EURO­PEAN ODD­ITY MEETS CHEE­TAH

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Walvis Bay is a strange yet unique coastal town with a very dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere to its sur­round­ing harsh desert in­te­rior.

Bizarrely as you travel to­wards the Namib­ian town from Sos­susvlei you pass signs high­light­ing ura­nium min­ing tak­ing place in the area. But all you can see is the flat un­in­hab­ited desert.

Walvis Bay is the ad­ven­ture cap­i­tal of the coun­try.

Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est is the quad bik­ing. Sev­eral op­er­a­tors take guided tours – more fun than oner­ous, with your guide set­ting the pace.

The town of Walvis Bay is a mix of in­dus­trial ship­ping ports and build­ings, coastal frontage and hol­i­day homes, and then desert and dunes.

It is quite a con­trast to see lo­cals walk­ing dogs on the beach­front pa­rade af­ter all the desert sand of the in­te­rior.

It is a laid-back and low-key place with sev­eral restau­rants and eater­ies to choose from. You can even spot flamin­gos and seals on spe­cialty tours.

Drive fur­ther north and you will come across Swakop­mund which con­founds one’s cultural radar as it is dis­tinctly Euro­pean in flavour with cob­ble­stone foot­paths, tim­ber out­door bars and din­ing venues and great sea frontage views.

The colo­nial throw­back has enor­mous per­son­al­ity and charm and you half ex­pect to see snow fall­ing. But a few chee­tah paint­ings and the blistering mid­day sun re­mind you that you are still in Africa.

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