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Easter Part 3: Kokerboomkloof, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape

Place: Kokerboomkloof, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape
Closest (significant) Town: Hmm…Alexander Bay? (150-ish km. Google maps won’t play ball)
Facilities: No water whatsoever, well-kitted but superfluous ablutions for each one of the campsites- superfluous because none have running water to operate them (loo, shower, basins)
Water: Nope
Surroundings: In the middle of a beautiful boulder-strewn kloof
Turf: Gravel, generally around rocky outcrops, so boulders for wind protection and some shade
Distance from CT: About 900-ish km
Privacy: Excellent. 8 designated campsites, but cannot hear or see neighbours.
Highlight: Kokerbome or Quiver Trees, Sunsets, Exquisite views, solitude, our camping shower!
Cost: R155 per campsite per night (includes 6 people), R45 per day conservation fee (2011)
GPS Coordinates: -28.283824,17.30072

Our Kokerboomkloof Campsite
The currently redundant ablutions

View of the valley

Overlooking our campsite

We arrived here and felt quite overwhelmed. Yes, we were reluctant to leave De Hoop, so perhaps drove into Kokerboomkloof with a meagre attitude after realising 3 hours later that nobody would have noticed if we’d stayed. But that’s not the real reason. Realistically it was because we were not quite prepared for the very thing we both wanted.

At De Hoop we had specifically said that we wished that we were the only people around (much like our experience at Gifberg). Initially at Kokerboomkloof we were. It was silent, abandoned, strange and exposed. Being the only people around for miles is something quite confrontational despite being something so desired. I laugh awkwardly at the fact that we both looked at each other and scoffed at the scenario, forgetting our rare greeting by an African Wild Cat and not recalling that this was the very reason we travelled so far for 6 days.


Contemplation aside. It’s a great destination if you seriously wish for silence. And in some ways it exemplifies my idea of the Richtersveld- an ancient landscape that feels like it knows a million stories and harbours a million secrets. I feel ashamed that the arrival of neighbours and a couple random people wandering around at sunset felt remarkably reassuring.