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Activities & Tours

Cape Cross Lodge is the ideal stop over on your journey from Swakopmund to Terrace Bay, Opuwo, Palmwag and the Kunene Region.
Spend a day or more to do some of the excursions offered in the area. (Important Note!  Advance bookings essential! )

Some of the excursions that can be done in a day include . . .

  • Excursions to Cape Cross Seal Colony and Lichen Fields
  • Museum and Art Gallery visit
  • Excursions to Shipwrecks
  • Messum Volcanic Crater
  • Eco friendly tours into the Namib Desert, the world’s oldest desert.

Museum . . .  

In 1486, the early Portuguese explorer, Diogo Cao, erected a padrao or cross on a small rocky outcrop along the desolate and unforgiving shores that hug the Skeleton Coast. Battered by sudden squalls and fierce windstorms, blasted by the shifting desert sands and baked under a relentless sun, the cross remained undisturbed by Europeans for four centuries.

Cape Cross has witnessed many a shipwreck and maritime disaster and is home to a replica padrao or cross that stands on a terraced platform within the seal reserve.

The museum, within the lodge, houses many remnants of past settlers who relentlessly withstood the harsh desert elements to mine rich deposits of fossil guano and to harvest seal skins. The first railway line in Namibia was established at Cape Cross and visitors to the museum can delve in its historical value. Souvenirs, postcards, small mementos and the history of Cape Cross in book form can all be purchased in the

Seal Colony . . .  

The Cape fur seal colony at Cape Cross are renowned as one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. The colony marks the spot where Diego Cao, an Portuguese explorer, erected a cross in honour or the king of Portugal on the coast of Namibia in 1486. The spot about 3km from Cape Cross Lodge is now home to a thriving colony of more than 200 000 seals.

Seals gather year-round on the Benguela current’s rocky shores because of the abundant fishing. Bull seals arrive in late October, vying for territory and mates. Cute seal pups are born in November or December, filling the shoreline with their cries. Mothers return from fishing to nurse and bond with their young. The colony attracts kelp gulls, cormorants, killer whales, and copper sharks. Predators like black-backed jackals and brown hyenas lurk nearby at dawn and dusk.

Excursions . . .  

  • Shipwrecks Excursion -Visit the many Shipwrecks along the Skeleton Coast. The name “Skeleton Coast” was coined by John Henry Marsh as the title for the book he wrote chronicling the shipwreck of the Dunedin Star. Since the book was first published in 1944, it has become so well known that the coast is now generally referred to as “Skeleton Coast” and is named so on most maps today.
  • Messum Crater – The Messum Crater is not a meteorite or asteroid impact crater, it is part of an igneous ring complex on an once active volcano the centre of which collapsed. It consists of a wide flat basin of 18 to 25km in diameter surrounded by a ring-shaped range of hills and dates back about 130 million years. The entire formation consists mainly of quartz-rich basalt.
  • Lichen Fields -Approaching the Crater from Cape Cross side you will encounter huge lichen fields. Namibia is host to at least 100 different lichen species. Rather than plants they are organisms that represent a mutualism between algae and fungi. The algae are the dominant partners, changing sunlight via chlorophyll into the nutrients the organisms need to survive. The fungi at the bottom, which form the biggest part of the organism, mainly provide support, as well as absorbing minerals from the earth to feed the algae.Lichen fields play an important role in stabilising the upper layer of the soil, thus augmenting the ecosystem in the Namib Desert. Their colours are brighter on mornings when the skies are overcast and there has been moisture in the shape of coastal fog or a rare rain shower, causing the tiny organisms to absorb the water and unfurl, becoming soft and leathery to the touch.Lichen fields are extremely vulnerable – a four-wheel-drive vehicle will wipe out an entire hectare of these intriguing organisms every ten kilometres it travels. Because their growth rate is exceedingly slow, only about 1 mm a year, it will take at least 100 years for them to re-grow so when you encounter lichen fields, refrain from leaving the tracks.


Cape Cross Lodge
122Km North of Swakopmund on the C34
60 Km North of Henties Bay on the C34

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+264 64 694012
+264 64 694017

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