Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Nowadays a two day journey along lovely roads can bring you from Durban to Port Nolloth 1690 km away. Port Nolloth Lighthouse consists of an 11 metre aluminium lattice tower with a triangular black and white striped day marker. The lighthouse is well maintained and stands majestically in the garden of a house in Beach Road; the view from the top is exhilarating. The original site of the first lighthouse is on the opposite side of the road. The fog signal is now electronic.

In 1854 Commander M.S. Nolloth surveyed the west coast of South Africa to find suitable bays to be used as harbors for the copper mining industry. Port Nolloth was subsequently named after him. The town was originally called Robbe Bay.

Navigational aid became a necessity because of the increase in shipping activity here. In 1909 an explosive fog signal, and a cast iron lighthouse with a dioptric revolving lens, were introduced. These navigational aids were progressively upgraded as the port became more important. The port was used for mining supplies; passengers and fishing, as fishing factories were also established.

After World War 1 the copper mines closed down, (to be reopened in 1937 with American Investments.) This had a devastating effect on the town. Luckily diamonds were discovered along the West coast of Alexander Bay and Oranjemund, and the port of Port Nolloth once again thrived.

In the past Port Nolloth Lighthouse was never popular with staff, the roads at that time were poor, and Cape Town was an uncomfortable two day journey, hence the town was considered desolate. An AF Telemetry system was installed in 1989 linking Port Nolloth Lighthouse to Cape Point and enabling this lighthouse to become automated.

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