The Cities of Namibia:  Luderitz and Walvis Bay

2023 HAL World Cruise

Friday & Saturday, March 17 & 18, 2023

Namibia factoids:

     Located in southwestern Africa on the Atlantic

     Adjacent to Angola on the north

     Named for the Namib Desert—namib means “vast place”

     Driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa

     One of oldest coastal deserts in the world—sand dunes ,created by coastal winds; highest in world

     In 1884, German Empire established rule over the territory

     German rule ended in 1915

     At end of WWI, League of Nations mandated South Africa administer Namibia—not a good idea

     South Africa imposed rules & laws not pleasing to Namibians

     Namibia won full independence on March 21,1990 following Namibian War of Independence

     Mining is the most important sector of Namibia’s economy—uranium dominates/diamonds follow

     Large diamond company, De Beers, contracted to buy most of Namibia’s diamond-mining output


We had been to Namibia before, but this is the first time we visited Luderitz.  What an interesting town.  Built on the rocky coast, the town began as a trading center for whaling, fishing, seal-hunting, and guano-harvesting.  Originally found by the Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, it was later explored by Dutch adventurers looking for minerals.  But it was a German entrepreneur who bought the land in 1883 and established the German community.  When diamonds were discovered in 1909, the town grew and the German architecture flourished, fueled by all those diamond profits.

We anchored off the coast of Luderitz on the morning of March 17th.
The tenders were deployed.
And we made our way to town.
Our first stop was the ghost town, Kolmanskuppe, an abandoned mining town.
In 1908, a railway worker shoveling sand away from the railway line, found a sparkling stone in the sand. The Kolmanskuppe mine was born. It is still in operation. We know, because we were shooed away when we wandered too close to the mine!!!
However, the town is no longer inhabited. By 1920, new and more profitable mines had opened elsewhere. The profit center shifted away from Kolmanskuppe and the town languished in the sand.
Today, the town is a national park and a mighty effort is made to keep the sand dunes from claiming the structures.
The facility now boasts a café, museum, and gift shop.
Before moving on from a discussion of the diamond mine, just want to point out how large and opulent some of the homes in Kolmanskuppe were. They look like mansions, don’t they?!?
Moving on, we next visited the Dias Cross at Dias Point. This is where the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias came ashore in 1488 and erected a stone cross to commemorate the arrival.
The Dias Cross
Dias Point is also where the lighthouse is found.
Seal Island is just off the point, and yes, look closely, you’ll see the seals atop the rock.
Heading back to town, we passed the Black Cut, where a long ago volcanic eruption left its mark.
And, of course, we passed more sand because here in Namibia the desert, quite literally, meets the sea!!!
That’s our ship anchored out at sea!!! We won’t board for a while as we are now on our way to town for more exploration and then lunch!!!
We pass flamingos along the way. They are not quite pink, but the bottom of their wings are a bright coral; visible only when they flap their wings!!!
Once back in town, we see the City’s famous German architecture. This is Goerke Haus.
From an upper floor of the Goerke Haus, we took this photo overlooking the town, with the Felsenkirche on the left.
Felsenkirche is one of the oldest Lutheran churches in Namibia. It was built in 1912 atop Diamond Hill.
Our final stop was the Portuguese Fisherman Restaurant.
The lobster was recommended as it had just been delivered and was “the catch of the day.”
The Bass in garlic butter looked pretty good also!!!
After lunch, we went back to the tender dock.
And returned to the ship.
The next day, we arrived in Walvis Bay.

And then, Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay is a natural, deep-water harbor.  And the city of Walvis Bay is the largest coastal city in Namibia.  We have been told the city center is charming, but we have not seen it.  We should make it a point to do so.  Especially since a shuttle makes it easy to get to the central business district!!!  But we do enjoy the Lagoon with the beautiful flamingos.  Then, as one walks along the promenade the homes are charming and set a nice neighborhood vibe.  We enjoy the snacks and libations at the Raft Restaurant.  We can find souvenirs at the craft market spread on the ground at the port gate.  We feel comfortable in Walvis Bay and do not feel an urgency to explore.  Perhaps we should.  There is much more to see!!!  

We had been to Walvis Bay before. We remembered how interesting it was to see the Namib desert so distinctly right at the edge of town.
We also remembered walking to an overwater restaurant not far from the port.
We were quite happy to see the Raft Restaurant is still there.
Couldn’t help but try to get a photo of the jellyfish lolling just off the pier!!!
We ordered our standard afternoon libations along with the usual pizza or fries or onion rings!!! Yeah, we settled on “all of the above!!!”
Fries and onion rings–always tasty!!!
This is a beef, green pepper and mozzarella pizza. The really funny thing about it is the fact that the green pepper is, wait for it!!!, jalapeno pepper!!! Big surprise!!! But an interesting take on pizza.
The cheese, mozzarella, and basil pizza was standard–no drama or laughter here.
We enjoyed our day at the Raft and left just in time to shop the tiny market spread out at the port gate before we boarded the ship for sail away.
It was a fun day.
And we are now on our way to Luanda, Angola.

Our next port is Luanda, Angola.

We’ll tell you all about it in a couple of days!!!

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