TSAU II KHAEB NATIONAL PARK
This is formerly known as Sperrgebiet National Park of ‘’which means prohibited area’’ and also known as Diamond mining area. It’s found in the south western Namibia in the Desert. It spans the Atlantic Ocean- facing the coast from Oranjemund on the border of South Africa, to around 72 kilometers 45miles north of Lüderitz, a distance of 320km (200miles) north. It extends to around 100km (62 miles) inland, and its total area of 26,000 square kilometers (10,000square miles), makes up three percent of Namibia’s land mass. However, mining only takes place in five percent of the Sperrgebiet, with most of the area acting as a buffer zone. Members of the public are banned from entering most of the area, despite the creation of a national park there in 2004
History of the park.
In September 1908, the German government created the Sperrgebiet in its colony of German South West Africa, giving sole rights for mining to the German Diamond Company. In 1915, during world war 1, South Africa Prime Minister, invaded the country. The South Africans defeated the Germans, taking control of modern-day Namibian, including the Sperrgebiet. The owner of mine De Beers, had total control of the area until the 1990s, when the Namibian government purchased a fifty-percent stake. They formed a joint partnership called the Namded Diamond Corporation
The mining area close to Bagenfels is called Pocked Beaches” which is one of Namden’s northern coastal mines. The Sperrgebiet has a diverse range of flora and fauna, due to little human intervention in the area for 100 years. Forty percent of the landscape is desert, thirty percent is grassland, and twenty-eight percent is rocky. Roter Kamm, an impact crater in the Southern Namib Desert within Sperrgebiet, has a diameter of 2.3km the area includes, Tsaus Mountains, mountain Aurus, Mountain Hochster, the Klinghardt mountains and the permanent water spring Kaukausib. The highest point of the Sperrgebiet is 1488 meters. There are 776 types of plants in the Sperrgebiet, with 234 being endemic to southwest Namibia, despite the Orange River being the only permanent water supply in this area. A study has shown that the climate changes will affect the plant life in the area, specifically in the Succulent Karoo. Drier winters may lead to the extinction of these plants, as they are endemic to the Sperrgebiet.
According to Morgan Hauptfleisch a scientist who works at the Southern African Institute for Environment Assessment, the Sperrgebiet ‘is the only arid biodiversity hotspot and this makes it a very special area. It has more biodiversity than anywhere else in Namibia, supporting animals such as the gemsbok, springbok and brown hyena. Bird species in the Sperrgebiet include, the African Oystercatcher, the black-headed canary, and the dune lark.
How to get to this national park
This national park is located just few kilometers away from the Lüderitz town making it an easy place for tourists to access. You can still drive from the capital city of Namibia., though Lüderitz and get to the park in a normal car that is it not necessary for you to get a 4×4 car.
You will however nee the permit to access the place and an experience local guide in order to be allowed.
Activities that you can undertake.
When you get to the Tsau Khaeb National Park, some of the activities that you can carry in include,
Take a bush walks through the park
The Tsau Khaeb National Pars has numerous trek routes that were marked so as to ease the bush walks of tourists. These are carried out with the guidance of a tour guide and in most cases vary early in the morning during the summer months before the heat experienced in the park becomes unbearable. While on your bush walks, you will learn how to track down the different animals in the, get to see all the small animals that you might have missed while in a drive through, learn how to survive in the wild through the stories that are told by the trees that are found within the park and also get to see some bird species that live in the trees and you head out for the walks don’t forget to carry lots of water so that you remain hydrated
Birding in Tsau National park
The national park has over 200 bird species that breed within the park and in the different breeding spots that are found within the national park is mostly filled with wetland birds, birds and the migratory birds that fly into the park during the dry season. Birding in the Tsau Khaeb can be done throughout the whole year although if you want to see the migratory birds that come from the different parts of African continent, then the best time is between the months of November to April.
A few bird species that you will find while in the Tsau Khaeb National Park include penguins, the Karoo Bustard, the African Black Oystercatcher, the Dune lark which is endemic, the pink lesser flamingo, the Goliath Heron, the cape gannet, purple heron, the Damara tern which is near endemic, the Maccoa duck, black headed canary, the greater flamingo, the sacred Ibis and many more others.
Game viewing in the Tsau Khaeb National Park
The national park a haven for wild animals which are best seen almost all throughout the whole year. It’s a home to about 120 reptiles which have been recorded on top of the many animals that are recorded on top of the many animals that are recorded and these include the Oryx, the grey rhebok, springboks, the southern right whale, the cape fur seal, brown Hyenas, the bat eared fox, African Wild cat, clawless otters, leopards but these are also rare among other species. The best time for animal viewing is when there is minimal rain which is practically the whole year although it is best to go during the cooler months of May to September as heat sometimes becomes unbearable
Explore the Ghost town of Kolmanskop
The ghost town of Kolmanskop is located next to the National Park was closed down all those many years ago because it was a diamonds, gold mining town. Although at the moment there is hardly anything to see besides the dilapidated houses and a few locals who have remained in the town living in these dire conditions, a trip to the town will show all tourists what a ghost town really looks like especially those who have never seen one
When to visit the Tsau Khaeb National Park
The Tsau Khaeb National Park can be visited almost throughout the year \but since it experiences two season that is the long dry season and the seasonal rainy season, these highly determine the right time for tourists to visit the park. However even the activities that one would want to carry out while in the park also act as determinants as to when one should visit the National Park.
The Khaeb National Park experiences the hot and dry season in the months of November to April and although the temperatures are at times unbearable during these months, it is the best time for tourists to go for birding. The cooler seasons in the park is experienced between the months of May to October and this is the recommended time for all to visit the National Park.
The peak season in the Tsau Khaeb is experienced between the monthly of July to November and this can also be fact that is the highest season in the nearby Lüderitz town and therefore if you are planning on visiting within these months, you should be ready to pay the high rates that are put on all the service from accommodation to transport and also mingle with an extremely large crowd
For all those that prefer to avoid the large crowds and the high rates, the Tsau Khaeb National Park experiences its low season in the months of December to June and during the time all the accommodations rates, transport rates and other things are down so this is the right for all tourists who are on a fixed budget but would like to explore the National Park.