Port Nolloth was
originally known by the Nama people as 'Aukwatowa'
("place where the water took the old man
This isolated little port has a
distinctive atmosphere, with hardy characters and
a unique history. A cluster of houses overlook the
calm waters of the small harbour, enclosed by reefs and
Today diamond dredgers and fishing trawlers etched against
sunsets, clean beaches and the occasional
antics of seals are made the more pleasant
by good line-fishing and fresh crayfish. Nama culture can
be seen at Lekkersing north of Port
Local guides from black
township of Sizamile (“We have tried” in
will take you on a walking tour of Porth
Nolloth, during which
they will fill you in on the settlement's
rich history, cultural and social challenges
and recent developments.
known as Robbebaai (seal bay) because of the many
seals found here, this cove became known to
White settlers at the time of the copper-rush in the
Surveyed by Captain
Nolloth in 1854, the cove was felt to be a practical natural
harbour from which copper ore
could be shipped. The harbour was named
after him and in 1855 the new town was laid out.
Later, the opening of a railway line
between Okiep (O’okiep) and Port Nolloth in
1873, caused nearby Hondeklip Bay to quickly
decline in population and loose its status
as the magisterial district in 1877.
harbour proved to be impractical as only small
vessels could enter the narrow breach. The railway
line to Port Nolloth was eventually closed
in 1944 after unsuccessful attempts to
improve it and the copper ore was
transported by rail direct to Cape Town for
The discovery of diamonds in 1926 gave
Port Nolloth a new lease of life.
Port Nolloth is a great base for
exploring the Diamond Coast and the
Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.