Port Nolloth, formerly known as 'Aukwatowa'
(Nama: "Where the water took the old man away"),
was virtually uninhabited until the discovery of diamonds
in 1926. Old railway tracks bear testament to copper deposits
that were mined inland at Okiep and transported by train to
be exported from this harbour town in long forgotten days.
Sizamile (which means: "we have tried") was built
in 1993 and is home to about 1200 people. In 1921, the first
black people started living in Port Nolloth in Paraffien-Street
on the border of the coloured settlement. Later, they were
moved to the Tent Dorp and the Bloukamp, before they settled
in in Sizamile. Topographically, the town belongs to the dry
and vast Sandveld, and is often shrouded in sea fog locally
known as the malmokkie.
as a small-vessel harbour in 1854, Port Nolloth is a centre
for small-scale diamond recovery and crayfishing industries.
Access to much of the South-North coast is restricted by diamond
mines but at Port Nolloth you can enjoy sunbathing, walking
and line-fishing on clean beaches. Local guides from Sizamile
will take you on a walking tour during which they will fill
you in on the settlement's rich history, cultural and social
challenges and recent developments. Visit the developing chicken
farm, vegetable gardens or creche, drink some Namaqualand
whisky at the shebeens, and step into shacks as well as RDP
(Reconstruction and Development Programme) - houses in this
charismatic part of the South-North Tourism Route.
beaches and calm seas at McDougalls Bay invite boating, kayaking,
swimming or walking. Enquire about a fishing permit at the
tourism office in Port Nolloth (situated in the old post office),
and catch your own snoek or yellow-tail fish, which can also
be bought from the factory in season, should you be unlucky
with your own fishing efforts.
Port Nolloth and the informal settlement,
Sizamile, are situated on the Atlantic Coast and form part
of a circular route through the Richtersveld. Turning off
the N7 at Steinkopf the R382 takes you some 90 km to Port
Nolloth and Sizamile. From here you can continue to Alexander
Bay, Sanddrift, the Richtersveld National Park, Kuboes, Eksteenfontein,
Lekkersing and finally back to the R382.
has yet to develop the facilities to accommodate visitors,
but plans are afoot for a guesthouse in the heart of the settlement.
There is a lovely Caravan and Bungalow Park in McDougall's
Bay, where you will also find Port Indigo guesthouse. Guesthouses
such as Bed Rock Lodge and the Scotia Inn are found in Port
Nolloth itself, and 7 km outside of town on the road to Alexander
Bay is a community-run motel known as Muisvlak.