The Huab River
North of the Ugab, the next river crossed is the important Huab River. This rises in the escarpment around Kamanjab, and is one of the coast's most important corridors for desert-adapted elephants and rhinos – though you're most unlikely to see either so far from the mountains.
Immediately north of the river, if you look to the east of the road, you can see the beginnings of barchan dunes standing on the gravel plains. Here sand is blowing out of the bed of the Huab, and actually forming a dune-field.
It's much easier to spot the rusting hulk of an old oil rig, circa 1960, with a turn-off to a small parking area adjacent. This was originally part of a grand scheme to extract oil from the coast, organised by Ben du Preez, which ran up huge debts before his banks foreclosed. Amy Schoeman's superb coffee-table book, The Skeleton Coast
(see Further Reading
), relates this story in detail. As a postscript, she notes that some of Terrace Bay was originally built by du Preez as his base.
Now the old framework provides a perfect breeding spot for Cape cormorants, and so be careful not to disturb the birds by getting out of your car between around September and March.