Namibia: Walvis Bay, 20 August 2018

Walvis Bay

Total spent: 100 NAD (mostly food and drinks, provisioning for minibus ride the next day), 6000 Marriott Rewards points

Accommodation: Protea Walvis Bay

A key part of keeping to a tight budget on travels? Stuff your face with as much free food as possible – in this case, the inclusive hotel buffet breakfast – and keep hitting the grocery store for supplies, e.g. snacks, drinks, meals. I made the 1.5 mile trudge from Protea to town center of Walvis Bay. Walvis Bay is Namibia’s only commercial port, so expect to see a container port, and associated facilities, like a railway track. The town center of Walvis Bay is probably just about two/three blocks centered around a couple of supermarkets like Spar, Shoprite, etc.

I did chance upon a cute café, Slowtown Coffee Roasters, which is a Namibian chain headquartered in Swakopmund (Namibia’s Germanic beach retreat about 25 miles north of Walvis Bay), with branches also in Windhoek. After a leisurely latte, I ate some fried chicken at another local chain, Chicken King, then popped over to Spar to grab supplies.

The evening was spent trying to capture a better shot of the pelicans, which seem to like hanging around Pelican Bay in the evening.

Walvis Bay

Pelican Tires 😀

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Namibia: Minibus from Windhoek to Walvis Bay, 19 August 2018

Walvis Bay

Total spent: 300 NAD (250 NAD for shuttle bus, 50 NAD for food/drinks), 6000 Marriott Rewards points

Accommodation: Protea Walvis Bay

After my experience with the airport shuttle, I honestly didn’t have overly high expectations of Carlos’ Shuttle. Thankfully, I was proven wrong. I was given a timeframe of 6 – 7 am to wait for their shuttle, and at 6.30, one of their employees showed up. So for 250 NAD, I was on the five- hour journey from Windhoek to Walvis Bay.

I must be getting old, because by the time I showed up at Walvis Bay at 1 pm, I was wiped. The hotel is located at the edge of Walvis Bay, and in the evening, I saw some cool pelicans hanging out around the eponymous Pelican Bay. Being a Sunday, most places were closed, again.

Hotel Review: Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

Protea Walvis Bay is an 3-star Marriott-chain property located at the southern edge of Walvis Bay, overlooking Pelican Bay. This beautiful, two-story resort-like property is a category one property, and serves an excellent breakfast. A category one property, I got it at point savers, and paid 6000 Marriott Rewards points for this stay.

Elite Status: Marriott Platinum

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

Check In/Check Out

I arrived at 1.30, dropped off at the elegant entrance. When I showed up, I was informed that I was a bit too early for the 2 pm check in, so I’d just have to wait. Not a problem, I simply sat at one of their sofas in the reception and waited for my room.

Check out was fast.

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

Room

I was given a standard King room on ground floor with a deck leading to the property’s lawn. The room is average-sized, with the King bed occupying majority of the room. As a brief Marriott-Starwood merger Platinum, I was given an amenity, which consisted of fruit and snacks.

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

There was a lounge chair by the side, and a long table on one wall with power outlets. There’s also a mini-fridge.

The furniture gives the room a very resort décor, with its pink doors, and wood furniture. The aesthetics was very relaxing.

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

Bathroom

There’s a bathtub, toilet, and single sink. My main complaint is about the showerhead. I am 5”3ish (1.63 cm), and I had to stoop down to wash my hair. It was quite awkward. Otherwise, it worked well – it wasn’t too hard to get the shower to a desired temperature.

They use Earth Therapy as well at this property. I am not a fan of the fragrance, but I stopped packing shower gel so I just use what is provided. The shampoo didn’t dry out my hair, so that’s a plus.

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

Food

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

Breakfast is provided for all guests. It is located in a separate building that’s a short walk from the main building. The restaurant is beautiful, and has sweeping bay views. The breakfast provided was excellent, with a lot of hot stations. There was also an egg chef on standby for made-to-order eggs.   The middle of the room also has a long table filled with juices, yoghurt, fruit, cheese, breakfast pastries, etc. It was a very substantial breakfast. The flies are kinda annoying, though, but well, what can you do?

Service

Friendly and efficient.

Amenities

According to their website, they have off-site exercise facilities, but I didn’t enquire.

Overall

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay is a resort-like property, where you can check out the pelicans in the evening. It is about 2km+ from the town center, and there isn’t a lot around it. I had a relaxing stay, but if you need more amenities, e.g. restaurants, this might not be for you.

Protea Walvis Bay Pelican Bay

The Cheapskate’s Guide to Namibia: No Safaris, Just Hanging, 18 – 22 August 2018

Pelicans at Walvis Bay

Country Number: 68

Total spent: ~$400 + 22,500 Marriott Rewards Points, inclusive of flights into Namibia, 4 nights accommodation, and all expenses.

Number of Big Five seen: 0. I did see some pelicans, though.

My country counting ways really gets in the way of enjoyment sometimes. My friends tell me about the awesomeness of the safaris in Namibia, the dunes. You get the drift. Except, these activities cost money. However, I am currently on a mission to visit as many countries as possible, with the hope that I can hit the round number of 100, before I get a job again. I am currently at 67, and need another 33. I have ~2200 USD to do it, so in other words, I gave myself a budget of some 100 USD/week to do this. 100 USD/week is a lot of money in a lot of places. But you know how it’s not a lot of money? When you are trying to get from point to point. Those long distance buses, those necessary cab rides from the airport, those all add up.

May I present to you, the cheapskate’s way of visiting countries, miles and points required. It’s not going to involve anything spectacular – no safaris, no dune bashing, no quad bikes. But it does allow you to visit a new country.

Costs:

Flights (from Johannesburg): 300 USD on British Airways. You can get flights from ~200 if you book strategically

Accommodations: 25,500 Marriott Rewards Points (4 nights)

Other expenses: 1400 NAD (1100 NAD for transportation, 300 NAD for all other expenses)

Itinerary:

18 August: Johannesburg to Windhoek

19 August: Windhoek to Walvis Bay

20 August: Walvis Bay

21 August: Walvis Bay to Windhoek

22 August: Windhoek to Johannesburg

Slowtown Coffee Roasters, Walvis Bay, Namibia

Slowtown Coffee Roasters Walvis Bay Namibia

Slowtown Coffee Roasters

Location: Sam Nujoma Ave (opp. Spar Supermarket)

Hours: Monday – Friday, 07 00 – 16 30; Saturday, 08 00 – 13 30

Prices: From 18 NAD (Tea Selection/Cold Brew) to 38 NAD (Large Moccacino). A small latte is 24 NAD (~1.70 USD)

Wifi: Probably? It was password-protected. I didn’t enquire

Power Outlets: Sufficient.

Credit card: Most probably? I saw a PoS from Nedbank

Bathroom: Yes, and looked clean.

Capacity: ~ 40

Slowtown Coffee Roasters Walvis Bay Namibia

This lovely little coffee roaster is located in the town center of Walvis Bay, Namibia. It is conveniently located across the street from the Spar Supermarket.

This child-friendly café has both an indoor space, and an outdoor space. The outdoor space has a big playground with swing set and slide on a lawn. There’s also a deck with 4 4-seater round tops for parents to watch their playing children, while getting caffeinated.

Slowtown Coffee Roasters Walvis Bay Namibia

The indoor seating area has two parts. There’s a long bench with 8 single tables seating 16 by the wall, a long bar counter seating 6 dividing the room, and a lounging area with sofa/lounge seating on the other side of the indoor area.

The latte I ordered was smooth. They also sell beans on site, ranging from places like Honduras, Colombia to African beans like Rwanda and Ethiopia. There are some sandwiches, cakes and pastries for sale as well if you feel the munchies.

Slowtown Coffee Roasters Walvis Bay Namibia

Slowtown Coffee Roasters Walvis Bay Namibia

Slowtown Coffee Roasters Walvis Bay Namibia