The seal colony at Cape Cross
Cape Cross Excursion
You will be collected from your accommodation in Swakopmund and head up the coastal road in the northerly direction. Cape Cross is located about 130km from Swakopmund and along the route you will stop to marvel at the extensive lichen fields stretching away to the horizon, east of the coastal road. Another point of interest before you reach the holiday town of Henties Bay is the 'Free Republic of Wlotzka’s Baken', some 40km north of Swakopmund. This self-sustaining settlement of wooden cabins and bungalows on the beach is the haven of many beach anglers.
Once past the town of Henties Bay, the road leads past expansive salt pans where rock salt is mined and refined. Your guide will introduce you to the intricacies of salt crystals and saline algae, which are found in abundance. The Cape Cross peninsular is of both historical and ecological significance, as it is the site of one of the first landings by European seafarers.
It is also the home of some 200,000 cape fur seals. These fur seals are so-named for their thick pelt. Unlike true seals which have only a thin covering of hair, fur seals have a thick layer of short soft fur, which is protected by a layer of longer, harder hair. Most youngsters are born in November/December.
It was here that Diego Cao erected a stone cross in honour of a safe sea journey from Portugal in 1486. You guide will give you detailed explanations of the seal colony while highlighting the historic endeavours of early settlers, who mined guano and harvested seals here, where after you will be returned to Swakopmund.