About The Richtersveld
Hidden in an apparent barren wilderness of vast inhospitable rock and sand terrain is one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts to mankind. The Ai Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park offers the most overwhelmingly vast landscape sculpted by millions of years’ exposure to the elements, its seemingly barren rocks, stones, valleys and rivers concealing a treasure trove of endemic plant life, animals and fish.
An assortment of succulents, 185 bird species, and fresh water fish e.g. Yellowfish, the Orange River Mud Fish and the Sharptooth catfish find a home in this delicate ecosystem. Angling is permitted in the Richtersveld conservancy subject to obtaining permits, this in an attempt to preserve the balance in this particularly fragile bionetwork.
Wild animals roam the plains of this hostile environment and include springbok, klipspringer, grey rheebok and steenbok. Baboon and a small population of Hartmanns’s Mountain Zebra (a protected species) are also inhabitants of this fascinating desert.
Endemic to the Richtersveld and south-west Namibia is the Halfmens also known as the Noordpool (Northpole), as the strange rosette of deciduous leaves at the crown of this extraordinary plant always faces north. Hottentot legend relates that when their ancestors were driven southwards by warlike tribes from the north, some turned back to look pensively across the Orange River and were turned into the "halfmens", eternally gazing northwards. This legend came about because the Halfmens usually face north. This stem succulent is found in clustered growth areas throughout the Richtersveld and reaches an approximate 2 to 3m in height.
Peppering the vast desert landscape are Quiver trees, from which the San people made their arrows. These trees are drought resistant and able to store water for years.
Accessible by 4x4 vehicles only, the Richtersveld is definitely not for the hesitant. Be prepared for some of the most incredible scenery as you paddle down the Orange River and get closer to the exquisite spectacle created by nature in God’s own country of the Richtersveld.
Things To See In The Richtersveld
- Rock Hyrax
- Ground Squirrel
- Jackal Buzzard
- Half-men (Half Human)
- Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra