When you’ve wandered around Port Nolloth and are looking to explore further, here are three great day trips, though for those farther afield you’ll need to make an early start!
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Just over an hour on a dirt road will lead you to Kleinzee, the once thriving town constructed around De Beers’ mining operation. Most parts are unrestricted and its possible to get to the deserted beach (The town is set back from the sea.) Its well worth a look around and a visit (pre-book) to the Crazy Crayfish restaurant.
It’ll only take you an hour on the dead-straight road north to the diamond town of Alexander Bay. Once a restricted area, a simple sign-in at the gate now allows you to mosey around the town. At the beach you can view the old diamond works, although the quaint diggers cottages on the beach have recently been demolished. Only the toughest of 4×4’s will make it to the Orange River and even then, if it’s been raining it’s a tough ask. But you can drive around the sprawling town and imagine what life was like for those working here. Few, (if any) amenities.
Roughly two hours from Port Nolloth takes you to the majestic Richtersveld mountain-desert, where wild flowers abound in spring. This World Heritage site has 33 plants endemic to the area and is one of the richest reservoirs of plant and animal life on the planet.
Just over two hours on dirt roads will get you to Hondeklipbaai, once the main port for the Namaqualand area. Here you’ll find the honde klip (stone that resembles a dog), wild flowers in season and B&B’s with names relating to dogs. There’s also the wreck of the Aristea to visit, a quaint coffee shop and a couple of beach pubs.
Namaqua National Park
Two and a half hours from Port Nolloth is the National Park – a great place to view flowers in season, birds aplenty and smaller game such as steenbuck, duikers, aardvark and caracal if you’re lucky. Note: some parts of the park require 4-WD vehicles.
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Words Ann Gadd
A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.