Early morning – The Weather Breaks!
As I left Port Nollorth heading for the Richtersveld the sky closed in again; down came the rain. I was heading for Eksteenfontein where I intended to check in and spend 3-4 nights camping in the Richtersveld Community Conservancy.
I turned left off the R382 heading for Lekkersing. Despite my GPS showing 80kms to Eksteenfontein the journey on the poor gravel road, then a slow mountain pass, where the visibility was only 100meters at times, took me 4 hours.
There is an administration office in Eksteenfontein where permits, bookings and information for the park can be found – the office was closed. Eventually with some help from the locals I found Albert who looks after the Mt. Rooiberg guesthouse, I decided to spend the night in a bed. As I unpacked for the night the rain stopped and the sky opened, was this a break in the weather?
I was packed and ready for the road as the sun came up streaming through the mountains; my spirits were high. I left the cottage and headed for Black Face Mountain where I took these first shots of the Richtersveld.
I spent the night camping, in the dry, near Black Face Mountain then decided to head for the Gariep River for the last 2 nights in this area. The route via Rooiberg to Xaimaniprivier on Tracks for Africa shows “not recommended” – not sure what the criteria is for this statement but I headed off anyway. It turned out to be a very enjoyable 4×4 experience through a spectacular dry riverbed, which took about 2 hours. I was concentrating so much that the exit from the steep sided gully took me by complete surprise as it opened out to the Gariep River banks to this wonderful sand spit on the river bend – what a fabulous day with a beautiful camp site awaiting.
From my campsite at Xaimaniprivier
Once again Tracks for Africa show my intended route out along the riverbanks as “extreme rock drive – not recommended”. For sure it was quite challenging but there was no way I was going to return the way I came. My plan was to exit through the Nababiep Nature Reserve and circumvent the Community Conservancy back to Eksteenfontein, then head to Kubeos for the night.
Helskloof/Nababiep Nature Reserve
I got to within 50 kms of Kuboes at 5:00pm and spotted a sign which said Teirhook camp site. 15 minutes later I entered camp site at Teirhook Kloof, another wonderful surprise as I set-up camp in the warm evening at this pristine empty camp. For anyone who has been to Spitzkoppe in Namibia, this site is like a mini version.
Looking out from Teirhook Kloof campsite.
Magic Mountain near Kubeos (shot in I.R.)
My next destination Sendlingsdrift and entry to the Richtersveld National Park to spend four nights exploring this region. I pre-booked two nights in De Hoop and the remaining two at Kokerboomskloof – experience so far on my Richtersveld adventure held much anticipation and excitement for the next few days. The following is a selection of the images I took.
De Hoop – Gariep River (shot in I.R)
Overall the trip was a great success even though I was somewhat hampered with bad weather and did not get a chance to photograph the first part of my route as well as I wanted.
The Richtersveld is not the easiest place to photograph, but has certainly captured my imagination. I need much more time to explore and I will go back, hopefully in the springtime, if not this year then next – hope you enjoy my work.
If you have any comments or questions please post below.