marine life of Namibia
A dolphin is really a toothed whale. As a whale is a mammal, therefore so are dolphins. Along with whales and porpoises, they are known as cetaceans which are fish-shaped sea mammals. There are 79 species of cetaceans around the world and 38 types have been recorded in the waters of southern Africa.
Dolphins belong to the suborder called Odontoceti. This is why they are toothed whales using the one set of teeth for life - all the same shape. They feed mainly on fish or squid and are also capable of echolocation (they emit sound waves which bounce off other objects). If the dolphin detects an echo, it will know there is another object in the way.
They are very sociable animals and can be found in large schools. This behaviour is twofold; it allows them to find prey more easily, whilst at the same time providing protection for each other from predators such as sharks. They are much loved in human culture because of their friendly appearance and seemingly playful attitude, popularized by the 1963 movie - Flipper. The subsequent 1964 television series portrayed a (Bottlenose) dolphin as the sea version of Lassie, who understood human commands and like the Canadian Mountie, 'always got his man'. In Douglas Adams 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', dolphins are the second most intelligent species on earth - after mice!
Dolphins have a keen sense of eyesight, both in and out of the water, and it has been proved that they can hear frequencies 10 times or more above the upper limit of adult humans. Hearing is also used for echolocation and it is widely believed that dolphin teeth function as an antenna to receive incoming sound and to pinpoint the exact location of an object.
Dolphins adopt a hunting tactic by herding a shoal of fish whilst a few of them at a time take it in turns to feed, whilst the others keep the shoal together. This process continues until they have all eaten. As some species of smaller fish head closer to the shoreline in search of warmer water, then dolphins will follow in to feed. Other species will only hunt out in deeper waters though.
If you are keen on seeing dolphins while in Namibia it is a good idea to join one of the dolphn cruises from Walvis Bay. Dolphins commonly seen in Namibian waters include:
- Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
- Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
- Dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus)
- False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens)
- Heaviside's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii)
- Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)
- Long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melaena)
- Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata)
- Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus)
- Rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis)
- Southern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii)
5km from the town center and within walking distance of the lagoon
A business hotel close to the town center
This colonial style lodge on the Walvis Bay Lagoon is the ideal place from which to explore the central Namibian coast
A bright & cozy lodge overlooking the lagoon and close to all of the cities amenities
A small, upmarket, owner managed guest house offering excellent views over the Walvis Bay lagoon
Well situated with views over the lagoon and close to the ever popular Raft Restaurant
Adjacent to a light house on a remote peninsula near the town of Walvis Bay. Pelican Point Lodge offers luxurious accommodation in a tranquil, remote & unspoiled environment
A friendly & relaxing eight roomed guest house