Jacek Proniewicz travel blog

picture and movies from my travel

Archive for ‘June, 2016’

On the way to Cape Town,Luderitz Namibia 

Built on rocks in a small enclave within the Sperrgebiet (restricted Diamond Area) is the quaint harbour town of Luderitz with its curious array of historical German– style buildings built during the diamond rush.

Set around the sparkling bay, with their gables, winding stairwells, verandahs, turrets and bay and bow windows, these buildings have a unique character of their own. 

The most striking is Goerke–Haus, a former magistrate’s residence built in 1909. The Lutheran Church on the hill above the bay, known as the Felsenkirche, was built in 1912. Its stained glass windows were donated by Kaiser Wilhelm 11. Both buildings are open to visitors at specific viewing times.

Luderitz was the first German settlement in the former Deutsch – Sudwest–Afrika. It was named after a Bremen merchant, Adolf Luderitz, who began trading operations in the harbour. Luderitz persuaded Bismarck to place the territory under German protection, which was done in 1884.

A replica of the cross erected in 1488 by the Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias can be seen at Dias Point. The local museum portrays the unusual history of the town. Luderitz has an arts and crafts center, as well as a weaver where wall hangings and carpets of karakul wool are made.

Other than the tarred road from Keetmanshoop, Luderitz can be accessed by gravel road, passing through Maltahohe and Helmeringhausen. It is along these less-travelled roads that some of Namibia’s most spectacular scenery can be seen. 

The Luderitz area is home to a wide variety of aquatic birds. Large numbers of flamingos, cormorants and seagulls inhabit the shallow lagoon. When sailing in the bay, seals and dolphins can be seen playing in the water. 

The rocky coastline has many uncrowded beaches and numerous small bays and reefs to explore. For anglers favoured species are galjoen, steenbras, dassie and rock lobster.

Popular windsurfing areas are Grosse Bucht and Grosse Lagoon. A Snoek Derby takes place during the long weekend in May, and a board–sailing competition during the Easter weekend. 

For golfers there is an interesting desert course, described by locals as “rocky with oiled greens”. Clubs can be hired at the local golf club.

It is no unusual sight to see a jackal trotting along the beach, a group of springbok close to the sea, or an occasional brown hyaena. 

An attractive plant is the Bushman’s candle, its pink flowers contrasting vividly against the black rock. Unusual species of dwarf succu-lents grow in the area, such as the small but intriguing lithops, colloquially known as Hottentot’s buttocks.

A tour operator based in Luderitz offers visitors the unique opportunity of entering the Diamond Area to visit Bogenfels, the 55 m high rock arch which juts into the sea, the modern diamond mine and old ghost town at Elizabeth Bay and the seal colony at Atlas Bay. 

Visitors can also explore the ghost town of Pomona and the legendary valley of Maerchental (fairy – tale valley), where early prospectors collected diamonds by moonlight.

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Walvis Bay Yacht Club,Namibia 

The location of the Walvis Bay Yacht club is not readily apparent. The anchorage area is just past the southern end of the commercial harbour The anchorage here is now quite restricted due to dredging, although the holding is good. There is also 3m or more depth between Pelican Point and the Yacht Club, so there is no reason to use the dredged channel or get tangled with the commercial shipping.

Be aware that sometime the prevailing wind changes to strong winds from the NE and this creates a significant swell in the anchorage and harbour, with at times, breaking waves.

Harbour regulations require an anchor ball to be displayed and that all yachts must have a watchman on board while anchored. Be sure to appoint a watchman if leaving your boat at anchor here unattended, better still, moor your boat to a tried and tested mooring block, to prevent any problems while you are away. The yacht club may have a mooring available, for which there will be a charge.

The WBYC has a dock that can only be reached by dinghy. Water is available here.

It is a long walk both from the town centre and from the yacht club, however the town is safe to walk. Beware of dogs.

Almost everything is available for visiting yachts in Walvis Bay. Repairs are easy to do as there are good mechanics and machine shops with German quality.

Port control will expect you to take the direct route to the anchorage.

The Pelicans and Seals here are king.

Pole to Pole expedition 360 ,Walvis Bay ,Namibia 

Walvis Bay Walvis Bay (Walvisbaai) lies some 30 kilometres south of Swakopmund, accessed (if you happen to approach from the north) on a stunning ocean road seamed by mighty dunes. The town is situated at a wide lagoon with innumerable sea birds, pelicans and flamingos. On a clear day one can see the black-and-white lighthouse at the tip of the premontary at the northwest of the lagoon. 

Walvis Bay had already been discovered by Diaz as early as 1487, but was founded only in 1793 by the Cape Dutch and two years later annexed by the British. In 1910, Walvis Bay became – like the entire Cape Colony – part of the South African Union. After Namibia’s independence, the only deep sea port on the Namibian coast remained under South African rule and only in 1994, the former South African president F.W. de Klerk gave it back to Namibia.

Today, Walvis Bay has about 50,000 residents and is a busy harbour town. Most people are employed at the modern harbour terminal and in the booming fish industry. Another production branch is the processing of sea salt. The salt fields of Walvis Bay cover an area of 3500 hectares and annually produce 400,000 tons of high quality salt.

The lagoon is the scenic feature of Walvis Bay. It is one of the most important wetlands of southern Africa and is the hibernation area for thousands of migratory birds. Worth a visit in Walvis Bay is the local museum in the Civic Centre, the Birdlife Information Centre and the wooden Rhenish Mission Church from the year 1880. “Dune 7” near town is the highest sand dune of the area. Who climbs it, can enjoy a wonderful view.

A unique experience is the adventurous 48 km drive to Sandwich Harbour, a freshwater lagoon surrounded by dunes, and a favourite amongst anglers and ornithologists. A four-wheel drive is a necessity. The track is not in all parts easy to recognise. Some stretches go through soft sand, and the last bit one has to walk. You have to inquire about the tides. At high tide there is no way as the dunes just slope down steeply into the water.

Walvis Bay has many restaurants, cafés and pubs as well as good B&B, hotel or restaurants

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