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Trip Report Richtersveld NP - September 2008

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rothk
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Trip Report Richtersveld NP - September 2008

Unread postby rothk » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:18 am

During our 4 weeks trip through South Africa and Namibia, we also visited the Richtersveld NP.
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We flew into Capetown and drove up via Clanwilliam and Port Nolloth/Alexander Bay to Richterveld NP.
We arrive around lunchtime at Sendelingsdrift Park Entrance. The staff is very helpful and kind and so we pay the entrance fee and confirm our reservation for 1 night at Tatasberg and 1 night at Sendelingsdrift. They offer booklets with a small map of the park, not very detailed, but it works. They show us the different routes to the camp and inform us about the closed roads. We first planned to take the route along the Orange River to the camp, but this road seemed to be closed since a long time, so we have to drive a long detour to get there. But anyway ... Before we start, we have a coffee on the terrace of the restaurant.
From there you have nice view to the Orange River
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and we watched some cars, crossing the border using the pont. It works very well.
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We enter the park in the early afternoon. The landscape is fantastic; we have a few stops to take some pictures of the nice "kokerbooms" and the mountains that surround us.
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As we arrive at Akkedis Pass (Penkop) and have to stop to let a convoy pass that comes down.
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After the last vehicle is driven past, we start to climb the pass with our Nissan Doublecab 4x4 and I must admit, I am really glad to have that kind of car. We really use all available gears, there are steep uphill passages with a lot of rocks and sometimes I have to get out to check the path and put some stones in the deep wholes.
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This was our first real off-road experience; we had no experience so far. But somehow we made it to the other side.
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The road changes completely to a sandy riverbed. We decide to stop for a small picnic. There is nobody around in this stunning landscape, really fantastic.
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We continue through the mountains,
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up and down, through riverbeds
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and over rocks
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until we the road leads down to the Orange River again. We can see the Richterberg Campsite down at the Orange River. Still 3 km to the Tatasberg Camp. This will be our first experience with real deep sand. As we stop and get out of the car, to check the road, we discover a scorpion next to our car.
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We watch him for a while and go on to the camp. The last section is really rocky, so we are glad to arrive at the camp with no tire damage.
The camp is very small, only 4 huts plus 1 for the camp assistant. He welcomes us and shows us the hut.
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It is very nice. A separate kitchen (with frige), a terrace with a braai area and a nice sleeping room including toilet and shower.
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The view to the Orange River and the mountainous landscape at the other side (Namibia !) is really fantastic. We unpack the car and have a short walk around down to the riverbed. The camp assistant is down there fishing and he shows us his catch. It is already late afternoon. It took us nearly 5 hours (70 km) to the camp!! We lit a fire and have a nice braai, listening to the sound of the night. It is getting really cold during the night, so we are really glad about the additional blankets.
We wake up early in the morning. What a great view from the terrace. The mountains glow as the sun comes up. It is a bit cloudy, but they get caught from the high mountains. We have a nice breakfast on the terrace and a morning walk up to a hill next to the camp. From there we have a view to the whole valley.
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It is getting warm. We pack our car and head back to Sendelingsdrift via Hellskloof. The route is as impressive as our way to the Tatasberg Camp.
We just drive slow and enjoy the landscape, stop several times to enjoy a coffee or a snack on some remarkable places with view to the mountainside.
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It is a long way down the Hellskloof Gorge back to the road to Sendelingsdrift again. In the afternoon we arrive at Sendelingsdrift Camp again and check in at our bungalow.
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It is really nice with at small terrace and braai area and with view to the Orange River.
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We enjoy the sundowner at the riverside, take a hot shower and decide to have our dinner inside. The bungalow is fully equipped and we are really glad about the aircondition that we can use as a heating. We enjoy the evening nice and warm inside, with at short walk through the camp after dinner.
The next morning we fill up the car and check the tires.
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At the reception we pay for the pont and go to the passport control. We drive down to the river and enter the pont. It takes us 5 minutes and we arrive at Namibian territory. We pass the border post at Nambia and go on through the Gamchab Valley along the Orange River up to Namibia and Fish River Canyon.
Last edited by rothk on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Karin

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Trip Report Richtersveld NP - September 2008

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:16 am

I agree it sounds amazing.
Thank you for giving such a comprehensive report..

I love your picnic photo.. 8)

as I was reading it, I was wondering, would my "Trusted Beauty", a Honda CRV be able to make it?
Your report has whet my appetite :clap: :clap:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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rothk
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Re: Trip Report Richtersveld NP - September 2008

Unread postby rothk » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:47 am

Dear Cel,

thanks for the feedback! Writing trip reports makes it easier to be back again :lol:

Dear Meandering Mouse,

if it is a real 4x4 and has enough clearance height it would be possible. I think it might be easier with your Honda, as it seems to be smaller and not so heavy as the double cab (especially for the steep sections). Just
include some extra time for the passes into your schedule, so you can go slowly and you will arrive safely.

Karin
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Re: Trip Report Richtersveld NP - September 2008

Unread postby WeskusKlong » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Hi Karin!

Wow, thanks this brings back good memories. Seeing your photos takes me right back to one of the most spectacular vistas in the RTP:The Maerpoort valley. This is my photo, taken a month earlier in August - it's all still the same! For those of you that wants to go and see it, these are the GPS waypoints: S28 13 04.2 E17 07 17.2

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Great report, well done :clap: :clap: :clap:
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