Taking festive season precautions
TO ensure a safe and peaceful holiday this year, visitors to the coast and Walvis Bay in particular are reminded of the municipal regulations relating to the control of the seashore, the sea and its environment that have been in force since January 2004. Here are some tips from Walvis Bay Municipality on how to avoid a fine or worse.
Visitors and coastal residents alike 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 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 contacting Tel 064- 275 000 / 081 128 3238. Photos can be emailed to email@example.com
Camping at Langstrand
Visitors are not allowed to camp on the seashore overnight. Bonfires or braais are not allowed on the beach, unless suitable and removable containers are used. Do not leave ash or coals on the beach.
No pets are allowed in the camping area. No driving of quadbikes in the camping sites is allowed.
Pet owners should pick up their pet droppings from all walkways and grass areas.
A fishing permit is required for recreational angling and can be obtained at the offices of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Walvis Bay or Swakopmund. For more info, 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 064-404 576) and Walvis Bay (Tel 064-205 971/2) and Dare Devil Adventures at Langstrand. Only emergency services are allowed to drive in vegetated and fenced-off areas.
When using public roads, 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.
Motorbikes and quad bikes (other than registered tour operators with permission) are not allowed
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 un-proclaimed roads or tracks on the eastern edge of the dune belt, any gravel plains, or anywhere in the Swakop River.
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. Roadblocks are set up to ensure that road users adhere to traffic safety regulations. Road users must wear seat belts at all times and 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 ensure 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. Permission to shoot fireworks must be obtained from the police and fire department. If permission is granted, extreme care should be taken when handling or setting off fireworks. Do not allow children to play with or shoot fireworks. For events, please contact George King (pyrotechnician) for further clarification on 0811285491.