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Last updated on 24 Jan 2020

This page can also be seen as "tourist attractions" in Port Nolloth. Within the context of this website we prefer however to refer to it as "features", which gives us a wider scope of characteristics of the town and the environment to work with.

Some of the features that we cover on this page, also have related text and photo articles written about them on the "Articles" page of this website. In instances where that is the case, you can follow the "View article" link next to the feature.

Diamonds - the Gems of the West Coast

A visit to the harbour area of Port Nolloth let you "feel" the vibe of brave men, wealth and poverty, the moods of the sea, expectations and devastation, mining giants and backdoor dealers, and the knowledge that now at the start of 2012, the diamond deposites have been depleted to a large extent, and that new ways have to be found to maintain the economy of the area.

View article

The diamond boats with their characteristic trailing hoses.

The board erected in the harbour area explaining diamond mining on the West Coast.

De Beers behind high fencing.

High security harbour entrance.

Restored steam locomotive and loading trolley

These items on display in the harbour area depicts Port Nolloth as a copper export harbour for the copper mining industry in Springbok, Okiep and Nababeep, in the years 1871 to 1942. 

The restored steam engine and information board (in the background)

Failed - the train was removed by De Beers and the lovely information board in the background was vandalized and removed.
The Port Nolloth Grazia de Beer Beachfront

The Port Nolloth beachfront with its neat and spacious waterfront layout, including ample parking, is a great place for long strolls on the beach, or just to relax in the sun on the clean sand. 

Grazia de Beer, after whom the beach was named, has done wonders for Port Nolloth in the 20 years prior to 25 Dec 2007 when she passed away. 

The Salt Pans - S29 15 27  E016 52 43 - Proposed Bird Sanctuary


Just North of Port Nolloth off the road to Alexander Bay, on the right hand side, lies a massive salt pan grouping (one big and one small pan). The pans are not visible from the road and there's no sign board directing you to it. It is worth going there for a visit and a long walk to experience the openness and vastness of it. As you leave Port Nolloth you will sea a sign board on your right leading to the cemetry. Follow the road for about 800 m to reach the pan.

Though often used as a runway for light aircraft, the pan is destined to become part of a bird sanctuary, or at least, was planned to according to a news article on the formal website of the Richtersveld Municipality in February 2009. The following is an extract from the page:

"The proposed project will be one of a kind in Namaqualand, representing an environmental recreational Park right in the middle of  Port Nolloth, which means residents will not have to travel long distances to experience wild birdlife. . . . The proposed Bird Park, together with one small and one large saltpan in close vicinity provide resting and nesting habitat for various bird species. The area represents a good overview over the different habitats in Port Nolloth and hosts a number of indigenous plant and animal species. Since Port Nolloth lacks recreational structures and eco-touristic development, this project aims to create an environmental and recreational Park in order to protect and to promote the environment of Port Nolloth. Bird hides will enable locals and visitors to observe the birds without causing disturbance; a small botanical garden showing indigenous plants refers to the coastal vegetation and the dune habitat; pathways and guided tours give an overview over the habitats reed, freshwater, saltpan and dune."

Like clockwork, this project failed. The municipal page that the above references has been removed and the reception building for the bird park has been vandalized. No hide in sight. It is now 24 Jan 2020. So sad!!!

Crayfish, mussels and oysters

No listing of the features of Port Nolloth will be complete without reference to the abundant food supply straight from amongst the rocks on the Port Nolloth shoreline! Fresh crayfish, oysters and black mussels can be collected from the sea depending on the season and whether you have a permit or not. You don't get it better than straight from the sea and into a pot of seawater right there on the rocks. As for the oysters - add a drop of tobasco into the shell with a raw oyster inside - and let it slip down your throat!

Willem Koegelenberg Park

It is easy to overlook this historical landmark right in the center of Port Nolloth. The entrance is in the main road opposite the Municipal offices.

The park is divided into 2 sections: the first section is established around a remaining section of the railway line that carried copper to the Port Nolloth harbour. The railway line as a whole was sold in 1944 as scrap metal.
The second section of the park is a historical cemetery dating back as far as the late 1800's and include some Anglo-Boer War graves (1899-1902). The cemetery is not well maintained and needed a good cleaning up exercise  when we were there, yet the architecture of the tomb stones, the inscriptions and the abundance of children graves was a touching experience. The fact that the railway was active in 1900 and that the cemetery is right against the railway line, tells a tale of activity that played off within the current borders of the Willem Koegelenberg Park.

One would hope that some individual or organisation would come forward to ensure the proper maintenance of this piece of historical land.

 The Port Nolloth Museum

 Museum corner in Port Nolloth consists of the museum, Nemo's restaurant, and an art and craft center including a beautiful and interesting arty little garden.

The museum was established through the efforts of the legendary Grazia de Beer, after which the main beachfront was named and who has done tremendous community work in Port Nolloth. The story of Grazia de Beer is also covered in the museum. She passed away on Christmas Day 2007.

Rose Cross (ex curator)


Grazia de Beer

Theresa van Baalen (ex curator)


Click on this link for an article on the Port Nolloth museum, including more photos.

The Port Nolloth Museum is no longer open. It was closed in Sept 2018 for renovations, and never re-opened due to a dispute between the owner of the propery and the Richtersveld municipality. We are keeping the article though as an indication of what Port Nolloth and tourism have lost.






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