Cape Cross Seal Reserve

The cape cross seal reserve covers a small part of the skeleton coast and is known to be the only place on the coast of Namibia that has the largest number of seals. It is rarely visited for the activities that are carried out there but everyone who travels to that part of the country makes a stopover at the place to see and find out whether it has more to offer other than the seals that are located at the coast. A brief history about the cape cross seal reserve and how it was formed is that it was discovered by the Portuguese explorer known as Diego Cao. He sailed to the Namibian coast and set up a stone cross in honor of the then Portuguese Juan the first and it is from this stone that this coastal area got its name from. The government of Namibia has done its level best to protect these fur seals and although it has not been an easy task, they have managed to at least safeguard more than 1000 fur seals in the region.

A trip to the cape cross in Namibia takes just a few hours before it comes to an end and if it is your first time, you will think that there is absolutely nothing for you to do while here but you will be shocked at the many activities and tourist attraction sites that are found in the cape cross. Some of the activities that you can carry out when you visit the cape cross include the following:

Drive to the Messum crater

The Messum crater which is what was left on only thing that was left of a volcano that can no longer be seen in the area is one of the tourist attraction sites that can be visited while in the Cape cross reserve. The roads leading to the Messum are not so good and therefore you will need a 4×4 car to take you there and since there are so many turns on the road, it is much better if you have a tour guide with you or you can buy a map so that you do not get lost. Some of the interesting things that you will see here include rock paintings that are dated to about 1000 years ago, the crater itself, the different archeological sites that are found in the area and the endemic plant which is known as the Welwitschia mirabilis and this is believed to grow and live for more than one thousand years.

Buy souvenirs from the souvenir stands

These are located within the cape cross and are located approximately a mile away from each other near the salt mine that got bust a few years ago. The creepiest and most exciting thing about these stands is that there are no people attending to them but you will find salt packed and other small items and then there is a jar that you will find where you are supposed to put the money in case you find something you like. It will feel like there is no one watching you but they are always there and when you leave, the people come and collect their money and add more souvenir products.

Go and explore the skeleton coast

The skeleton coast is just a few kilometers away from the cape cross and once here there are exciting things that you can get your hands on in order for you to enjoy your safari in Namibia. This is a very good place for you to go for a photo safari as you will find a lot of shipwrecks along the coast that are believed to have belonged to pirates, skeletons of whales that have been washed up and this is one of the reasons as to why it is sometimes referred to as the coast of death. The gate leading to the skeleton coast is known as the Ugab coast and once you get to the gate, the coast guard will give you a permit which will allow you to explore skeleton coast to the fullest.

 

Visit the Hinterland

The place might look like it has nothing to offer you but when you look at the hills in the area, you will be mesmerized with what they have to offer you. You can decide to take a hike up the hinterland hills and you will be surprised with the number of wild life animals that habitates within the hills as these are used to the harsh cold weather conditions that are experienced in the area. Some of the animal species that you can visit while here include chameleons, gemsbok, tortoise, the brown hyena, springbok, the jackals, scorpions and many more other species.

The Hinterland hills are also filled with Desert flowers that cannot be found anywhere but you need to be careful as you drive or hike through the area because due to the fact that they are delicate and take long to grow back, it is advisable that you use the routes that have been clearly marked for trekking and driving in order to avoid bringing harm to them and it is also better if you go with a tour guide so that you keep on the right track and not get lost.

Hang out with seals

The cape cross is the best place for one to get a great and close at the seals that are in the area. The best time to see the seals is between the months of October and November as this is the time when the seals give birth and many of them can be seen at the coast playing in the sand. There is however a massive seal killing known as the sea cull that normally takes place from the month of July to October and it is done very early in the morning before the Park opens. But besides that you get a clear view of the seals from the platforms that were put in place for tourists to use while watching out for the seals. As you head down to the cape cross seal reserve, note that you are not allowed to feed these animals and if found it is criminal. The only thing you are supposed to is to watch and learn more about their behavior and it also does not matter when you should visit because any time you go the reserve, you will find seals along the coast.

There are thousands of seals that habitate within the cape cross and these can be seen at the coast lazing around and even though they are quite a sight to see, it is better if you carry a face mask to cover your nose because the stench that comes with all the many seals in one place is too much in that most people cannot handle it. The best way for one to get to the cape cross seal reserve is by driving from Swakopmund with a tour guide and a 4×4 car due to the bad roads that are found in the area and since the tour is just a few hours, you can either camp around the skeleton coast or book a room in Swakopmund and get to enjoy some of the best things that the cape seal cross reserve has to offer.

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