Richtersveld First Trip

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Cape Town
    Thanked: 1

    Default Richtersveld First Trip

    We visited the Richtersveld during school holidays in early July. This was our first trip, and as usual the forum posts were the first place I looked and were very helpful in preparing. Booking via the SANParks site was easy.

    We (family of four) travelled solo during school holidays and did not experience any problems, although I guess there would be some chance of being stranded for a while at quieter times of the year, given the lack of cellphone reception.

    Our route from Cape Town took us to Springbok on the first night, where we treated ourselves to a night at Naries Namakwa, about 25km outside Springbok on the R355 to Kleinzee. The plan was to continue along the R355 and then link up via one of the two minor roads to the R382 to Port Nolloth. All went well until the canopy door opened unknown to us on a corrugated section. We'd lost a couple of bags by the time we realised, and after slow retrace of our tracks we had to assume that someone had scored a full duffel bag of clothes and a few fishing rods. After some emergency shopping back in Springbok, we took the "standard" route via Stenkopf, Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay on tar, then the last approx 80km on a mainly good gravel road to the Helskloof entrance/exit gate and on to Sendelingsdrift, where we spent the night. Checking in was quick and easy. The facilities are fine and there is a small privately run shop (no alcohol on sale), but it I would rate it as an overnight stop only, since it is very close to the park staff housing and mining operations. Fuel is available but there is no restaurant.

    Based on opinions and advice, we decided to use Tatasberg as a base for three nights, rather than move from one camp to another. This also allowed us the convenience of a "non camping" trip, as we used the reed huts at Tatasberg.

    The roads in the park are slow going as widely reported, and we took a gentle trip via the Hand of God (pic 1), Akkedis Pass (pic 2) and the Richtersberg camp to Tatasberg, over an easy 4 hours. We chose not to take the sandy river bank route from De Hoop to Tatasberg as we were travelling alone. The last 3km from Richtersberg to Tatasberg are fairly sandy (pic 3) and one of the places where you probably need 4 wheel drive.

    The Tatasberg huts were great (pic 4,6,9) ; each two sleeper unit consists of a bedroom and bathroom in one hut, and a kitchen in another, connected via a river facing deck. The park was in the process of replacing the solar panels that power the fridge and lights - we had light for about an hour before needing to use our own. Each hut has a solar geyser that delivers two hot showers.

    We relaxed at Tatasberg for three nights, did some tubing and fishing on the river (pic 5), and took a day drive to Kokerboomkloof (pic 7,. All in all a very peaceful stay.

    We left the park via Helskloof pass, another slow but scenic drive. To avoid taking exactly the same route back to Springbok, we took the Lekkersing road and went via Eksteenfontein to the R382. This was a mixed success; we saved on distance but sections of the road were seriously corrugated and there was no "happy speed", just different frequencies of vibration. My suggestion of going from Eksteenfontein to Vioolsdrift via the other Helskloof Pass was vetoed based on the corrugations already experienced, so that will have to wait for another day. The gravel from Eksteenfontein to the R382 was in much better condition and we made good time, getting to Springbok mid afternoon, where we overnighted at the Daisy Country Lodge, just out of town, also very comfortable and recommended.

    The rest of the trip was the standard N7 back to Cape Town, where roadworks will be a factor for the next year or so, so build in an extra hour for the 12 stop/go sections between Vanrhynsdorp and Clanwilliam.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Thanked: 61


    love it! One of the trips on my bucket list.
    2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.8 LTZ 4x4 MT

    Photography :

    My girlfriend asked me to whisper 4 special words into her ear... so I said : "Ons gaan NOU braai!"

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