The Lagoon, Walvis Bay, Namibia
 

Walvis Bay Lagoon

 

Myriad birds frequent the area all around The Raft Restaurant which is situated in Walvis Bay Lagoon and it is enchanting to just sit and watch them.

 

At low tide the ‘Greater Flamingoes’ are busy stomping in seemingly endless circles in the sand, flushing out the crustaceans. Their squawking squabbles over the tasty titbits are really amusing. The smaller ‘Lesser Flamingoes’ parade in their pretty pink feathers, positively proud, that they are pinker than their ‘Greater’ relations.

 

Walvis Bay Lagoon at sunrise

Damara Terns use dive bomber tactics as they fly over the surface spotting fish from six or seven metres above the water and plummeting repeatedly with amazing accuracy, surfacing vertically straight into the air with their catch, only to become a potential victim themselves under the attack of a Kelp Gull trying to steal the hard won prize.

 

Black knecked Grebes are soooooo cute.

Paddling across the lagoon in little gangs, only to suddenly disappear, all at the same time – popping up again 15 seconds later in perfect unison.Olympic champion synchronized swimmers!! 

 

 Cape Cormorants with their Piercing Turquoise eyes, set off beautifully by a Bright yellow ring, perch on the old jetty after a mornings successful fishing, lifting up their wings for a blow-dry from the afternoon breeze  coming in from the South West. You can almost sense them competing against the White Breasted Cormorants in a ‘who’s the best groomed?’ competition.

 

Walvis Bay lagoon sunset

Our resident Grey Heron can be spotted in the shadows at night under The Raft, elegantly strutting his stuff in search of eels making sure any other Herons around know that it’s ‘his patch’ by letting out an occasional long, loud, grating screech. He is seemingly regardless of the fact that one day a younger, smarter heron will come along and claim ‘the patch’ as he did himself from the scraggy old guy that was here when The Raft was built.

 

Other regular visitors include Avocets with their long curly beaks,

Black-winged Stilts with their long skinny legs in red stockings,

Bar-tailed Godwits – a must see if only because of their name(!),  so too the Little Stints and Whimbrels, to name but a few.

 

Floodlights set the lagoon alight at night offering a stage for the ‘Greater Flamingo Ballet’, the ‘Bobbing Hartlaubs Gulls’ and the ‘Performing Seals’ on their nightly hunt.

 

On lucky lunchtimes Atlantic Bottle-nosed Dolphins take a detour into the lagoon on their way up and down the coast between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, they too can put on quite an aerobatic show to the delight and frantic camera clicking of all the diners in the restaurant.

 

Then of course The Raft would not be The Raft without the impressive Eastern White Pelicans, circling in a huge V formation like B52 Bombers, gliding down to land on the surface of the lagoon, skidding to an elegant halt, sending an impressive spray of surf out in front of them that any world champion water skier would be proud of. Along with the respect they deserve just for managing to carry about such a huge beak, a round of applause should be given each time they manage to take off from a sitting start with such a big tummy – mind you there’s quite a lot of flapping and paddling involved, sometimes it looks like they might not quite pull off the launch – but they always do!!

 

 What they say about us;

If you are in Namibia you need to visit the Raft
I love the Raft,  I have been there about a dozen times over the last 2 years and always look forward to coming back.  Great staff, great manager and tonight I finally met the owner Sarah who is just lovely.   I love this place, if you are in Namibia then you need to come to the Raft, Its the best place to eat in town. I recommend it to everyone I know.  The food is excellent, the view is spectacular, its a great place to spend a night with your family or freinds.  I have been here about a dozen times over the past couple of years and always look forward to coming back.  If I had one complaint it would have to be - the Crocodile was off the menu... (sorry, but I do love the Bushmans Platter with the Crocodile)  Thank you to you all, I look forward coming back next week before returning to the UK.  David Carroll Director Purple Pear Creations Web Design Ltd UK  PS Get yourself a Facebook page so we can all like everything about the Raft... 

What a pleasure to find such a great place on our travels through Namibia.

We liked it so much we came back twice. -S. R. Australia

We are from California-USA, and your restaurant was a perfect end to our time in Namibia. -Joseph

Les Otaries ne font pas assez de spectacle.Superbe soirée, -Mera Switzerland

The best seafood I have ever eaten! -Natalia Czechoslovakia

Thoroughly enjoyed our evening. Lovely atmosphere, warm fire, friendly staff and divine food. Great to visit you in Walvis. Would love to come back one day. Thanks for excellent service. -C.W.G.

Sorry but we think you have to move your outstanding, extraordinary restaurant to another place- our home town in Austria for example. We will be back. Svelyn and Chuish

Ein lob an die gute kuche!! Wir waren sehr zufriendin G.Germany

Quality is when the client comes back not the product. We’ll come back. -M. P.

Have been coming here since 1 ½ years ago, when we moved to Walvis Bay Best in Southern Africa!  -Victor & Hanlé

Excellent Restaurant! The finest place we have eaten in Namibia!  A.P. UK

Congratulations to the chef! C. I. Belguim

We wish we lived nearer to you, so we could be regular customers. This was our first experience at your Restaurant and we will be back!  -Mike & Linda Liverpool