Sandwich Harbour

T he reed-fringed lagoon at Sandwich Harbour, situated 48 km south of Walvis Bay at the foot of towering ivory-coloured dunes, is a spectacular and sought-after destination. The lagoon, referred to in old texts as Sandfisch Haven, is a former bay that became silted up over the years. Today especially anglers, ornithologists, photographers and nature lovers visit Sandwich.

The Sandwich area has a strange mystique, enhanced by the legend that buried somewhere in the dunes above the high-water mark is a ship with a rich cargo of ivory, gold and precious stones. This treasure has been searched for by many fortune hunters, but to date has eluded all. The lagoon is fed by fresh water seeping from an inland aquifer, and is a sanctuary for large numbers of coastal and freshwater birds. It is also an important breeding ground for a variety of fish species. Sandwich Harbour was proclaimed a RAMSAR site in 1995. It is one of five such protected wetlands in Namibia.

Permits to visit Sandwich are obtainable from the MET offices in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Sossusvlei and Windhoek. Please note that Sandwich is accessible only by 4×4 vehicles; that in certain areas angling and vehicles are prohibited; that angling is not allowed from 25 January to 15 April; and that overnight camping is not allowed here.

Kayaking at Sandwich Harbour. Photo ©Ron Swilling

Sandwich Harbour is accessible only by 4×4 vehicle. Photo ©Paul van Schalkwyk

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