Alexander Bay is a small coastal mining town and is the most Northwestern part of the Northern Cape in South Africa. The town evolved after the discovery of alluvial diamonds in 1925 by Dr Hans Merensky. Sir James alexander was the first person to map this area in 1836. And so the town was named after sir Alexander. Alexander Bay borders Namibia and the Orange River divides the two countries. It was inevitable that Alexander Bay then became one of the richest mining towns along the Namaqualand and Northern Cape’s coastline.
There are wetlands at Alexander Bay that is home to a variety of migratory birds. These wetlands have been declared a Ramsar Site. The endemic Barlow’s Lark can be found along the riverbanks. A visit to Alexander Bay is a must for any birder. The area is rich in smooth pebbles and semi-precious stones for rock and gemstone enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, this wetland is currently under major threat from several sources. This is including reduced flow and desertification, but efforts are underway to restore the area. An interesting field of green and orange lichen is growing on a hill near the turnoff to Alexander Bay. These lichen fields are soon to be declared part of our national heritage.
Alexander Bay is the remains of a very lucrative diamond mining industry. There is no standard accommodation available at Alexander bay. We do recommend that you make a road trip as part of a day trip to explore Namaqualand from the Growcery Camp.
Alexander Bay is a semi Ghost Town. DeBeers have left their mining industry and the town as fallen. The Diamond activity is still active, but on a very small scale.