Tsau Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park Safari Guide

safarigo   Namibia  

The Tsau Khaeb National Park (formerly Sperrgebiet NP) is a former diamond mining site. It is the most biodiverse region in Namibia with a remarkably wealth of flora, especially succulents. Most of the park can only be visited with certain tour operators and special permits are required. The exception is Kolmanskop (ghost town and relic of the diamond era) and Agate Beach.



Pros & Cons


Biodiversity hotspot with great botanical interest
Easy daytrip from the town of Lüderitz
Interesting desert scenery
Most of the park can only be visited with special permits and through certain tour operators
Very few animals, both in variety and numbers


Wildlife & Animals

Tsau Khaeb (formerly Sperrgebiet NP) isn’t a wildlife destination, but lucky visitors might encounter a few species. There are small populations of oryx, springbok, grey rhebok, leopard, aardwolf, black-backed jackal, brown hyena and even cheetah. Some of the smaller creatures that might be encountered are the African wild cat, bat-eared fox and clawless otters.

Wildlife Highlights


Most of Tsau Khaeb’s wildlife can be found offshore. Thirty five species of whales and dolphins have been recorded. Heaviside's dolphins, which occur in the region, are one of the rarest dolphin species in the world. There are two seal species in the park, the enormous Southern elephant seal and the more common Cape fur seals.


Birds

With over 250 bird species recorded, the Tsau Khaeb (formerly Sperrgebiet NP) is a great birding destination. There are several islands offshore which are important breeding sites for colonies of seabirds. Ichaboe Island is inhabited by a large population of African penguins. Aside from seabirds, the park is very good for wetland birds, which can be found at the mouth of the Orange River. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Best Time to Visit

Tsau Khaeb (formerly Sperrgebiet NP) can be visited throughout the year, but in general the best time to go is in the cooler months from May to October.

May to October – Dry Season


Cooler around midday (except for October)
It is cold in the early morning
Lüderitz, the base for exploring the park, can get busy in high season


November to April – Wet Season


Bird watching is a big attraction, especially when migrants are present
Low season rates might apply to hotels in Lüderitz from December to June
It can be very hot

If visiting both Tsau Khaeb NP and Etosha NP; wildlife viewing in Etosha isn't that productive

Weather & Climate

Tsau Khaeb (formerly Sperrgebiet NP) has a warm and dry climate. It is mostly sunny and there is minimal rainfall.

The altitude in the park varies widely, from below sea level to 1,282m (-62 to 4,206ft). Temperatures drop by about 6.5°C for every increase of 1,000m (or 3.5°F per 1,000ft), resulting in wide-ranging contrasts in climate within the park. Most tourism is at lower altitude and those areas get hotter than the averages shown in the chart above.

Dry Season – May to October


The coolest time of year brings very little rainfall.

May, June, July & August – Abundant sun goes hand-in-hand with the dry conditions. Afternoon temperatures average approximately 22°C/72°F. It will get much hotter in lower altitude areas. It is cold in the early morning (bring warm winter clothes!) with temperatures averaging 6°C/43°F.
September & October – The dry, sunny conditions continue as winter comes to an end. Average temperatures increase to 24°C/75°F and are higher at lower altitude. Early mornings are warmer, but still chilly, with average temperatures of around 9°C/48°F.


Wet Season – November to April


These are the warm, summer months. Rainfall increases slightly from February to April and peaks in March. Early mornings are less bitter than during the winter months and temperatures range up to about 13°C/55°F.

November, December & January – It is still very dry and temperatures increase to an average of 28°C/82F during most afternoons. It will get a great deal warmer at lower altitude areas, where most visitors go.
February, March & April – These are the only months when good rainfall might occur. It is still mostly dry and sunny. Occasional afternoon storms can be expected. It usually cools down after rain and average daytime temperatures are around 26°C/79F.


Getting There

These are the warm, summer months. Rainfall increases slightly from February to April and peaks in March. Early mornings are less bitter than during the winter months and temperatures range up to about 13°C/55°F.

November, December & January – It is still very dry and temperatures increase to an average of 28°C/82F during most afternoons. It will get a great deal warmer at lower altitude areas, where most visitors go.
February, March & April – These are the only months when good rainfall might occur. It is still mostly dry and sunny. Occasional afternoon storms can be expected. It usually cools down after rain and average daytime temperatures are around 26°C/79F.