Namibia has gained a new national park. The entire Namibian coastal area, stretching from the mouth of the Kunene River in the north to the mouth of the Orange River in the south, has been declared a conservation area. According to the Namibia Coast Conservation and Management (NACOMA) Project, the Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park will be the 6th largest terrestrial park globally and the 8th largest in the world.
With the declaration of the Dorob National Park on December 1, 2010, the last piece of the puzzle has finally been put in place, thus converting the total Namibian coast into the eighth largest protected area in the world and the largest park in Africa – called the Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park.
The fact that the government declared the last section of the Namibian coastline as a national park during 2010, being the International Year of Biodiversity, underlines the country’s role and commitment towards global, regional and national conservation and sustainable development.
The Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park stretches along the total length of the Namibian coastline of 1 570 km, covering an area of 10 754 million hectares or 107 540 km. It comprises four main terrestrial management areas, the Sperrgebiet National Park in the south, the Namib-Naukluft Park, the Skeleton Coast Park and now the Dorob National Park.
At its narrowest, the park extends about 25 km inland and at it’s widest in the Namib-Naukluft Park, it reaches about 180 km inland.
According to the ministry, the proclamation of the protected area represents one of Namibia’s greatest conservation achievements since independence in 1990, and one of the most significant developments in the history of conservation in the country.
The park will also not exist in isolation as it borders on the Richtersveld in South Africa, the Iona National Park in Angola and various communal conservancies inland.
Dorob National Park was proclaimed in Notice No. 266 in the Government Gazette of the Republic of Namibia of December 1, 2010. The Dorob National Park was declared a game park in terms of Section 14 (2) of the Nature Conservation Ordinance, 1975 (Ordinance No.4 of 1975).
The ministry, through the Namibian Coast Conservation Management Project (NACOMA), asked various stakeholders in the Erongo Region to come up with an appropriate name for the park.
The Topnaar Traditional Authority proposed the name Dorob National Park, which was acceptable to all stakeholders. Dorob means dry land.
According to oral history, the area between Lüderitz and Walvis Bay and up to the Kunene River was known as Doro-!Hub or Dry Land during the 16th century.
The central coast is one of Namibia’s most important tourist and holiday destination.