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Walvis Bay(wôl`vĭs), municipality (1991 pop. 12,100), W central Namibia, on Walvis Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. Walvis Bay is Namibia's most important port and the terminus of a railroad from the hinterland. Fishing fleets are stationed there, and the town has fish canneries. Salt is harvested. The Walvis Bay and its surrounding region were annexed by Great Britain in 1878 and incorporated into the Cape Colony. When South West Africa (now Namibia) was annexed (1884) by Germany, Walvis Bay became a British exclave administered by the Cape Colony. It was administered by South West Africa from 1922 until 1978 when South Africa regained control. The Walvis Bay exclave, c.430 sq mi (1,110 sq km), was retained by South Africa upon Namibia's independence (1990). In 1994 the exclave was relinquished and Namibia gained its only deepwater port and established a free-trade zone there. Walvis Bay is home to a large population of flamingos and is an internationally designated wetland and a migration point for many thousands of sea birds and waders, including Arctic terns, which make a 9,000-mi (14,500-km) journey from Siberia to feed there. It is also known as Walfisch Bay and Walvisbaai.
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Walvis Bay, Walfish Bay
a port in Namibia, on the Atlantic: formed an exclave of South Africa, covering an area of 1124 sq. km (434 sq. miles) with its hinterland, but has been administered by Namibia since 1992; formally returned to Namibia in 1994; chief port of Namibia and rich fishing centre. Pop.: 40 849 (2001)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005