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Named after the city on which it lies, Walvis Bay can be found in Namibia, and has a history dating back to 1487. We take a look at some interesting facts about this port below.

  1. Navigator Bartolomeu Dias fist anchored his ship in what is now Walvis Bay on 08 December 1487, while on an exhibition to discover a sea route to the East via the popular Cape of Good Hope. He is one of the first know people to discover the bay. Despite this discovery, very little commercial development took place at Walvis Bay until the late 19th century, when the British arrived.
  2. Walvis Bay Port is the largest commercial port in Namibia. According to Namport, this port receives approximately 3000 vessel calls each year, and handles around five million tonnes of cargo. Container imports, transhipments and exports, and bulk and break-bulk of various commodities are all handles by the Walvis Bay Port.
  3. When Britain and Germany were at war in August 1914, during World War I, Swakop riverbed was briefly a front line for battles. A British navy unit was based in Swakopmund customs house, which is now the museum. When the German administration collapsed, the Walvis Bay area was incorporated into South Africa’s South West Africa military administration, and it remained part of the ‘South West Africa’ for many years, until the territory was mandated to South Africa by the League of Nations.
  4. Walvis Bay Port boasts the only natural harbour of any size along the country’s coast. It is a haven for sea vessels due to this natural deep-water harbour, which is protected by the Pelican Point sand spit.
  5. The bay and city get their name due to the waters here being rich in plankton and marine life, especially whales. Due to this, lots of whalers and fishing vessels are attracted to the area.
  6. The Walvis Bay Port falls into the Walvis Bay Export Processing Zone, which is a free trade zone in the city. Instead of just being a specific designated area, the zone encompasses the city as a whole, and was opened in 1996, two years after the city of Walvis Bay re-joined Namibia.
  7. In 2019, a new container terminal was opened in Walvis Bay, built by the state-owned China Harbour Engineering Company on a 40-acre platform that was reclaimed from the sea. This has increased the capacity of Walvis Bay Port to 750 000 per year from 350 000. This terminal also includes a berth dedicated to cruise liners.
  8. According to SA Places, Walvis Bay has a population of around 50 000 people, and most of these people are employed by the Port of Walvis Bay, or the booming fishing industry.
  9. With the fishing industry in Walvis Bay being so important to the economy, the port serves as a vital link in exporting of fish from Namibia to the rest of the world.
  10. Walvis Bay is one of the driest cities, and weather conditions are temperate all year round which means that the port never experiences any delays caused by weather.
Image of Aerial View: By Brian McMorrow – Pbase gallery, CC BY-SA 2.5 | Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.. Click for link
Oyster Farming: By Olga Ernst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 | Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.. Click for link
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