Restricted Diamond Area Tour
3-day 4x4 excursion through the dune landscape of the Namib
This unique safari offers spectacular insights into the wonder-world of the Namib Desert, comprehensive information on the historic diamond excavation sites of the beginning of the 20th century, the visit of several shipwrecks and a two-night stay in a charming tented camp in the middle of the protected area.
- Sandwich Harbour Lagoon
- Shipwrecks Shawnee and Eduard Bohlen
- Historical Diamond towns
- Dune driving
Exciting tour through the Restricted Area
The overwhelming panorama of the Atlantic Ocean, breaking its waves on the orange-red dune belt of the Namib Desert is a once-in a-lifetime experience. It is the dream of many a traveller to actually be part of this adventure. The 4x4 expert “Sandwich Harbour 4x4” from Walvis Bay now offers this opportunity during a well-organised 3-day tour.
The highlights of the Restricted Diamond Ara Tour include the visit to the famous Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, the ship wrecks Shawnee and Eduard Bohlen, some diamond excavation sites of the previous century and much more.
Here we introduce you to the complete 3-day tour:
The journey starts at 09:00 am in Walvis Bay. Through the Kuiseb Delta we continue towards Sandwich Harbour. We take our time to enjoy this spectacular landscape and to take lots of pictures. Travelling past historic cultural sites of the Topenaar and along narrow passages where the Atlantic waves break only metres away upon the Namib shore, we continue further south.
At lunchtime we reach the Shawnee shipwreck. As many others the Shawnee (a fishing vessel) stranded here under mysterious circumstances in 1976. Today the wreck is home to numerous aquatic birds. Black backed jackals are also found in the area. We enjoy a light lunch direclty at the Shawnee.
After lunch we either continue directly along the beach – depending on the tide – or a bit further inland through breath-taking landscapes towards Conception Bay and the wreck of Eduard Bohlen. The Eduard Bohlen is the best known wreck in Namibia. One of the reasons for that is that the wreck is situated about 400 metres away from the ocean. In 1909 the 2.272 ton heavy and 94-metre-long transport ship ran aground on its way from Swakopmund to Cape Town. Close to Conception Bay it was supposed to offload some supplies for the local diamond diggers. Due to the thick fog the ship stranded, the cargo was recovered and all passengers were returned back to Swakopmund. With time the sand dunes surrounded the wreck and some scientists take this as a proof of the Namib expanding towards the Atlantic. Standing at the right angle the Eduard Bowlen can be photographed as a picturesque ship wreck in the middle of the desert.
After exploring the Eduard Bohlen, the journey continues to Namab Camp, the small, cosy tented camp directly at the ocean, our home for the next two nights. As the sun sets above the Atlantic our guide prepares the dinner – with some luck a fresh catch of the day.
All pictures: Sandwich Harbour 4x4
After a good breakfast we drive via Fischersbrunn, an old fresh water fountain used by the diamond diggers, to Meob Bay, a smal former harbour village used during the diamond rush as a landing point for people and supplies. Here one can still marvel at a lot of relicts from the magical time of the diamond rush during 1908 and 1914.
After some kilometres of driving along the beach our guide takes us inland to visit the deserted diamond excavation sites Grillenberger, Charlottenfelder and Holsatia. These sites developed after the rush onto the original place of diamond discovery at Kolmanskop much further south forced the government of then Southwest Africa to declare the area as a restricted area (Sperrgebiet). Consequently, many diamond prospectors moved north where they discovered the diamond fields close to Spencer Bay as well as the field between Meob and Conception Bay in December 1908. These are the areas where the settlements Holsatia, Charlottenfelder and Grillenberger were built in order to mine diamonds from there. The diamond fields and these settlements were operational until the beginning of the First world War in 1914. At that time the prospectors were forced to return back to Swakopmund.
We continue to Conceptionwater, another fresh water spring supplying the three diamond settlements Holsatia, Charlottenfelder and Grillenberger. There also used to be a customs and police station here which today serve as a little museum.
In the afternoon we return to Namab Camp to enjoy another wholesome meal prepared on the open fire. On clear evenings a unbelievable night sky can be enjoyed.
All pictures: Sandwich Harbour 4x4
After breakfast we depart in northern direction – back towards Walvis Bay and the civilisation. On the way we pass the “Langewand”, where huge sand dunes and the ocean collide. The time of passing here has to be carefully coordinated with the tide, lest we get wet feet.
The last highlight of the safari is the drive through the massive dune belt of the coastal Namib. This 4x4 dune driving is a thrilling adventure, perfect to end an interesting and exceptional 3-days tour through the northern Diamond Restricted Area of Namibia.
Walvis Bay is reached around 5:00 pm.
Rates & Reservations
|01.01.22 - 31.12.22||01.01.23 - 31.12.23|
|Adult (4-8)||N$ 15900||N$ 14700|
|Adult (9-10)||N$ 14250||N$ 14700|
|Adult (11-12)||N$ 12800||N$ 14700|
|Children 4 - 12 years||N$ 11500||N$ 12000|
|The rates are per person|
It’s our pleasure to book this activity for you. You will have no additional costs as we charge the public rates. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions.