Alexander Bay is the most northerly town on the West Coast, established at a spot where the Orange River generously deposited diamonds over a very long period. Diamonds have been mined at Alexander Bay since they were first discovered in 1826. Sir James Edward Alexander founded the town in 1836. In later years, the land became the property of a mining house and access to the area was restricted. The local community was solely dependent on the mine for employment, but today, other employment opportunities are being created through agricultural and tourism developments. Plans are also underway to transfer ownership of the land to the local community. It should, however, be borne in mind that access to certain areas is still restricted.
Adventure and Sport
Angling: Anglers have a choice between the Orange River and the Atlantic Ocean.
4×4: Several trails criss-cross the area. Enjoy unspoiled nature scenes near the Orange River or visit the local Nama communities. Trained guides are available and some companies rent out vehicles.
Golf: Alexander Bay has a nine-hole golf course, but it is not open to visitors except by prior arrangement.
White water rafting and canoeing: The Orange River, especially the section between the Richtersveld and Alexander Bay, is popular for canoeing expeditions.
Culture / Community Tourism
Nama culture: Four Nama communities exist near Alexander Bay, at Eksteenfontein, Sanddrift, Kuboes and Lekkersing. Eksteenfontein offers comfortable accommodation facilities and activities such as donkeycart rides. Anglers are welcome at Sanddrift on the banks of the Orange River and the Kuboes community gladly shares its culture with visitors.
Fauna and Flora
Desert Lichen Field: 26 species of lichen or moss grow in this field on top of a hill to the east of town. It is the largest field of its kind in the world.
Orange River Estuary: Although affected by the mining operations, the estuary is a RAMSAR wetland that is well known for the many species of waterbirds that frequent the area.
History and Architecture
Alluvial Diamond Mine and Museum Tour: Tours are only conducted on Thursdays. Contact the mining company, Alexkor, to make a booking.