Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River




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  1. #1
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    Default Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Last year we did a route with a group of people from Pella to just before Vioolsdrif.

    This year December (yes I know its crazy hot) we would like to do Vioolsdrif to Alexander Bay all along the Orange river as well.


    Is this similar to the Pella stretch where one can drive all along the Orange river and sleep anywhere, not specifically in the paid campsites, and can utilise the 4x4 routes vs the busier tar routes.
    From what I have seen the "Part 2" of the Namakwa Eco route cuts down in the south of Richtersveld from Viools to Alexander. We would be interested in spending a few nights in Richertsveld area moving along the Orange River and possibly more North, before making the straight line to Alexander bay.




    Does one need a permit for this route(who do we contact and costs)?
    How long would it typically take following the Orange river from Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai?

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    If you want to keep close to the river, you have to travel along the Namibian side. There is only a short section where the road turns away fron the river. Close to Noordoewer there are several camp sites, mostly belonging to the river rafters. No wild camping. Further along there is formal camping at Narotshama and Ausenkerr, as for wild camping, I am not sure where you are allowed to camp or not to camp on the Namibian side. Re-eneter SA at Sendelingsdrift with the ferry. Make sure thet are up and running.

    On the SA side you can only stay close as far as Modderdrift, then, no matter what, all tracks lead away from the river. Along that short stretch there are many camp sites but no wild camping. The next place you can get to the river is at Sendelingsdrift where you have to enter the Richtersveld National Park. You cannot enter it from the east. Spend time in the park, move back Eastwards along the river, Potjiespram, De Hoop, Richtersberg, then backtrack and exit again at Sendelingsdrift and then drive along the river to Alexander Bay. This is mostly a mining area and as far as I know, no good places to camp.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Quote Originally Posted by tsapers View Post
    ...we would like to do Vioolsdrif to Alexander Bay all along the Orange river as well...
    In short, there isn't a route like this. As said above the closest to this is on the Namibian side, although a plain gravel road. On the SA side you'll have to enter the Richtersveld and stay at their campsites.
    Some 4x4 with an offroad caravan

    Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum is without prejudice, is based on my fair assumptions or perceptions, is in no way intended to cause harm to anyone and is acted upon at your own discretion.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Thanks Guys!

    From what I can see that area is split into the Richtersveld World Heritage Site and then Sanparks Park in the North. Is this one Sanparks area just split on the map or two seperate parks? Sanparks I understand we will have to pay for permits to enter and book accomodation beforehand to stay in the park, what about the Richtersveld WHS, is this also access controlled with permits to be booked beforehand as well as accommodation?

    Any idea on time\distance from Vioolsdrift > Modderdrift > Sendelingsdrift and would there be options to wild camp if needed?

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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    We did the full trail last year July. The second part (that you wish to do) is inland, away from the river to the south, in the conservancy—not SanParks. We took two easy days. The Bakkrans campsite is unique as you can park your vehicle and tent inside the cave. We made it from there to Senelingsdrif in a day comfortably, and on to De Hoop campsite as well in the same day.
    Russ
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Thanks all!

    OK so just to get a final picture.

    If we do the following, where would we need to book permits beforehand? As soon as you enter the conservancy is it gated like Sanparks and need to pay "at the gate" or is it like the Namakwa route where you pay for a permit beforehand and then just take the trip. We would like to get these things sorted beforehand if needed.

    Are there any wild camping options? (DJR confirmed no wild camping options on the 1st stretch).

    Vioolsdrift > Modderdrift > Eksteenfontein > Kuboes > Sendelingsdrift
    We will then possibly do a night or 2 in Sanparks (De Hoop and Kokerboomkloof maybe).
    Then:
    Sendelingsdrift > Alexander Bay > Port Nolloth

    Any other suggestions welcome. What is a must see, must pack, must watch out for, etc.

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Hi Guys and Gals

    Any more comments\suggestions on the above?
    Thanks

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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Message Peter1949 on the forum.
    He has just led a group through both Eco trail and Richtersveld and can give you the latest info.
    They did camp wild at some point.

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Thanks Paul
    Will do.

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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Not near the river .... we wild camped at Tierkloof, a beautiful place.
    Did not get to Bakkraans but have heard that is also great but only if a couple of vehicles together - Tierkloof plenty of space.
    Enjoy the magic.
    Namibian side is better if you wish to follow the river and yes, there are places to wild camp along the Orange (Gariep).
    Working on the trip report .......
    Answering the call of the wild is just so much beter than answering the telephone.
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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Thanks Peter1949! Looking forward to that report!

    Just the question regarding permits and does one need to get this beforehand?
    "If we do the following, where would we need to book permits beforehand? As soon as you enter the conservancy is it gated like Sanparks and need to pay "at the gate" or is it like the Namakwa route part1 where you pay for a permit beforehand and then just take the trip. We would like to get these things sorted beforehand if needed."

    The idea is to do the following:
    Vioolsdrift > Modderdrift > Eksteenfontein > Kuboes > Sendelingsdrift (with a stop at Tierkloof as well) Plan is to do this in 1 to 2 days depending on where we sleep.
    Then move into SanParks for 2 or 3 nights. From what I have read it will then be De Hoop and Richtersberg camps.

    From there we follow the route to the coast again along the Orange River:
    Sendelingsdrift > Alexander Bay > Port Nolloth

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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Permits from:

    [email protected]
    www.namakwa4x4.co.za
    Sel: 081 8739043
    Wilma James

    She can provide all info. etc.

    OK. We had a LOT of time.

    I'm guessing that you do not.
    The second part of the Namakwa Eco Trail is not as adventurous or as "tough" as the first section from an off-road point of view.
    The scenery is indescribable and the photo's will not give it justice.
    You need 2 - 3 nights for the second section.

    Within the National Park DO TAKE the route through Helshoogte at some point. (We did it with off-road caravans and trailers) - just go hamba kghale (never sure how to spell that!)
    NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE "ROAD TO HELL" in the Conservancy area.[U]DO NOT DO THAT[/U].

    In Richtersveld (S.A.N.P.B. section) - Yes you must get bookings & permits even if you do that at the gate / reception.
    I would suggest (without knowing your camping style or preferences) 1. De Hoop, 2. Richtersberg also along the river, then inland 3. Kokerboomkloof

    If you need any more info. please feel free to PM me.
    Answering the call of the wild is just so much beter than answering the telephone.
    ISUZU KB 280 DT LE NOW POWERED BY THIS AMAZING COMMUNITY
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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Vioolsdrif to Alexanderbaai along Orange River

    Thanks uncle Peter!

    Noted on the "hamba kancane" on doing Helshoogte. Also noted on "Road to Hell", we skipped that one last year as well and won't be venturing that way again.
    Have a lot to work with now, thanks all!

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