Formerly known as the Sperrgebiet National Park, the Tsau Khaeb has been closed off from the public for about 100 years now and this has made the Park become one of the best jewels that are untouched with natural beauty and a jewel waiting to be discovered by the tourists who visit the country. The name Tsau Khaeb came from the locals and it can loosely be translated as soft sand with Tsau meaning soft and Khaeb meaning soft. The Park was originally closed off after the German colonialists discovered a diamonds in the nearby Kolmanskop town which is now a ghost town and it was meant to keep away all those who would want to smuggle the diamonds through the park. Even though the closure of the park came with many disadvantages, the only advantage it brought was that all the wild life that was in the National Park was preserved and so was the vegetation.
It is considered by many as one of the many new protected areas that have been opened up to protect the wildlife and it was opened up in the year 2008. Ardent birders refer to it as a top birding spot and biodiversity area due to the presence of one of the most rare bird species which is the Karoo bird. There are many tourist attraction sites within the National Park and some of these include bird species which are believed to be about 200 or more, the wild animals that habitate within the Park, the abundant vegetation, the orange River, a few sand dunes, valleys and many more others and all these will keep you entertained throughout your stay in the Park.
How to get to the Tsau Khaeb Park
The Tsau Khaeb National Park is located just a few kilometers away from the Lüderitz town making it an easy place for tourists to access. You can still drive form the capital city of Namibia that is Windhoek, through Lüderitz and get to the Park in a normal car that is it is not necessary for you to get a 4×4 car. You will however need to first get permits and an experienced local tour guide in order for you to be allowed easy access into the National Park.
When you get to the Tsau Khaeb National Park, some of the activities that you can carry out and a few of them have been listed below so that you can decide what to begin with and tick them off your to do list.
Birding in the Tsau Khaeb National Park
The National Park has about 200 bird species that breed within the different breeding spots that are found within the Park. The Park is mostly filled with wetland birds and sea birds and not forgetting the migratory birds that fly into the Park during the dry season. Birding in the Tsau Khaeb can be done throughout the whole year although if you want to see the migratory birds that come from the different parts on the African continent, then the best time is between the months of November to April.
A few bird species that you will find while in the Tsau Khaeb National Park include penguins, the Karoo bustard, the African black oystercatcher, the Dune lark which is endemic, the pink lesser flamingo, the Goliath heron, the cape gannet, purple heron, the Damara tern which is near endemic, the Maccoa duck, black headed canary, the greater flamingo, the sacred Ibis and many more others.
Take bush walks through the Park
The Tsau Khaeb National park has numerous trek routes that were marked so as to ease the bush walks of tourists. These are carried out with the guidance of a tour guide and in most cases very early in the morning during the summer months before the heat experienced in the park becomes unbearable. While on your bush walks you will learn how to track down the different animals in the park, get to see all the small animals that you might have missed while driving through, learn how to survive in the wild through the stories that are told by the tour guides, learn of the different medicinal uses of the trees that are found within the park and also get to see some bird species that live in the trees and as you head out for the walks don’t forget to carry lots of water so that you remain hydrated.
The vegetation within the Park
As earlier on noted, the tau Khaeb National park has a bout of vegetation that is a sight for all those that have a great love for botany and since the park has been closed off for quite a while, the tree that and grass lands that make up the vegetation are untouched and have that wild nature to them. so for all botanists wanting to explore the National park, some of the best vegetation species that you will see include the quiver trees, the Acacia Karoo, the southern desert trees and the riverine woodland just to mention but a few. And while you are here, you will also get to see a few of the wild animals and birds that habitate within these trees and the grass lands.
Game viewing in the Tsau Khaeb National Park
The National park a haven for wild animals which are best seen almost all throughout the whole year.. it is a home to about 120 reptiles which have been recorded on top of the many animals that are recorded and these include the Oryx, the grey rhebok, springboks, the southern right whale, the cape fur seal, brown hyenas, the black backed jackal, cheetahs although these are rarely seen, the bat eared fox, African wild cat, clawless otters, leopards but these are also rare among other species. The best time for animal viewing is when there is minimal rain which is practically the whole year although it is best to go during the cooler months of May to September as the heat sometimes becomes unbearable.
Explore the ghost town of Kolmanskop
The ghost town of Kolmanskop is located next to the National Park and it was the sole reason as to why the National park was closed down all those many years ag because it was a diamonds gold mining town. Although at the moment there is hardly anything to see besides the dilapidated houses and a few locals who have remained in the town living in these dire conditions, a trip to the town will show all tourists what a ghost town really looks like especially those who have never seen one.
Formerly occupied by the Germans, the city is one place that you should visit while in Namibia. Many of the locals who live here tend to communicate in German and most of the buildings that are located within the town are of German architecture and a visit to the town will make you feel like you are in a mini German country coupled with all the activities that you can carry out while here. Some of which include:
- Exploring the beaches that are found in Lüderitz and this is a relaxing time for many.
- Check out the famous German architecture which covers almost all the town buildings.
- Visit the locals and get to learn more about their traditions and cultures.
- Drive to the Namib Desert and enjoy activities around the sand dunes.
- Shop for souvenirs at the different shops in town
- Visit the Lüderitz peninsular which is the nearest attraction to the Tsau Khaeb National park.
When to visit the Tsau Khaeb Park
The Tsau Khaeb National Park can be visited almost throughout the whole year but since it experiences two seasons that is the long dry season and the seasonal rainy season, these highly determine the right time for tourists to visit the park. However even the activities that one would want to carry out while in park also act as determinants as to when one should visit the National park.
The Tsau Khaeb National park experiences the hot and dry season in the months of November to April and although the temperatures are at times unbearable during these months, it is the best time for tourists to go for birding. The cooler season in the park is experienced between the months of May to October and this is the recommended time for all to visit the National Park.
The peak season in the Tsau Khaeb is experienced between the month of July to November and this can also be attributed to the fact that is the high season in the nearby Lüderitz town and therefore if you are planning on visiting within these months, you should be ready to pay the high rates that are put on all the services from accommodation to transport and also mingle with an extremely large crowd.
For all those that prefer to avoid the large crowds and the high rates, the Tsau Khaeb National park experiences its low season in the months of December to June and during this time all the accommodation rates, transport rates and other things are down so this is the right time for all tourists who are on a fixed budget but would like to explore the National Park.