Cape Cross
  • Swakopmund

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  • Longitude: 13.951973
  • Latitude: -21.772907
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  • Bird Watching

Cape Cross

Whilst searching for a sea route to India the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão was ordered by King João II in 1484 to proceed south along the west coast of Africa. Along the way he erected stone crosses claiming the land for Portugal. During his second voyage Cão reached Cape Cross in January 1486, being the first European to visit this area.

The original cross was removed in 1893 and later replaced by a stone replica. The inscription on the cross (padrão) translated into English reads (Wikipedia) :  "In the year 6685 after the creation of the world and 1485 after the birth of Christ, the brilliant, far-sighted King John II of Portugal ordered Diogo Cão, knight of his court, to discover this land and to erect this padrão here”.

The area is currently the world's largest breeding colony of Cape Fur Seals. Up to 210 000 seals visit the area during November/December.

A cacophony of bleats and barks fills the air, as massive bulls fight for the right to dominate territory and mate with females.

The females, breeding in synchrony once a year, fish in the nutrient-rich waters of the Benguela Current before returning to shore to find their offspring amidst thousands of young pups.

For more information on Cape Cross please see the brochure issued by the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

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