Peter Bridgeford started his conservation career in the Skeleton Coast Park at Ugabmond and Möwe Bay and visited Rocky Point on many occasions. After 23 years in the Namibian conservation department, the majority in the Namib-Naukluft Park, he moved to NamibRand Nature Reserve for five years, before retiring to Walvis Bay. He is actively involved in vulture conservation and bird conservation on the coast. He was also involved in tour guide training and still works as a freelance tour guide on the coast. He and his late wife Marilyn published three books about Namibian tourist destinations. He published the first book about Namibian conservation pioneers in 2018.
by Peter Bridgeford
140 pages • 2022 • ISBN 978-99945-76-80-7 • 148 x 210 mm • Namibia Scientific Society/Kuiseb Publishers
Rocky Point is a small, isolated rock outcrop on the sandy Skeleton Coast of Namibia and the most prominent landmark between Möwe Bay and the Kunene River 250 km further north. It is hard to reach from overland, via the sea or by plane—a fact that has added to its mystique over the years. And yet, explorers, hunters, traders, scientists, refugees, stranded ship passengers, soldiers and even politicians have passed or visited Rocky Point during the past centuries.
The events chronicled in this book, illustrated with numerous fascinating photos, start in 1486 with the early explorations of the Portuguese. They tell us about the many adventures of hunger, thirst, despair, death, heroism, sacrifice and also joy and excitement on this wind-swept desert until today—among them the stranding of the Dunedin Star in 1942 near Rocky Point and the almost impossible rescue operation of 63 people, including 29 women and three babies; the rescue of Angolan refugees in 1975, who had fled from the civil war and crossed the Kunene River in a large convoy; and while the inaccessibility of Rocky Point often led to disaster or frustration, it was ideal for consultations, away from the prying eyes of journalists, for example, when in March 1984, Prime Minister P.W. Botha of South Africa secretly met Dr Jonas Savimbi, President of UNITA there.