Walvis Bay is Namibia’s only deep water harbor and main hub of fishing activities and commercial sea trade. Its waters are rich with plankton and various species of fish, a favorite hunting ground for whales. The whales in turn would attract their own hunters in the form of whalers and fishing vessels, hence the name which is Afrikaans for "Whale Bay". The fishing town has had a turbulent past and continuous power struggles of ownership are well recorded. First proclaimed on 8 December 1487 by Bartolomeu Dias, the bay served as an important stopover for vessels to and from the Cape of Good Hope in modern day South Africa. During the mad scramble for colonies in Africa, Germany picked Namibia. The United Kingdom quickly staked a claim on Walvis Bay in order to secure the harbor in 1878. With the outbreak of WWI the Germans launched an attack on the harbor town but victory was denied them in 1915. Walvis Bay remained under South African control until the country’s independence in 1990, even then they were reluctant to let go. Four year after independence, on 28 February 1994, Walvis Bay was finally released and recognized as part of Namibia. The town offers guests a wide variety of extreme sports as well as luxury accommodation.
Sailing, surfing, power-kiting and canoeing on the lagoon as well as sand boarding and quad biking on the dune belts surrounding the town are incredible and adventurous. Dune 7 is probably the most famous as well as one of the highest dunes in the area. From the top the view is phenomenal with the town and ocean on one side and the vast expanse of the Namib Desert on the other. Fishing is also a well prized activity with shoreline fishing yielding steenbra, galjoen, kabeljou and snoek. Deep sea fishing expeditions are also frequently undertaken. Just outside of Walvis Bay to the north lies the beautiful beaches of Dolphin Park and Long Beach. Take your pick from renting a fully furbished house to camping under the wide open skies with the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. Walvis Bay also forms a haven for various species of marine bird life as well as a seal colony, both of which can be viewed with local guides treading lightly on the delicate sandy beaches.
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