The ships to dock at Walvis Bay Harbor, approximately 1 mile or a 10-minute walk from the pier. Metered taxis are generally available pier side, however passengers are discouraged from walking the relatively short distance through the port to town because of all the distractions and work activity in the port that could cause injury.
Shuttles will drop you off near the Civic Center in the center of old town.
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The town is very much built for the harbor, with numbered streets forming an unexciting, but easily navigable grid around it. The city center can be covered on foot. Of special note are the municipal buildings, decorated with attractive wood carvings from Namibia's Kavango region. Exhibits at the local museum illustrate the history of the town and the indigenous Topnaar people. The lagoon on the outskirts of Walvis Bay is home to a bird sanctuary. Flocks of flamingoes and pelicans feed here in the nutrient-rich water. The lagoon also supports an important salt industry.
Walvis Bay is a good starting point for excursions into the desert and dune regions offering visions of unspoiled landscapes, compelling beauty and a feeling of unconfined space.
The resort town of Swakopmund lies 13 miles north of Walvis Bay. It was under German domination until 1915. With Walvis Bay under British control, the German authorities tried to develop their own interests by establishing Swakopmund as a port, but without much success. When German rule was surrendered to South Africa, all trading returned to Walvis Bay.
The beach offers a nice pier, with plenty of places to have a wonderful meal.
It's amazing to see the downtown with immaculate old buildings that look like they could be in Bavaria! The drive from the port to Swakopmund is also pretty amazing, gorgeous blue sea, and on the other side, rolling sands and desert.
The majority of shops cater to local clientele. On Sundays, shops in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are closed. However, vendors usually set up an arts and craft market at the pier on days when a cruise ship is in port.
The local currency is the Namibian dollar (on par with the South African rand); most vendors will accept U.S. dollars.
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