A dense mat of black carpets the beach at Cape Cross. Then, slowly, the mass comes into focus and thousands of individual seals take shape. Cape Cross Seal Reserve is the largest Cape fur seal colony in the world. During the breeding season in November and December, there may be up to 210 000 seals at Cape Cross. Predators such as black-backed jackal and brown hyaena are drawn to the breeding colony. Human visitors to Cape Cross can take an interpretative walk along the edge of the colony and learn more about these captivating creatures and the intriguing history of Cape Cross. In 1486, Portuguese explorer, Diego Cão, erected a stone cross, establishing Portugal’s claim to the territory on this barren coast. But natural life has defined the area before and since. The cold Benguela Current sustains a wealth of marine life. It also produces fog that supports an intriguing variety of animals and plants, including over a hundred species of lichens. On the gravel plains near the coast, the Damara tern, a small swallow-like bird endemic to Namibia, breeds in shallow scrapes. Although protected, the nesting grounds of the tern sand the lichen fields are under continual threat from thoughtless off-road driving. Do your part for conservation and adventure and take the road to the Cape Cross Seal Reserve.