- Port Nolloth
Diamond Coast's romantic misty Seaport
Port Nolloth, the only resort town on the Diamond Coast, lies near the southern Richtersveld region, at the top end of Namaqualand in the far north-western corner of South Africa.
Today this harbour town serves mainly as a fishing village for the crayfishing industry and its closest neighbours are Springbok, 120 km northwest and Steinkopt, 90 km to the west. There is something magical about this mostly misty Port and driving into the town gives a feeling of a frontier village at the end of a desert. The seaside village has a laid-back and relaxing feel, perfect for the holiday traveller looking for a quiet getaway.
There is not much to do in this sleepy town, but outdoor activities are plentiful from hiking, bird-watching and beach walks to 4x4 trails and typical Namaqualand flower and nature reserve exploring. Visitors are attracted to the town to soak up the sun and the quiet solitude of the area. McDougalls Bay has some beautiful beaches with calm seas where you can swim, kayak or fish for Snoek or Yellowtail if you have a permit.
Almost everyone in Port Nolloth is involved in diamonds or tourism and the seaside village has unique accommodation on offer. Visitors can rent a seaside cottage or plan a stay in a quaint Bed & Breakfast, either way the charm of the town will have you coming back again and again.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Port Nolloth Museum
- George’s Spot
- Port Nolloth Beach / Grazia de Beer Beachfront
- McDougalls Bay Beach
- The Salt Pans
- Willem Koegelenberg Park
- Akkedis Pass
- Port Nolloth Lighthouse
- Hondeklipbaai Lighthouse
- Richtersveld National Park
Port Nolloth receives approximately 50mm of rain per year with most of its annual rainfall during winter.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 8˚C and 20˚C.
There are the occasional domestic flights into Upington Airport which is approximately 535 km away from Port Nolloth. A more popular route however, is to fly to Cape Town and travel the 720 km along the N7 to Port Nolloth, stopping along the way at the many wonderful West Coast towns. Car hire facilities are available at all Airports.
Port Nolloth, once known by the indigenous Namaqua people as “Aukwatowa” meaning, “where the water took away the old man” was the last landfall Bartolomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer sighted before his ship was blown off course.
When the European settlers arrived there were many seals in the Bay and so they named it “Robbe Bay”, translated in English meaning “seal Bay”. In 1854 Capt. M. S. Nolloth, a surveyor of the Royal Navy, picked on this place for the development of a port for the Namaqualand Copper Mines and a harbour for small vessels was established behind the reef and a narrow-guage railway was built to the mines in the interior. This means Port Nolloth essentially started its life as a railway junction.
The Diamond Coast had its beginnings here in Port Nolloth in 1925, when the first alluvial diamond was found just south of the town at Oubeep. Ever since then Port Nolloth has been connected to diamonds although the commercial mining of diamonds from the sea only began in the 1970’s.
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