Bay is an important commercial fishing centre

Walvis Bay is Namibia’s most important harbour town and the centre of the country’s import/export and fishing industries. The town is situated on a large, natural deep-water harbour and is surrounded by a lagoon and salt fields to the south and high dunes to the east and north. About 15 km south of town, the Kuiseb River marks the boundary with the vast dune fields of the Namib-Naukluft National Park.


Walvis Bay’s suburbs extend a few blocks back from the harbour, and while they’re neat and orderly, there aren’t the German architectural features found in Windhoek and Swakopmund. This stretch of coast is known for its superb seafood and there are excellent sunset views from the laid-back restaurants at the north end of the Esplanade/Promenade. Pretty seaside walks run south from the harbour and there’s a chance of spotting large flocks of pelicans and flamingos. Behind town to the east, ‘Dune 7’ is the tallest dune in Namibia and a popular spot for sandboarding. Walvis Bay is also the setting off point for guided excursions into the Namib dunes and in particular to Sandwich Harbour.

Practical advice

Dune 7

Walvis Bay is quiet and easy going and although not the prettiest town, it’s more relaxed than nearby Swakopmund and a good place to stop and resupply when things get busier further north. You probably won’t need more than a day or two to do laundry and have a good fish meal before hitting the road again.