The first Europeans to land in this area were the Portuguese, who landed at Cape Cross in 1486 under the guidance of Diego Cao, who had been commissioned by the king of Portugal to find a commercial route for the Indies.
The Portuguese, once disembarked, explored the surroundings, but apparently did not find anything that particularly interested them, and they never returned.
At the end of the nineteenth century came the Germans who declared today Namibia under their control; they settled in today's Swakopmund and began to build buildings in perfect Germanic style.
Soon they began to hunt the Cape fur seals present at Cape Cross for their skins, that were exported to Europe; at the same time they began to collect the guano of water birds present in large numbers on the coast, this, once dried, was exported to be used as fertilizer.
Initially the ox-carts were used to transport the goods, but given the extreme climatic conditions of the area, these animals had great difficulty drinking and feeding.
The Germans therefore thought of constructing a railwayto solve the problem, but they did not reckon with the type of terrain and the climatic conditions, so after a few trips, the idea of using the railway was abandoned.
Subsequently the trade of seal skins and guano ceased and ended the exploitation of this stretch of coast; while mining activity was undertaken on several points.
In the period between the First World War this area was affected by clashes between the South African Union troops and the German colonial troops of the Schulztruppe; of that period remains little, a testimony is provided by what is known as the "horse cemetery", not far from Swakopmund.
Before the establishment of the Dorob National Park, this area was divided into several protected areas and some areas that were instead used for commercial and residential activities.
In the period before independence, the area around Walvis Bay, including the Kuiseb River delta and excluding the swath of dunes around Swakopmund, was proclaimed the Walvis Bay Nature Reserve.
When Namibia became independentin 1991, this territory remained under the administration of the enclave of Walvis Bay, that remained under the control of South Africa; in 1994, however, this area also came under the control of the Namibian Republic.
At the same time another protected area was created, that included within it the strip of coastline between the Kuiseb River Delta South of Walvis Bay and the Ugab River; this area took the name of the National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area.
After 1994 it was decided to unify the two areas and was initially proposed to establish the Walvis Bay National Park, but this project was never completed.
In 2008 the project to establish a protected area in the central part of the Namibian coast was resumed and, in 2010, the Dorob National Park was set up to protect and safeguard this area.
The Dorob National Park is the first park in Namibia where there are inhabited areas and commercial areas that have been formally excluded from the protected area.
In detail the park includes the Walvis Bay Lagoon, a Ramsar site, the dune belt and the rocky plain around the town of Swakopmund between the Swakop River and the Kuiseb River; while the settlements of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Wlotzkasbaken, the railway line, the streets inside the park, both the main and the secondary ones, and the farms are excluded.
The Trans-Kalahari Highway also passes through the Dorob National Park, it is also excluded from the protected area, as are the various mines, factories and fishing areas.
With the creation of the Dorob National Park a huge protected area has been created along the 1,570 km of Namibia coast; there are in fact four national parks, the Skeleton Coast National Park, the Dorob National Park, the Namib-Naukluft National Parkand the Sperrgebiet National Park, and four marshy areas of International importance.
In this regard, National Geographic declared in 2011: "With the creation of Dorob National Park in December 2010, the (Namibian) coastline from the Kunene River on the Angolan border to the Orange River on the South African border was an almost solid barrier of parks. All the pieces were in place for what may eventually be designated Namib Skeleton Coast National Park, a single coastal megapark”.
In 2012, inside the Dorob National Park, some scenes of the sequel of Mad Max, Fury Road were shot; unfortunately, not much attention was given during the shooting and part of the delicate balance of the park was put to the test, in particular some areas covered by lichens were seriously compromised.