Lifestyle/ Travel

Know your National Parks: Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

From the rugged kloofs and dramatic landscapes to the world’s richest desert fauna, the Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is a photographer’s dream.

The park is situated near Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay on the Northern Cape’s border with Namibia. The Orange River is one of the few water sources in this desert. Considering this, the flora put on a spectacular display between June and October. It transforms the landscape with vivid colour. Kokerboomkloof represent the unique vegetation you can find here.

Are there any hiking trails?

Discovering this extreme landscape on foot is not for the faint-hearted. There are various trails dedicated to give visitors an up close experience with nature. The Venstervalle Trail is the most extreme and difficult of all, often compared to the likes of the Fish River Canyon trail. The hikers needs to carry all of their belongings. This includes carrying a tent. However, due to the hot weather conditions, the route is only open from April to September.

What animals can I expect to see?

Another popular attraction is the rich bird life . There are almost 200 different species in the park. You can expect to see Jackal buzzards, African fish eagles, Verreaux’s eagles, Ludwig’s bustards and ground woodpeckers. Some larger mammals you can see are the Cape mountain zebra, klipspringers and the rock hyrax, not to mention a large number of smaller species.

Where can I stay at Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park?

There is a number of different rest camps in the park. Sendelingsdrift Rest Camp offers fully-equipped chalet accommodation. Other camp sites include a rustic wilderness camp and various other beautiful spots around the park.

There is an old pontoon at Sendelingsdrift that allows you to cross the border into Namibia. You can explore the rest of this transfrontier park from here.

Visit this website to read more about the Richtersveld: www.sanparks.org/parks/richtersveld

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