Guest Contributor | Feb 21, 2024 | 0
Issued by the Public Relations & Customer Service Division of the Town Council of Walvis Bay
For decades Walvis Bay’s coastline has always been a popular choice for visitors to soak up the sun and cool breeze, while the more adventurous at heart take on the dunes and ocean in a variety of sports and recreational activities. In the past the festive season has also seen its share of injuries and damage to property due to irresponsible behaviour and disregard for road safety and fellow road users. Such behaviour not only spoils the festive mood but can cause the loss of lives. Similarly, the desert environment is home to many unique plants and small animals that are destroyed by such behaviour.
To ensure a peaceful and safe holiday, visitors are reminded of the municipal by-laws relating to the control of the seashore, the sea and its environment that have been in force since January 2004. The control over recreational activities and permissible routes for off-road vehicles and quad bikes as introduced by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism a few years ago remains in place.
Visitors are prohibited from dumping, depositing, leaving, spilling, dropping or placing anything that affects the cleanliness of beaches. This includes leaving behind bait, fish hooks or offal on the beaches.
These actions will be regarded as a health nuisance, alternatively as indecent or offensive behaviour, and carry fines of N$1,000.00 or three months imprisonment, or both. A similar fine will be imposed on those found guilty of damaging municipal property, notice boards, fences or any local authority building along the beaches. The Municipality appeals to everyone to report any vandalised, broken or damaged municipal facility by phoning 081 122 0888/0811220833.
Visitors are not allowed to camp on the seashore overnight. Bonfires or braai’s are not allowed on the beach unless suitable and removable containers are used. Do not leave ash or coals on the beach.
A fishing permit is required for recreational angling and can be obtained at the offices of the Ministry of Marine Resources and Fisheries in Walvis Bay or Swakopmund. For more information, please contact the offices in Swakopmund at 064 – 410 1000 or in Walvis Bay at 064 – 201 6111. Fishing is allowed at the Paaltjies area, and north of Walvis Bay up to the Swakop River mouth. Unwanted fish (sharks etc.) must be returned to the sea while bait and fishing tackle must be removed from the beach. Remember to use only the designated fish cleaning spots and refuse bins.
Off-road Vehicles and Quad Bikes
A permit is required for off-road or dune excursions by quad bike or four-wheel drive vehicles. Permits and identifying stickers are available free of charge at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism offices in Swakopmund (tel: 404 576) and Walvis Bay (tel: 205 971/2) and Dare Devil Adventures at Langstrand. No vehicles other than emergency services are allowed to drive in vegetated and fenced-off areas.
Quad bikes must be licensed and riders must wear helmets at all times. Quad bikes are only allowed in the central dune belt between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay as demarcated by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Motorbikes and quad bikes, other than registered tour operators with permission, are not allowed in the following areas:
on the beach between the Swakop River and Sandwich Harbour (including Pelican Point), between the low water mark and the first crest of the western side of the sea-facing dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay up to the Kuiseb Delta, on any unproclaimed roads or tracks on the eastern edge of the dune belt, any gravel plains, or anywhere in the Swakop River.
Four wheel drive vehicles are allowed near the beach area north of Langstrand up to the Swakop River mouth. No quad bikes or four-wheel drive vehicles are allowed between the northern edge of the Langstrand Resort and the southern tip of the Afrodite Beach development. The central dune area between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay may be accessed from the demarcated corridors opposite Langstrand, Dolphin Beach and at Dune 7.
The Municipal Traffic Division and Nampol Traffic will exercise strict control over road use and adherence to traffic rules and signs. Road blocks will be set up to ensure that road users adhere to traffic safety regulations. Road users are reminded to wear seat belts at all times and to adhere to the speed limits. Motorists should note that various speed limits apply between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Avoid drinking or using a cell phone while driving. Also make sure that you have your driver’s licence in the car when driving as well as the required emergency triangle. Switch on your headlights between dusk and dawn, and in foggy or hazy conditions.
Residents and visitors are reminded that it is prohibited to set off or burn fireworks in residential areas. Permission to shoot fireworks must be obtained from the Namibian Police. If permission has been granted, extreme care should be taken when handling or setting off fireworks. Do not allow children to play with or shoot fireworks. For advice on pyrotechnics, contact George King, pyrotechnician, at 0811285491.