Impressive rock formations, a profusion
of succulents, the 'Halfmense', and profound silence fill
the largest proclaimed mountain desert park in southern Africa.
Dramatic landscapes with rugged mountain ranges, age-old metamorphosed
lava flows and ice-age deposits sweep away inland from the
Orange River, where Fish Eagles, Egyptian Geese and Kingfishers
enjoy the green riverine vegetation that contrasts so starkly
with the desert surrounds.
The Richtersveld National Park now forms
part of the the recently declared Richtersveld/Ais-Ais Transfrontier
Park. This park will be managed by a joint committee consisting
of members of the Ais-Ais Park and Richtersveld Park. A community
member from the Richtersveld will also serve on this committee.
A pontoon will carry visitors over the Orange River from Rosh
Pinah to Sendelingsdrif. Qualified Field Guides can, on prior
arrangement, unlock the unique natural and cultural heritage
of the Park, and the bigger Richtersveld, and visitors can
also take part in traditional cultural experiences, including
song, dance, and food, by prior arrangement.
The Orange River winds its way through the
canyons of the Richtersveld National Park and with its rapids,
offers ideal canoeing and rafting. Swimming
and fishing along the river bank are refreshing after another
hot day in the Park. Guided hiking trails are operational
all year round, although only the very fit should attempt
it during the hot and dry months of November to February.
If you prefer wheels to your own feet, then mountain biking
in this adventurous wild terrain is the perfect alternative
(bring your own mountain bike). This mountain desert park
also boasts 200km of 4x4 roads, but stick to the fixed trails
as this is an eco-sensitive area.
The National Park covers the northern part
of the Richtersveld. The most common route used to get to
the Richtersveld National Park is from Springbok to Port Nolloth
and Alexander Bay. From Alexander Bay a gravel road (94km)
takes visitors past Sanddrift to the Sendelingsdrift entrance
to the Park. A 4x4 trail connects the Namibian border post
at 'Vioolsdrift' with the Park. Vehicles with high ground
clearance can follow scenic gravel roads via Lekkersing, Eksteenfontein
and Kuboes to Sendelingsdrift, enjoying a breathtaking first
impression on the Richtersveld area and its people.
The parks guesthouse on the banks of the
Orange River in Sendelingsdrift offers comfortable accommodation,
easy access into the Park and breathtaking views across the
border into Namibia. Cool down at night in one of the camping
sites in Pokkiespram, De Hoop or Richtersberg on the banks
of the Orange River, or at De Koei and Kokerboomkloof in the
mountains. The huts in the Nama camp at Pokkiespram can also
shelter you from the heavy dew that occurs sometimes after
nightfall. Brandkaros, Eksteenfontein, Rooiberg, Lekkersing,
Sanddrift, and Kuboes offer you unique places to stay overnight
if you decide to visit the Park just for a day trip.