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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Richtersveld from Namibian side

Local worker on his way to Ausenkher , with the Orange river and the Richtersveld in the background.

Aloe Dichotoma

Aloe Dichotoma / Quiver Tree / Kokerboom:

The road to Kokerboom  Kloof , with its wide open spaces ,passed this majestic quiver tree . Sad too say we passed many dead quivers  in the Richtersveld , which must be alarming to anyone who loves this very special part of our beautiful country.

Aloe Pilansii

Photo taken on the road from Eksteenfontein to Kuboes this on our Richtersveld holiday.
This aloe pilansii also known as the giant tree aloe is iconic to this area and a wonderful sight indeed.

Footprints Revealed - Video of our Road-trip to the Richtersveld, Kgalagadi, Augrabies and Namaqua

We visited the Richtersveld and Kgalagadi in Dec 2010 and I did a video of our trip. 

Anyone interested in seeing what it looks like here, or have been here to be reminded of your trip to these locations, might be interested to see the videos of these 2 arid parks.

The reason why I recorded it was for the viewer to see what the environment looks like, the type of roads to expect if you go here and the type of accommodation available if u planning a trip to these destinations. I lost the footage of day 1, so it was replaced with photographs, but the rest of the road-trip is video and photographs combined.

Under each link is a short description of the content.  Ideally I would have put the whole video on the forum post, but Im not sure if it is possible, so here are the links:

The start of a 11 day road-trip :)  Leaving Cape Town on the 21st of December 2010, heading for a small village in the Richtersveld called Kuboes which was recently also declared a "World Heritage Site"  This video series (Days1 - 10) shows you what to expect if you choose to also visit these places.  We hope you will find it informative, as we had fun making this video especially for this reason.  Thanks for watching !!!

Day 3, we leave the Richtersberg campsite, and travel to Kokerboomkloof, Helshoogte and Akkedis pass. Along the way we see some more hard core 4x4 types passing us with caravans in tow (respect to them!) as this is a extremely harsh and rugged environment for any visitor traveling through this arid park. At the end is a quick look at the accommodation in Sendelingsdrif on the banks of the Orange River. 

NOTE: This footage was shot about 2 weeks prior to the river level rising by 8-9 meters (from about the 2nd week in January 2011) and most of it got damaged or washed away.

From our overnight spot in Sendelingsdrif in the Richtersveld, we cross the Orange River by the pontoon, and head into Namibia to drive along the road next to the Orange River.

Crossing over the Fish river at the point where it flows into the Orange River, passing Aussenkeihr, Noordoewer and heading towards Bushwacked to go river rafting.

Day 5 Fish River Canyon - Dec 2010

Leaving from our river rafting venue (Bushwacked) by the Orange River, we head back into Namibia to the Fish River Canyon, via a quick stop at the /Ai-/Ais, to overnight at The Canon Roadhouse.

Do you want to know what the roads look like driving there?  Then this explains it a little. You see the entrance to the reserve and some animals and a small section on the Urikaruus Camp.  I think that this camp is built from materials to make for a very hot spot in summer and freezing in winter. I did not like staying here one bit. We were here in the heat of summer and from experience I can just imagine that this place must be as cold in winter as it was hot in summer. The old mining style buildings just does not work for me when it comes to shelter / temperature control.

Day 7 Urikaruus to Nossob - Kgalagadi Dec 2010

Wow, this day was jam-packed with a variety of wild animals... almost every animal on this road trip was an experience to remember. Animals in this video are bat-ear fox, black-backed jackal, black mane lion, cheetah, ground squirrel, cheetah chase, secretary bird coming in for a graceful landing and a typical sandy whirlwind, baby springbok fawn, baby barking gecko.

A drive from Nossob Camp to our next stop for the night, the Polentswa unfenced camp. 

Day 8 midday Polentswa Raptors - Kgalagadi Dec 2010

Who would have thought they let them out the cage at midday?!  Wow, what a spectacular sighting this was for us... about 20 raptors frolicking in and around the Polentswa watering hole at the same time.  Our best sighting of the trip! spent hours here and loved every second of it.

We went to the watering hole at Polentswa to see if we can find something, and this beautiful Brown Hyaena came to drink some water.  He seemed very shy too.

After a quick stop at the Polentswa watering hole, we headed back to Nossob Camp.  We found a male lion roaring away in the heat of the morning... the same culprit who kept us awake the night before.

Day 9 pm Nossob to Kalahari Tented Camp - Kgalagadi Dec 2010

We found a lion resting in the Dikbaardskolk picnic spot and a Martial Eagle drinking rainwater in the road.

Day 10 pm Augrabies Dec 2010

We left the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park around lunchtime and headed for Augrabies which we were told is in flood.  Little did we know, that about 10 days later, this waterfall increased about 5 times to what you see in this video and washed the viewpoints away...

NOTE: This footage was shot about 2 weeks prior to the river level rising by 8-9 meters (from about the 2nd week in January 2011) and most of it got damaged or washed away.

In conclusion, we drove 4300km over 11 days and stayed in a different spot each night. It was far and hot.  95% of the cars that we saw were Toyota Raiders.  Our Toyota Raider was such a pleasure to be in and we understood why: the car was very comfortable to drive and made for these type of environments.  From now on, we will try to stay in one accommodation for at least 2 nights or more.   Our next park to visit is Tankwa then Kruger and probably back to the Kgalagadi...

Richtersveld Mountain Desert

Richtersveld panorama as seen leaving the Richtersberg camp site. If wide open spaces with no people in sight for miles is what you are after, this is it .

Tuesday, March 1, 2011