1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Walfish Bay

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Walfish Bay, a harbour of South-West Africa with a coast-line of 20 m. terminated southward by Pelican Point in 22° 54′ S., 14° 27′ E. It belongs to Great Britain, together with a strip of territory extending 15 m along the coast south of Pelican Pomt and with a depth inland from 10 to 15 m. The total area is 430 sq m. Except seaward Walfish Bay is surrounded by German South-West Africa. The northern boundary is the Swakop river, east and south there are no natural frontiers. The coast district, composed of sand dunes, is succeeded by a plateau covered in part with sparse vegetation. The river Kuisip, usually dry, has its mouth in the bay — which forms the finest harbour along a coast-line of over 1000 m. The harbour is provided with a pier 200 yds. long and is safe in all weathers. It was formerly frequented by whaling vessels (hence its name). The town has a small trade with the Hereros of the adjoining German protectorate. A tramway, 11 m. long, runs inland to Rooikop on the German frontier. Pop. (1904), 997, including 144 whites.

Walfish Bay forms a detached portion of the Cape province of the Union of South Africa. It was proclaimed British territory on the 12th of March 1878, and was annexed to Cape Colony on the 7th of August 1884 (see Africa, § 5). The delimitation of the southern frontier was in 1909 referred to the king of Spain as arbitrator between Great Britain and Germany.