Cuisine and natural lagoons
On your MSC South Africa cruise you can admire Walvis Bay, which, thanks to its rich marine life, is one of the places of most outstanding natural beauty in Namibia. Its gourmet delights are not to be missed either.
Before leaving the port you have to eat homegrown Walvis Bay oysters in one of the many restaurants that have sprung up in recent years. Today, maybe it’s harder to see whales in these waters but the highlight of Walvis Bay (aka Whales Bay) is still its natural lagoon with its abundance of seabirds, including flamingos and pelicans, which are joined every year by thousands of migratory birds.
As this is an area of outstanding natural beauty, there are many options for spending your time away from the ship. Due north of Walvis Bay along a coast road, the Atlantic harbour town of Swakopmund is just waiting to be discovered on an MSC South Africa excursion.
Offering a vivid reminder of Namibia’s colonial past, the older architecture is Germanic in style, German is widely spoken and the restaurants delight in serving bratwurst. There’s even an annual Oktoberfest, a jolly knees-up featuring locally brewed lager and Bavarian-style bands in lederhosen. Swakopmund is a safari and backpacker hub with some great shops selling souvenirs including beautiful, locally made jewellery, crafts and curios.
This is also Namibia’s extreme sports capital, with several operators offering quad-biking, dune buggy racing and sandboarding. Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are the southern point of the Skeleton Coast where, on nature trails across the sands and gravel plains, you can observe ancient desert-adapted plant species such as welwitschia (an endemic, trunkless tree which sags raggedly on the ground and can live for over 2500 years), lithops and delicate lichens.