The Dorob National Park in central Namibia, is actually more of a protected reserve than a tourism highlight with a strong focus on conservation measures. It is a key piece of the puzzle along Namibia’s coast that allows for the entire 1,570km coastline of the country to be protected. Collectively, this area is known as the Namib Skeleton Coast National Park, and it consolidates three greater national parks: Skeleton Coast, Namib-Naukluft and Sperrgebiet,
Roughly 6 hour drive from Windhoek Airport, it has a spectacular coastal dune belt, vast gravel plains, Namibia’s richest coastal area for birds and rich botanical diversity. Adding major fleeting river systems and their river mouths to the mix, it is easy to see why they have chosen this area.
The park is a great example of smart conservation. There are core conservation areas set aside for rare and endangered species making up the bulk of the park, while at the same time other areas are set aside for multiple uses, including adventure tourism, so that the very people who need and want to protect the park aren’t shut out.
The closest major town is Swakopmund
By air: Fly a charter plane from Windhoek international to Swakopmund airstrip and hire a car from there (you are not allowed to fly over the park itself)
By road: Drive from Windhoek is roughly a 6 hour drive.
As the park's main objective is managed conservation, it is unsurprising that wildlife, flora and fauna thrive! It is largely prohibited for outsiders, however, travellers are able to hire a guide to access certain areas. The species that live within the park are the typical and unique desert dwellers that one would expect to find. These include the Oryx, springbok, brown hyenas, black-backed jackal, zebra and spotted hyenas. As it stretches along the coast one will also come across cape fur seals and dolphin sightings.
The barren landscape is home to an amazing 270 bird species, with many rarely spotted. It makes for a very rewarding trip for the ardent birding safari traveler.
The Dorob National Park can be visited year-round as there is very little annual rainfall to affect it. The coastal air keeps it slightly cooler than the inland and there is almost no risk of adverse weather. The temperatures can drop quite low at night in the winter nights but that is the only advice.
There are a few different safari and activity options in this beautiful conservation park. Specific designated areas have been allowed for tourism and recreation purposes, for outsiders to be able to enjoy the park.
For those that do make the off-the-beaten track journey to get to these areas, they will be rewarded! It is definitely an anglers paradise, and boasts incredibly rare botanical walks that a traveller can do over 14km stretches. One can hire a private guided safari to access certain areas or do a walking safari, to full experience the terrain.
As the park is largely a protected conservation area, accommodation is very limited. In fact, there are only four specific camping sites within the park. There are no other accommodation forms. There four campsites are at Mile 14, Jakkalsputz, Mile 72 and Mile 108. It is strongly advised to check availability and regulations of the campsites beforehand.
Hentiesbaai is the last little town just outside the southern border of the park. It offers a few self-catering, guesthouse and B&B options.