Bird Island - Swakopmund
  • Swakopmund

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  • Longitude: 14.535853
  • Latitude: -22.878535
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Bird Island - Swakopmund

Between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, a wooden platform, 200 m offshore was erected on ''Bird Rock'' in 1932 by a carpenter named Adolf Winter, who had studied the behaviour of sea birds. In spite of his critics who called the structure ''Winter's Folly'' he embarked on the project and eventually became a millionaire.

Adolf Winter, a German who emigrated to South West Africa (now known as Namibia) in 1912. Winter took a train from Swakopmund to nearby Walvis Bay and saw a natural offshore formation called Bird Rock, covered in guano from many birds. On the return trip he noticed the guano had been washed away by the sea, and saw a business opportunity.

Bird Island began as a wooden platform measuring four meters square, three meters above the sea. Winter finished this initial construction in March 1930. One year later he had enlarged the platform to 16 meters square, and by August 1931 had extended it to 1600 square meters. Guano was collected and sold annually, and expansion of the platform continued at a slower pace until 1937, when a large shipment of timber allowed building the platform out to its current size of 17,000 square meters.

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