Orange River Wetland Ramsar Site
The wetland at the mouth of the Orange
River forms an important stop over for a great variety of
migratory birds and has accordingly been declared a Ramsar
site. The endemic Barlow's Lark, a must for any birder, is
also found along the riverbanks, along with smooth pebbles
and semi-precious stones for rock and gemstone enthusiasts.
Unfortunately this wetland is currently under major threat
from several sources including reduced flow and desertification,
but efforts are underway to restore this wetland. Also
of interest are fields of green and orange lichen growing
on a hill near the turnoff of the town. These lichen fields
are soon to be declared a national monument.
The Living Museum
The diamond mining company Alexkor
Ltd has diversified into agro-industry, mariculture and tourism.
Informative diamond mine tours also pass the Bay of Alexander
and a seal colony. They run
every Thursday and should be
booked 24 hours in advance.
The Living Museum gives you a profound insight into the rich
natural and cultural history of the area and will soon offer
biologically and culturally oriented activities. You
can also experience the rich natural and cultural heritage
of the region by visiting the nearby towns of Sanddrift, Kuboes,
Eksteenfontein, Lekkersing and Port Nolloth, as well as the
Richtersveld National Park.
Though there are no official trails
yet, there are excellent mountain biking opportunities in
the area, taking you past lichen fields and along the river.
You can also go fishing with the fishermen and a few seagulls
at the River Mouth. The Tourism Information Centre can arrange
equipment and guides for you through the angling club.
Bay is a mining town located at the mouth of the Orange River,
85 km from Port Nolloth. In the past strict security made
access to Alexander Bay difficult but today this frontier
town invites visitors to explore its fascinating pioneering
history. Although the border post to Namibia is open from
6:00 till 22:00, you need a permit to enter the Sperrgebiet
and Oranjemund which you have to drive through to get further
into Namibia. Movement in the Sperrgebiet area is very restricted
and entrance permits need to be approved well in advance for
all visitors. Security clearances are done at the Security
Department offices in Oranjemund and the Springbok Police
Station in South Africa. Application forms can be obtained
from Monday to Friday or by contacting the following department:
Tourism Section, Namibia
tel: ++ 264 0 63 235 415
fax: ++ 264 0 63 235 115