Discover the tranquil area of Sandwich Harbour surrounded by spectacular dunes of the Namib desert - the oldest desert in the world - meeting the cold and often stormy southern Atlantic ocean on the Namibian central coast.
Join our daily morning Sandwich Harbour 4x4 Scenic Excursion departing at 08h30, or our afternoon excursion departing at 12h30 to experience the Namibian coastal desert at its most magical!
Departing from the Walvis Waterfront, we do a short break at the Walvis Bay Lagoon to see flamboyances of flamingos and a wreck of other coastal birds that reside in and around the lagoon at different times of the year.
From here, the drive initially takes us to the Kuiseb river delta, a dry riverbed where the odd springbok, oryx or jackal may be spotted. As this area forms part of our Kuiseb Delta Concession, we are the only activity operator allowed to access this area.
If weather and tides allow, we will drive right to the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon along the beach, one of Southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands and one of five RAMSAR sites (Ramsar site no. 743) in Namibia. Sandwich Harbour boasts two distinct wetlands and associated mudflats. One is aquifer-fed and supports typical emergent vegetation, but is slowly disappearing due to natural causes.
The second, under tidal influence, consists of mudflats and raised shingle bars. Wedged between the sea and the Namib Dunes, it is one of Namibia's most important coastal wetlands, supporting eight endangered species among the large numbers of wading birds. Several archaeological sites dating back 1,000 years exist within the site. Human activities have included fishing, guano collection, and hunting. If our vehicles cannot drive all along the beach to get to Sandwich Harbour because of high tide, you will get a chance to see the lagoon area from one of our many beautiful lookout spots and will have the time to walk and explore. We have lots of time to stop along the way for photography.
When it becomes time to enjoy something to eat, your guide simply finds a suitable place to stop and serves a selection of oysters and snacks with sparkling wine, beers and cooldrinks. We usually do this on top of a high dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, between the dunes or on the beach.
Our excursion will take us past the area’s typical fauna and flora. Animals which have developed ways to adapt to the desert include the black-backed jackal, fog-basking beetle, dancing spider (‘white lady of the Namib’), golden mole, shovel-snouted lizard, palmato gecko, springbok, oryx, brown hyena and ostrich.
Endemic to the central Namib Desert, the !Nara plant has adapted well to the desert: Its tap root can reach more than 15m into the ground to reach water resources. They have no leaves to lower loss of water by transpiration.
The route homewards takes us over spectacularly high dunes and guests will experience some exilarating 4x4 driving, before arriving back on the beach for an easy cruise home.
Sandwich Harbour 4x4
Sandwich Harbour, part of the Namib Naukluft Park, is a place many have heard of but very few have ever visited. The lagoon, salt pans and the bird sanctuary, which form the Walvis Bay Wetlands, are rightly heralded as the single most important coastal wetlands of Southern Africa. It is one of five Ramsar sites in Namibia. Giant sand dunes run straight into the ocean, creating breathtaking sceneries and unique landscapes, just waiting to be discovered!