Walvis Bay International Airport is situated in western Namibia, around 15 kilometres from the town of Walvis Bay.
This area is known for its location on the edge of the Namib Desert, which stretches along Namibia’s coastline and is one of the world’s driest regions. Indeed, this arid landscape is known as the Skeleton Coast for its harsh conditions and legacy of shipwrecks.
Apart from the desert itself, nearby attractions for visitors include the coastal resorts of Swakopmund and Langstrand and the town of Walvis Bay.
However, the area’s activities aren’t restricted to tourism. Walvis Bay itself is home to one of southern Africa’s main deepwater harbours and the surrounding area is home to a number of mining and extraction industries. At the time of writing, most of the flights into Walvis Bay airport are domestic (Windhoek-Hosea Kutako) and regional (Johannesburg, South Africa).
However, the airport was upgraded significantly in 2016 to increase its ability to handle high volumes of cargo and widebody jets. The airport operator now hopes to expand the range of cargo and international passenger services on offer.
As a result, the airport now offers a full range of facilities, including car rental from well-known international firms. At the time of writing (August 2017), I was able to obtain quotes for car rental at Walvis Bay airport from the following companies:
- Bidvest Car Rental
A full range of cars was offered, including minivans, cargo vans, SUVs, compact and premium cars.
Driving tips for Namibia (from the official Namibia Tourism website):
- Drive on the left
- All passengers must wear seatbelts
- Carry your driving licence at all times. If your driving licence is not printed in English, then it is advisable to obtain an International Driving Permit.
- Many roads are gravel. Supplies of fuel and water tend to be further apart than in Europe or the USA. Keep your fuel tank topped up and carry water for drinking in case of delays or breakdowns.
- Make sure you have an up to date and detailed map before setting off on long journeys. Signage may be minimal or non-existent in rural areas.
- Avoid travelling at night, when the risk of hitting wildlife is much greater
For information about car hire at other airports in Namibia, click here.