Around 55km south of Walvis Bay, Sandwich Harbour was once an exceptional Ramsar designated birding site. It was a natural freshwater lagoon and tidal mud flats, protected by a sand bar which led to an oasis of life and some of the highest densities of shorebirds in the world (counted at 7000 birds per square kilometre) The area is geomorphologically very active and, as happened in the late 1800s, the Atlantic has washed away the sand barrier and swamped the birds’ habitat. Some such as flamingos, pelicans, avocet, turnstones and Palearctic waders have therefore made their home further north towards Walvis Bay until such time as the lagoon may re-form.
The Sandwich Harbour area is inaccessible except by 4×4 and, even without such a birding draw, is still very worthwhile for birds seen en route as well as its scenic beauty. There are sites of archaeological interest and a chance to learn about the survival techniques and lives of the Topnaar (descendents of the !Khoi) both historical and recent. Animal encounters may include ostrich, springbok, jackal, Cape fox, brown hyena, gerbil, three-striped mice as well as desert-dwelling reptiles and insects.