Established in late 2016, Namaqua Coastal Expeditions is an emerging company focused on:
Bringing the wonders of the Namaqualand coastal region to light. The tours are hosted by Rodville Adams, an accredited guide who has exclusive access rights to the Kleinzee/Koiingnaas coastal protected areas. With his expansive knowledge of the area, Rodville offers a unique experience to his guests. Slide down for pics.
Drive next to the beach from Kleinzee to Koiingnaas
Where the magic of the Northern Cape’s Diamond Coast was once hidden behind impenetrable fences and mean-looking security guards, the Namaqua Coastal Expeditions now welcomes 4x4 visitors to enjoy the Shipwreck and Strandveld trails.
However, it remains a high security area and visitors to this 30 000ha private game reserve have to arrange it beforehand and supply their names and ID numbers – no chance of driving off with a few shiny stones in your pocket then.
You will be accompanied by an accredited 4x4 guide who knows the animals, plants, geology and diamond mining history like the back of his hand.
Vehicles stay in contact by means of two-way radios.
The trail usually starts at 9am at the Noup Drivers’ Hut and ends on the tar road halfway between Koingnaas and Kleinzee.
The trail hugs the Atlantic coast between Kleinzee and Koingnaas for some 37km, running through Strandveld and along the unspoilt beach, sometimes ducking around rocky outcrops. You can only drive the route in a proper 4x4 low range.
Along the way you visit the wrecks of three ships-the Arosa, the Border and the Piratiny –that ran aground from 1943 to 1976, thus giving the trail its name.
The Piratiny was a 5 000ton Brazilian steamer sunk by German torpedoes during the Second World War; the Border, a 285-ton British motor coaster carrying petrol and explosives, ran aground in 1947 at Naas Naas Point,Elandsklip;and the Arosa, a 10 051-ton Cypriot freighter, ran aground in 1976 at Zwart Duinen.
Look out for the endangered black oyster’s catchers and more than 100 other bird species and 27 mammals, including seals, dolphins and southern right whales from May and September.
On the Shipwreck Trail’s lesser –known sibling, the Strandveld Trail, which is also located within the 31 000ha private game reserve, you drive for almost 27km through pristine dunes.
It’s along this trail that you’ll find a yellow dune field of some 1 200ha.The field I said to have been formed when sand, deposited by the sea or at river mouths, or exposed by a drop in the sea level during the Ice Age, dried out and was blown inland.
The trail includes some spectacular dune driving opportunities on mobile dunes that have no vegetation on them. Look out for gemsbok, springbok and ostrich.
For this trail, you’ll also need a 4x4 with low range and good ground clearance.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Accommodation: The Noup Divers Huts are basic but comfortable and situated right on the beach. You can also stay at Die Anker Guesthouse in Koiingnaas or at Joanne’s Guesthouse.
Or a lovely self catering holiday home: Diamonds n Daisies.
What else? Some 170 bird species inhabit the area. See how many you can tick off from the bird list along the coastland the Buffelsriver Estuary in Kleinzee.
Contact: Rodville Adams.
027 877 0028 & 076 642 0868
Nearest town: Kleinzee/Koiingnaas at either end
Best time to go: All year round, but during August-October the Namaqualand’s annual flower season, normally at its finest then, is a bonus.
Trail distances: 37km and 27 km.
How long will I be driving? 4-5 hours each
Gps: S30.13950 E17.20300
Contact Rodvillle Adams, the best tourguide on the Coast Of Diamonds
More comprehensive information is available upon request.
(Slide left to right to see all the photos)