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AFRICA -  DAY TWENTY FOUR - SWAKOPMUND AND WALVIS BAY

Previous Blogs: Day 1 Pretoria | Day 4 Dinokeng | Day 5 New Years | Day 6+7 Umdloti | Day 8 - DumaZulu | Day 9 Hluhluwe | Day 10+11 PE to Knysna | Day 12 Ostrich Farm | Day 13 Hermanus | Day 14 Hout Bay | Day 15 Cape Point | Day 16 Table Mountain | Day 17+18 Namib Desert | Day 19 Sossusvlei | Day 20+21 To Swakopmund | Day 22 Cape Cross | Day 23 Luderitz | Day 24 Walvis Bay | Day 26 To Windhoek | Day 27 Katatura | Day 28+29 Zambezi | Day 30 The Falls | Day 31 Chobe | Day 32+33 Going Home

Click photos for a larger image...

 

Today we planned a more relaxed day as yesterday was a 12 hour on the go sightseeing. We slept in and kept it local, just driving through Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.

Here's the Swakopmund Lighhouse which is not only a working lighthouse but also has a restaurant.

Swakop as the locals call it is a relatively small town with a population of 45,000.

It is of course also very German.

Nice boardwalk and beach but way too cold water to swim, even in summer.
We then took a walk out on the pier. There is a restaurant right on the end.
 

NO KIDDING!!!!

The road to Walvis Bay is only 23 miles,

with the beach and ocean on the right and

a beach for 100 miles inland on the left!

When I lived in Namibia in the 80s, there was NOTHING between Swakop and Walvis. Now there are all these luxury beachfront homes and condos. Ultra modern and brand new. Prices are from $170K for 3 bed condo and $200K for a 3 bed house on the beach.

Above right is a man made guano island. Birds crap on it and then people scrap the crap up and sell it for a lot of money as fertilizer. Nice work if you can get it. This used to be very big in Namibia, but apparently Venezuela and Peru have now cornered the market on bird shit.

Locals claim Namibians were too lazy for this type of work and that's why they lost out to South America!

 

Here's a picture of Walvis Bay I took the other day when we flew past it.

When Namibia became independent in 1990, South Africa wanted to keep Walvis Bay as sovereign SA territory (as it had been for many years). It's a strategic port and the SA Navy had a base there.

After two years of negotiation, they finally agreed to give it up to Namibia - it is after all in THEIR country.

 

We stopped for lunch at a cute local place

on the waterfront and had Bockwurst

(German Veal and Pork Sausage).

A quick stop at Dune 7 - a place locals go to climb sand dunes. Must be a desert town thing. I used to sandboard here 35 years ago, but now they have signs all over that say "NO Sandboarding"

Time to look for Flamingoes - the one thing Walvis Bay is famous for. There is a HUGE lagoon south of the city that is very shallow and a great breeding ground for them.

As Walvis does get a lot of wind it is also a premier destination for Windsurfing and Kite Boarding. The shallow waters stay flat no matter what the wind.

We found them! Going back tomorrow for better light for more pictures.

 

Salt production is one of Walvis Bay's largest industries.

They dig out flat pans in the desert, fill them with salt water and let them dry out in the desert sun. After a few fills the salt is ready to be harvested and THIS is what a huge pile of table salt looks like!

This is loaded on trucks by conveyor belt and taken to the port for shipping.

 

And finally...

 

 

 

Apparently in addition to parking for the disabled, they ALSO have special parking spots for parents with small children.

You have GOT to be kidding me!

   

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