As Fur as the eye can see
Cape Cross Travel Blog› entry 7 of 12 › view all entries
Travelling north towards the Atlantic coast we visit the Cape Cross Seal Colony where between 80,000 and 100,000 Cape fur seals bask in the sun or swim playfully in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean.The coastline of Southern Africa is the only place in the world where you can find Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus, or the Cape Fur Seal. They fight, mate, reproduce and fish in the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, home to the largest breeding colony of these seals on the planet, with at times up to 210,000 seals present during November and December. But it hasn't always been a cacophony of bleats and barks filling the air.
In 1486, Portuguese seafarer and explorer, Diego Câo, erected a padrâo, which is a stone pillar topped by a cross, establishing his country's claim to the territory.
Two years into the voyage, and after planting the padrâo at Cape Cross, the crew returned home without their captain who had disappeared into thin air. All of the documents relating to his expedition were lost in a fire and the search continues to find his whereabouts. Archaeologists working on separate projects believe he may have ventured into what is now Spergebeit NP, as they have uncovered gold coins and other clues.
The seals are natural indicators of fish stocks in the ocean. If the fish stocks are healthy, then the seal numbers are high. If the fish stocks are poor, then the seal numbers will be low.
After our visit we head inland, passing the majestic Brandberg Mountain (2,573m and the highest point in Namibia) as we enter the southern part of Damaraland. This afternoon we see the Bushmen paintings and engravings at Twyfelfontein. The massif of Twyfelfontein contains a spectacular record of the rock art of the Khoisan people, painted and incised into the sandstone of the mountain over a thousand years.