It is that time of the year when everyone can slow down and relax. For many that means packing their cars and heading to the coast of Namibia- and the Dorob National Park.
For those of you doing just that, remember to drive safely and to enjoy each day. And to make your holiday’s even more enjoyable, take a minute or two to check out the Dorob National park rules and regulations, so that you can have a stress free time without worrying about breaking the law.
But before you go on, here is a little “Did you know” fun:
- The coast is about 1.500 km long classified as hyper arid desert.
- Around 1,6 million birds belonging to 73 species regularly occur along the Namibian Coast.
- The coastline from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay has up to 770 birds per km of beach.
- 25 species of cetaceans & 493 species of fish occur off Namibian waters.
- Around 552.000 tons of fish was harvested in 2005.
- 3 coastal wetlands are under the International Ramsar Convention.
- Over 928 900 tourists in 2007 and 1.2 million expected in 2008. From 2009, tourist numbers are expected to go down until there is an upswing in the global economy.
Dorob National Park Rules and Regulations: December 2012
Dorob National park map.
The unique Dorob National Park caters for both conservation and leisure activities.
- Being one of the most unique parks in the world, the Dorob National Park along the central Namibian coast caters for various leisure, tourism and sports activities while also providing for conservation measures and specific conservation areas.
- The Dorob National Park was declared in Government Notice No. 266 of 1 December 2010.
- The Dorob National Park stretches from the Kuiseb Delta (south of Walvis Bay) northwards to the Ugab River; and eastwards from the low water mark of the Atlantic Ocean towards the boundary of the Swakopmund district (See the included maps for the go- and no-go areas and routes).
- It includes the Walvis Bay Lagoon, a Ramsar Site, but excludes the municipal areas of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Henties Bay and the settlement area of Wlotzkasbaken.
- It also excludes the railway line between Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis, the road reserves of the major B2 route; the minor routes C14, C28, C34, C35, C39; the district roads D1983, D1984, D1986, D1991, D1901, D1918 and D2302; and farms under private ownership or belonging to a parastatal institution.
- Visitors to the Dorob National Park, who would wish to enjoy the various leisure, sports and tourism activities in the park, are notified that they should familiarize themselves with and obey the regulations, laws and rules, contained in this pamphlet.
- For further clarification they can also consult with the coastal offices of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism at Swakopmund or Walvis Bay.
- Regarding the fishing regulations anglers should consult with the offices of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
- The Nature Conservation Ordinance Section 14 protects and preserves wild animal life, fisheries, wild plant life and objects of geological, archaeological, historical and other scientific interest and for the benefit and enjoyment of the inhabitants of Namibia.
- Therefore some activities in the Dorob National Park are allowed, while others are not.
Activities causing the least damage to park resources are regulated less, while those that would be the most damaging, are strictly regulated.
People & domestic animals in park
Sea turtle by Justin Ennis
All people who enter the park must:
- Comply with the stipulations of the Ordinance, the regulations and the Environmental Management Act of 2007;
- Comply with the instructions of signposts, signboards, pamphlets or communicated in any other manner;
- Obey any legal order or instruction given by a Law-enforcement Officer.
When entering by foot people may:
- Go without a permit except in an area that is closed or exclusionary; and
- Go on foot if being young adults or younger than 16 without adult supervision, but do so at their own risk.
Domestic animals in the park:
- A person may take a domestic animal into the park without a permit, except in areas where it is indicated that such animals are not allowed;
- Such animals should be under control by the person at all times;
- The person and animal should adhere to all regulations;
- The person must remove the faeces of the animal; and
- The animal shall not cause any inconvenience, nuisance, damage or injury to other people, animals and any plants or any other aspect of the environment.
Entering the park by vehicle
Walvis Bay to Swakopmund including Dune belt
- Any person entering the Off-Road Vehiclce (ORV) area in the Dune Belt between Langstrand and Walvis Bay by vehicle will need a permit (See information box about Permits on the other side of this pamphlet).
- Currently a permit is not yet required for the use of a vehicle in other permitted areas or when driving on park routes in the Dorob National Park published herein.
Permitted and prohibited areas for sedans, 4x4s, bakkies and beach buggies:
- These vehicles may only drive in the ORV area with a permit (the Dune Belt between Langstrand and Walvis Bay) and without a permit on proclaimed roads and clearly marked MET routes, tracks and roads (except where prohibited).
- Where allowed, beach driving is only authorised on MET designated and clearly marked routes, tracks and roads.
- No driving is allowed on the beaches at the sea fronts of Henties Bay, Wlotzkasbaken, Swakopmund, Cape Cross and the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) managed camping sites at Mile 14, Jakkalsputz, Mile 72 and Mile 108.
- East of the minor C34 routes, self-drives are only allowed on the 4×4 tracks indicated on the attached maps.
- Detailed maps and GPS coordinates should be obtained from the Henties Bay Tourism Association.
Permitted and prohibited areas for quad bikes and other motorized bikes:
Swakopmund to Henties Bay
- Quad bikes and other motorised bikes may only drive in the ORV area with a permit (the Dune Belt between Langstrand and Walvis Bay) and without a permit west of the coastal road between Swakopmund and Henties Bay, only on proclaimed roads and clearly marked MET tracks and roads (except where prohibited).
- Where allowed, beach driving is only authorised on MET designated and clearly marked tracks.
- Quad bikes and other motorised bikes are prohibited on beaches between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, in all areas north of Henties Bay, and on the beaches at the seafronts of Henties Bay, Wlotzkasbaken, Swakopmund, and the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) managed camping sites.
- Quad bikes are strictly prohibited north of the Omaruru River up to the Ugab River and other motorised bikes are prohibited off the proclaimed roads north of the Omaruru River up to the Ugab River.
- Quad bikes and other motorised bikes are permitted 10 km upstream from Henties Bay within the Omaruru River but not beyond.
- People may use a vehicle in the park with their permit at any time except between 21:00 and 05:00. This provision does not apply to proclaimed roads and people may use those roads at any time.
- Young people aged 16 years or younger may only drive or use a vehicle if an adult accompanies him/her.
- A valid driver’s license will be required to use any motor vehicle in the park.
- No person shall drive or use any vehicle in the park whilst under the influence of alcohol or any other narcotic substance or in such a way that is dangerous to human life or that may cause damage to any property or the environment.
- Between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, no person shall offload their quad bike or motorised bike at any other area than the designated off loading areas in the Dune Belt between Langstrand and Walvis Bay.
Specific conservation provisions
Although many activities are allowed in the park, no person may:
- Angle on the beach in such a way that is inconvenient to other people;
- Leave or use angling tackle in a place where it may cause inconvenience or injury to other persons or animals;
- Throw away or get rid of any part of a fish, bait, refuse or rubbish other than in the refuse bins provided;
- Collect or remove any shell, shell grit, sand, rock or stone;
- Use water or electricity in excessive quantities or for any other purpose other than for reasonable domestic use;
- Pollute or degrade the environment;
- Kill, injure, hunt, capture, disturb or feed any wild animal or remove any part of any wild animal, whether alive or dead;
- Remove, destroy, damage or disturb any egg, nest or burrow;
- Pick, collect, mutilate, destroy, damage, tamper with, disturb or remove any tree, plant, shrub, herb, mineral or any other object of botanical, zoological, geological, archaeological, historical or any other scientific interest, or part thereof;
- Collect or gather firewood;
- Remove, damage, destroy, soil, mutilate or interfere with any form of State property;
- Possess or use any weapon, explosive, trap or poison; or
- Throw away a burning or smouldering object or put or leave it at a place where it may possibly ignite another object.
Entering the park by Air
Paragliding by Francois Portmann
- Although aircraft and helicopters may fly above a game park, it is unlawful to fly at the altitude of less than 1 000 metres, except for lawfully landing or taking off.
- It is illegal to land in, take off from, enter or fly over the Dorob National Park in such a way that is dangerous to human life or that may cause damage to any property or the environment.
Commercial activities and business
A permit is required from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to do any of the following in the park:
- Carry on, transact, or conduct any trade, business or tourism;
- Hold any organised competition or event;
- Undertake any construction activities of any nature; or
- Engage in any kind of commercial activity.
- People may overnight or camp in the Dorob National Park but only with a permit and only at officially designated sites.
- Domestic animals may not be brought into a camping site unless the officer in charge grants permission indicating where the animal may stay overnight.
- Although people may enter a camping site by vehicle, they may not: (i) use a buzz-bike, power driven cycle, quad bike or motor cycle in the campsite; (ii)drive any other vehicle faster than 20 kilometres per hour in any place within a camping site; and (iii) drive or use a vehicle on any portion of the beach that is situated between a camping site and the sea.
Henties Bay to Ugab river including Messum crater
A permit is required for the Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) area in the Dune Belt between Langstrand and Walvis Bay. Get this free permit to drive in the specially demarcated off-road area between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay (see relevant map) from:
Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET):
- Swakopmund Office, Cnr. Bismarck St. & Sam Nujoma Avenue, Tel: 064 – 404 576
- Walvis Bay Office, 643 Heinrich Baumann Street., Tel: 064 – 205 971
- Office hours for both offices during weekdays: 08:00 – 17:00.
- Weekends & Public Holidays: 08:00 – 13:00.
A permit for the park routes, roads and tracks will only be required once a date has been determined in the near future.
Vehicles are by no means allowed off MET designated routes, tracks and roads except in the ORV area and vehicles are not allowed in closed or exclusionary areas. Closed and exclusionary areas include the Damara Tern Breeding Area, the Swakop River, Lichen Fields and any other areas designated closed or exclusionary.
Please be reminded that although in some cases the general public may not need a permit, tourism operators, commercial activities, and competitions, events, and meetings/assemblies are required to obtain a specific permit from MET and registered with the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) for these activities, no matter the location within the Dorob National Park.
All information courtesy of the Ministry of Environment & Tourism and the the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management project (NACOMA)