Things To Do in Port NollothPort Nolloth Lighthouse
Where? Port Nolloth, Northern Cape, South Africa
When? Best during daylight hours.
How much? Price on request
Port Nolloth lighthouse, aside from being the most northern lighthouse on the western side of South Africa is also a rather unusual looking lighthouse. It is an eleven metre high aluminium lattice tower with a triangular day marker in black and white stripes that gives it a rather distinctive air.
Port Nolloth lies just north of Hondeklipbaai on the west coast of the Cape. If Hondeklipbaai is regarded as to 'doer and gone', then Port Nolloth is even more so. It is something of a forgotten port that originally served as the main port for Namaqualand with a thriving fishing industry. Today it is a fishing village to which one flees in search of time away from it all. It is worth the 700 kilometre drive from Cape Town.
The original lighthouse was commissioned in 1906 after a petition to the Cape colonial government for an erection of a permanent coastal light at Port Nolloth with a fog signal that was introduced in 1909. The original tower was an 18.5 metre cast-iron red column supported by four heavy steel wire guys anchored in concrete. To reach the little balcony at the top of the tower, one had to climb an inclined ladder.
Port Nolloth then lived through a copper mining boom, WWI, closure of the copper mines, the discovery of diamonds, a subsequent crayfish boom and the closure of the port other than to little fishing vessels and the odd recreational boat.
In the 1970s after deciding to automate the lighthouse, it was replaced by the tower you see today and relocated about 50 metres inland. Still in operation is the lighting system that flashes either red or white to indicate whether there is enough water over the reefs outside the bay to enter the harbour.