Once upon a time the entire coastline of Namibia was called 'The Skeleton Coast' due to the scores of shipwrecks littering the beaches. Today it is must visit for adrenaline seekers of all levels. Seth Kooitjie, a TopNaar chief, shares his Coast...
“The Namibian coast is a place where you can experience real adventure. Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are popular destinations for visitors and locals alike. In places like Sandwich Harbour, the dunes run directly into the sea, a spectacular sight to see. The desert along the coast is the oldest on Earth, and much of it is still undiscovered. Today you can explore this environment on quad-bikes and in 4x4 vehicles, and see how people manage to survive in this environment. Some areas of the desert are so harsh that drivers of the famous Dakar Rally come here to test their vehicles.
My people, the TopNaar people, were one of the first to settle here on the coast of Namibia. For centuries, our people have lived by the Namibian coast, mainly near the mouth of the Kuiseb River near what is now Walvis Bay. We survived off the resources of the sea and were once known as 'strandlopers' or 'beach walkers'. The lagoon at Walvis Bay is a haven for marine wildlife and the sea continues to be an important aspect of our community today.
Our culture is bound to the nature of the area. The two cannot be separated. The resources of the land like the !nara melon have shaped who we are today. This was influential in the naming of Dorob National Park. The name originates from the traditional name of the area, Doro-!Hub, which means ‘Dryland’.
When people visit this area, I want to help put them back in touch with nature. The wide-open landscapes offer some of the most beautiful scenery in our country. By looking across the endless horizon, or sleeping in the open air and counting stars at night, you feel part of nature. This may be a forgotten concept for people from distant lands, where daily life seems to take place between four walls. But when people visit this region, it will not take them long to forget all of that, and they will feel the connection with our Earth and our surroundings. You don't need doctors to rid yourself of stress; you only need to come to this place and listen to the birds and enjoy the peace and quiet.”