The Richtersveld: |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
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|Richtersveld National Park|
We decided to head north after leaving an Easter weekend booking a tad late and refusing to be part of the weekend camping masses closer to town at places still available. We managed to book camping for 5 nights across the Richtersveld National Park. We didn’t really have a choice of campsites and didn’t quite know what we were in for, so settled for a variety, which would require ample travelling in between.
The Richtersveld is splendid. Its dry ruggedness and rustic camping spots certainly wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea and it is only accessible to vehicles with a high ground clearance or off road capability. The benefit of this, however, is an escape guaranteed to be sparsely populated and that still retains a sense of forgotten-ness and isolation.
The drive from Cape Town was longer than we anticipated (12 hours getting there), considering our maps omitted a good 130km on dirt road before reaching the park, after spending too much time buying Hanne Louw’s Tamatie Blatjang and rusks in Garies and ice and over-priced wood in Springbok, and then deciding to take a short cut that wasn’t shorter and included several drives through the tiny town of Eksteenfontein to figure out which was the right dodgy-looking dirt road to go on.
|De Hoop Camp, Richtersveld|
We got there eventually, but without enough time to get to our first campsite, De Hoop, so we were obliged to stay at Potjiespram for the first night. The next few entries give a rundown of each campsite we visited.
· An ostrich chasing a springbok for almost a kilometre
· What sounded like a roaming Hyaena not far from our campsite at potjiespram
· The African Wild Cat at our campsite in Kokerboomkloof
· Incredible, ancient and vast landscapes
· De Hoop campsite on the river
· Watching people ponder and scout for the best campsites
· A pretty relaxed camping policy
What to watch out for:
· If your first night isn’t spent at Sendelingsdrif or Potjiespram, then aim to arrive at least 3 hours before dark, so you’re allowed to travel on to the camps further away (Kokerboomkloof closer to 4 hours)
· Bring plenty water
· It’s survival of the fittest- the earlier you leave, the earlier you get to a camp for a better choice
· The loud people from Joburg we encountered at Sendelingsdrif
· The Pontoon for entry into Namibia may not be open at Sendelingsdrif if the river has been flooding- check this if needed
I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.
To find out more about the park visit: SANParks
To find out more about the area and the local inhabitants, visit: Explore the Richtersveld