Eish - i'm planning on visiting the park at the end of August. hopefully things improve before then. Greg, when are you going?
I'd like to get some first hand info from someone regarding the conditions.
I drive a raised 4X2 with diff-lock, capable of all but the absolute worst conditions, but one will never know exactly HOW bad things are. There will be true 4X4's in our party though if any recovery is needed.
Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2013) Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm Posts: 9699 Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain FAC Member (2012)
Howzit & welcome Buck and Will.
We went to RV in April in between the rains.
I recommend a high clearance vehicle, preferably a 4WD.
You would probably be able to get to Potjiespram (10km from Sendelingsdrift) with a sedan, but for the rest you need 4wd. It would be a pity to go all the way there just for 10% if the park, also the namaqua spring flowers should be awesome in early September and the park should be carpeted with colour.
The road from Springbok to Alex Bay is a good tarred road, and the last 90km to SD are in a good gravel road. They sometimes have a problem with fuel, at SD so I would fill up at Alex. I would return the same way unless you wish to meander slowly alone through the middle of nowhere. Look out for raptors on the telephone poles. Jackal buzzard, greater kestrel, pale chanting goshawk, black shouldered kite.
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:14 pm Posts: 6 Location: Cape Town
I have a question about the use of the Helskloof gate as it looks like it would be much quicker to use this gate to and from both De Hoop and Kokerboomkloof. Is this possible or do I have to enter and exit via Sendelingsdrift?
We are heading across to Upington after we leave the RNP and were planning on doing some stock up shopping there but we have to get there before shops close. Looks like we could save an hour or so if we are allowed to exit from this gate.
Are there any restrictions on using this gate? The info on this site does say that admission needs to be via Sendelingsdrift...
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm Posts: 2476 Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
Greg, the Hellskloof road was badly damaged from the rain and last I heard was still closed to traffic. You should phone the Parks Manager, Andy, at Sendelingsdrift before you leave and get the latest up date from him.
There is a building at the gates, but the offices are closed due that road being closed.
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm Posts: 1 Location: Cape Town
I have just returned from RNP and can answer some of the recent questions. But first I have to say that the park is absolutely stunning after the heavy rains.
The bridge between Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay is out, but there is a short detour. It's no problem for a sedan vehicle. In the park itself I would not want to travel in anything less than a 4x4. Many of the roads are in dry riverbeds that are not so dry at the moment. At one place the road to Kokerboomkloof is washed away and you have to find your way through the river. As some signs were washed away, you have to navigate carefully. It's not too much of a problem, just take some care.
Do not confuse the Helskloof Gate with the Helskloof pass. The Helskloof Gate is closed and the only entry/exit is through Sendelingsdrift. The Helskloof pass is between Eksteenfontein and Vioolsdrift and is not difficult with a 4x4, but should not be attempted with a sedan.
We left Kokerboomkloof and stayed over in a chalet at Khubus. It's R160/night for 2 people and very neat and comfortable (fridge, stove, utensils). Ask for Johanna Obies in Khubus. From Khubus to Vioolsdrift (Oewerbos campsite) via Lekkersing, Eksteenfontein, Helskloof pass took a very easy day (09h30 to 15h00).
Hi sorry for the late reply - we will also be heading back to CT on the 26th of August. but thanks for all the other info. I will only be going as far as de Hoop for a week of camping and exploring the area by foot/canoe. (with a fly-rod in hand... :-) can't wait.
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:26 am Posts: 4 Location: Sodom & Gomorrah, SA
Having read some of the experiences by people who have visited the Richtersveld, to me there appears to be conflicting information and views regards the necessity of having a 4x4 vehicle. SANParks' website states that a vehicle with sufficient ground clearance is enough, however some visitors mention that on entering the Park they had to engage low range 4x4 in order to travel. Now, I don't want to travel 1600km only to find that I can't experience the Richtersveld to its utmost and would therefore like to know what is advisable. I have a "soft" 4x4 (Nissan X-Trail). Would I be able to access and travel on all (or most) of the routes in and to and fro the Richtersveld or not. I am planning such a trip for March - April this year (2007).
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:20 am Posts: 4 Location: Johannesburg
We are visiting the Richtersveld National Park between the 1st and 7th of April 2007 and have been cautioned about the adverse winds in the Potjiespram Rest Camp. What wind conditions can we expect? We have also been told that despite booking into a particular camp, we may arrive to find all the camp sites taken. Is this true?
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