Home to one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world, Cape Cross is a majestic sight with hundreds, if not thousands, of seals and adorable pups basking in the sun. This amazing sight along the beautiful coastline is a must during your visit to Namibia.
In 1484, Portugal King Joao II ordered navigator and explorer Diogo Cao to search for a sea route to India and the Spice Islands, choosing some particularly salient points along the undiscovered regions of west coast of Africa enroute to claim them for Portugal by setting up on each of those points a stone cross called padrao.
Cao reached Cape Cross in January 1486 and planted two padraos, one in Monte Negro, and the second at Cape Cross. The name Cape Cross was derived from this padrao. Corvette captain Gottlieb Becker of the German Navy removed the original Cape Cross padrao in 1893 and took it to Berlin. A simple wooden cross was put in its place. The wooden cross was replaced two years later by a stone replica.
At the end of the 20th century another cross similar to the original one, was erected at Cape Cross, and hence there are two crosses now.
People began to settle in Cape Cross in 1895, when guano (Inca word for a mix of eggshell, feathers, decayed corpses and bird excrement used as fertilizer) was discovered. It was called 'white gold' and even today is harvested from platforms off Namibia's coast.
Seal colony - A sight to behold, thousands of seals fighting, courting, mating and birthing along the beautiful coastline. The first sightings of Cape fur seals was recorded in 1884 and has been a reserve since 1969. The sights of fighting bulls defending their territory, cows protecting and nursing their as well as the playful pups themselves are enthralling.
Messum Crater - Located in the Namibian Goboboseb Mountains and within the Dorob National Park, is the remainder of a gigantic volcanic eruption. Messum Crater is very mysterious and the arid landscape makes it almost eerie. The rock paintings in the Brandberg Mountain area is testimony to the artistic abilities of San Bushmen 5000 years ago, who left behind rock paintings to make us fantasize about their ways of life.
Ugab River Trail - considered to be one of Africa's toughest hiking challenges, one might find a lion, elephant or rhino occasionally wandering along the river. The trail in itself is very scenic and also educational.
Lichen Fields - The vast expanses of the desert may seem bare of vegetation, however, upon closer look you will see the tiny and very impressive plants called the lichens, that are endemic to the Namib Desert. It is estimated that some of the lichen fields in the Namib Desert are hundreds or even thousands of years old.
Cape Cormorants, Blacknecked Grebes, Greater Flamingos and Lesser Flamingos, Chestnutbanded Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stints, Kelp Gulls, Hartlaub's Gulls, Swift Terns and Damara Terns are some of the most commonly found birds in Cape Cross.
Scorpions, chameleons, gemsbok, springbok, brown hyena, black-backed jackal, tortoise and horned adder, amongst others are some of the animals to be looked out for in Cape Cross.
Average daytime temperatures during November and December range between 82-86°F (28-30°C), it is also the best time to visit the Cape Cross Seal Reserve as the breeding season is November and December.
There is no public transportation to the area. Drive on the C34 highway for about 60 kilometres north of Hentiesbaai and 120 km north of Swakopmund on the west coast of Namibia to reach Cape Cross.