Adventure Nature

Discover the Enchanting Beauty of Namibia’s Pink Lake

pink lake walvis bay
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Namibia has a lot to offer to tourists even with its small population but did you about Pink Lake Walvis Bay?

It’s an interesting scenery on all fronts and the water levels rise tremendously after every wet season. This ‘lake’ adds to the rugged sceneries in Namibia, the Sossusvlei dunes included. Beyond the pink horizon, there is a lot of beauty and appreciation for nature to take in.

While it is less visited, it is magical by sight and has a unique Namibian aura.

Where is Pink Lake in Namibia?

The little-known yet beautiful Pink Lake is at Walvis Bay located in Namibia’s Western Coast.  This rare scenery is located 360km from Windhoek, Namibia’s capital and only 20 minutes away from Swakopmund, a major port city in this Southern African country.

Pink Lake Namibia

Nambia’s Pink Lake at Walvis Bay. Photo/Twitter

Walvis Bay is among the few natural harbours found on the Namibian coast. Deep waters characterize it; it’s a major fishing zone and commercial hub due to its port status. Walvis is breathtakingly surrounded by the famous Namib Desert on its East while the Atlantic Ocean surrounds it to the West. These geographic sceneries make it a favourite outdoor vacation spot.

Why is it Called the Pink Lake?

If you always wonder where Pink Lake Walvis Bay status comes from, here is why. The waters are pink in colour due to the high amount of salt deposits and other minerals. Also known as Sossusvlei Dead Vlei or Dead Vlei this water body is more of a water pan with white clay soil beneath. However, due to the salt concentration of the water, it appears pink in colour which glitters more during sunset and sunrise.

Vegetation here is sparse due to the soil’s nature but surreal landscape surroundings make up for the lack of vegetation. Sossusvlei sand dunes grace your view on the east and this is a haven for nature photographers, hikers and other travel enthusiasts.

How Did The Pink Lake Turn Pink?

Do you wonder what led to Pink Lake Walvis Bay having this colour? Scientifically, the presence of salt-tolerant algae like Dunaliella salina which reacts with a particular bacteria, Halobacteria gives the pink colour. These bacteria have a pigment called carotenoids that gives the water a pinkish or reddish colour, and they flourish in high-salinity conditions like salt flats or salt lakes.

Pink Lake’s salty deposits remain after evaporation as a result of high temperatures and low humidity. This creates an active microorganism environment beneath and this reaction gives off the pink colour.

Is There A Pink Salt Lake In Walvis Bay?

Pink Lake Walvis Bay in Namibia exists. It is a result of concentrated salt deposits coupled with high temperatures and low humidity which create a perfect ground for microorganisms’ chemical reactions. Beyond the fascinating pink hues, Walvis Bay gives you the following.

Walvis Bay pink lake

Pink Lake at Walvis Bay Namibia. Photo/Red Fedora

Flamingos: A sizable colony of flamingos abounds in the lagoon’s shallow waters near Walvis Bay.

Dune 7: This is the highest sand in the Namib Desert and you have an opportunity to scale to the top and enjoy the beauty of the landscape beneath.

Dolphin watching and Kayaking:  A boat tour is available and it gives you memorable times from the sights of dolphins. You can also kayak as the bay’s waters are pretty calm.

Pelican Point: Pelican Point is a long peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, and is only a short drive from Walvis Bay. Here, Cape fur seals sunbathe on the rocks with other colony members.

Namib-Naukluft National Park: While at Pink Lake Walvis Bay, visit the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The park is home to springbok, ostriches, oryx and an array of other wildlife.


Pink Lake Walvis Bay in Namibia is an amazing destination for intrepid travellers. It is among the unique and picturesque destinations in Africa offering a dozen wonders in one. Visiting the lake gives you an opportunity to enjoy the amazing sights of the globally famed Sossusvlei sand dunes and the Namib Desert by extension. Isn’t it a big natural wonder that there would be massive pans with salt deposits in the midst of Africa’s most renowned deserts? That’s the beauty of Namibia’s Pink Lake. It gives you more than one reason to add it to your bucket list.

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About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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