Hiking, Trails and Routes

ID #2420

Wilderness Trails in the Richtersveld National Park, Namaqualand, Northern Cape.

Wilderness Trails in the Richtersveld National Park, Namaqualand, Northern Cape. For lovers of coolness and comfort this is no place to be. But for the adventurous seeking a taste of untamed wilderness, the Richtersveld has charms beyond the imagination of ordinary people. Richtersveld National Park is 164445-Ha of rugged mountain desert, proclaimed in August 1991 to protect the world’s richest variety of succulents and a variety of animals. It is South Africa’s only true desert, receiving an annual rainfall of less than 200 mm. More than 30% of the plants are endemic to the region and owe their survival to the fog that rolls inland from the Atlantic during the night. An example is the endangered “halfmens”, one of the rarest xerophytes in the world. It consists of rugged mountains with sandy plains in between, peppered here and there with succulent groundcover. The mountains reach their summit at Kopdas Peak in the north and Rosyntjieberg in the South. In spite of its aridity, the park supports 38 mammal species, 52 species of reptile, 7 amphibian and 14 fish species. Klipspringer, steenbok, grey rhebok and duiker as well as Hartmann’s mountain zebra, baboon, leopard and caracal. Birdlife is plentiful with 192 species, especially along the river courses and in the scrubland.

Demarcated trails vary between 1 and 3 days. There are 200-km of 4x4 trails managed by SA National Parks. Private operators leaving from and returning to Springbok and Port Nolloth conduct organised safaris.

Five camping areas with camping sites varying between 3 and 8 sites per area, a self-catering guesthouse as well as traditional Nama-matjeshut camping area.

The best time to visit is in the winter, from April through October. Summer temperatures soar to above 40 deg C. You will need to take everything you need into the park with you – there are no shops in the park. Please take special precautions against dehydration and heat exhaustion. If you sleep on the ground, watch out for scorpions.

Alexander Bay is on the R382 north of Port Nolloth, which is on the R382 west of Steinkopf, which is on the N7 north of Springbok, which is at the intersection of the N7 with the N14. AIWalks

Contct:  The Park Manager
Richtersveld National Park
Box 406 Alexander Bay 8290
+27 (27) 831 1506 telephone
+27 (27) 831 1175 fax

 

 

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Last update: 2009-07-03 02:30
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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