Richtersveld Northern Cape

The Richtersveld Northern Cape is the only true desert mountains in South Africa. This Transfrontier Park measures 5 920 km² of rugged, desolate and hauntingly most spectacular arid and desert mountain scenery in southern Africa.

No water no live. The quiver trees’ situation highlighted the fact that climate change was having an impact on desert ecosystems

Richtersveld Northern Cape South Africa

The extremely rare succulents plants such as the curious quiver tree (“kokerboom”) and the even stranger “halfmens” grows here where water is a great scarcity.

Richtersveld Northern Cape Quiver Tree duet. The branches and bark are used by Kalahari San Bushmen to make quivers for their arrows. Known as Choje to the indigenous San people

 Richtersveld Northern Cape Halfmens Tree at Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa

We did a hike in the Richtersveld Northern Cape, in August 2015. The Hakkiesdoring hiking base camp were our home for several days, since we could not complete the hiking trail due to the fact that there was no water on the trail. But that did not dampened our enthusiasm, or stop us from doing day hikes and exploring the surrounding areas of this beautiful arid landscape.

Richtersveld Northern Cape Venstervalle Hiking Trail at Hakkiesdoring Base camp. Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa.

 Richtersveld Northern Cape Hakkies Doring Base Camp. Richtersveld, Northern Cape Sout Africa.

From there, we went to the photogenic ”Kokerboom kloof” campsite for two days.  This is a magical place and an excellent location for landscape photography, as well as for star trails and the Milky Way. Unfortunately, one cannot have it all, and clouds at night made it impossible for star trails or Milky Way photography. What a pity! That just means one thing: We’ll have to go back there one day to do some night photography. (Who is joining us? 🙂 )

Richtersveld Northern Cape Dead Kokerboom, Aloe dichotoma, Quiver tree, Granite mountain, at Kokerboom Kloof. Clouds also adds to the mood of this photo.

 Richtersveld Northern Cape The Quiver Tree is probably the most spectacular aloe species that is found in South Africa because of its sculptural form

The next overnight stay on the list was De Hoop camp site, where we stayed for one night, and then to Potjiespram camp site. Both these two camps are situated next to the Orange River.

Richtersveld Northern Cape De Hoop Camp Site at Richtersveld, Northern Cape

 Richtersveld Northern Cape De Hoop Camp Site at Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa

Campsites have the basic ablution facilities, and  are very remote.  At Potjiespram we were lucky enough to have a cute little visitor, the local small-spotted Genet. It entertained us for the whole night and we took some beautiful pictures of it.

Richtersveld Northern Cape Jumping Spider taken at Hakkies Doring Base Camp, Richtersveld, Nothern Cape, South Africa

 Richtersveld Northern Cape Small-Spotted Genet taken at Potjiespram Camp Site in Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa.

There are incredible rock formations all over, and colourful desert flowers were covering this dry earth, in little spots.

Richtersveld Northern Cape Interesting Flower taken at Venstervalle Hiking trail, at Hakkies doring base camp. Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa Richtersveld Northern Cape Lobelia, South Africa Richtersveld Northern Cape Strange Plant taken at Venstervalle Hiking trail, at Hakkies doring base camp. Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa

What an extraordinary and almost sacred place! This was our first time in the Richtersveld and definitely not the last. If you need a tranquil place and wants to get away from all the noise and hectic urban life, then this magical place is a must. Not even to talk about all the photographic opportunities in this desolate rugged place!

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  1. Lizl September 20, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    Awesome photos Fanie, they capture the true essence of the moment.

    • Fanie Heymans September 20, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

      Thanks again, Lizl. Maybe we will be visiting that region again one day, hopefully we will able to do the hiking trail, and to have great weather for great pictures.

  2. Helena September 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    What a image!! The moment will be relived by yourself and fellow hikers for ever. I am sure that you will return to complete the hike and visit, Lots of photos waiting to be captured.

    • Fanie Heymans September 20, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

      Yes Helena, It is an awesome and very photogenic place. Will definitely like to go back there.

  3. Kobus October 6, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Something about the arid parks just draws you… it gets under your skin, in your blood… Once you’ve experienced the vastness, the openness, you’ll always go back… The Richtersveld – great place to find yourself and experience God’s greatness.

    • Fanie Heymans October 13, 2015 at 11:54 am #

      True words Kobus. First time I visited it and I am already hooked. It is a magical place.

  4. Cecilia October 28, 2015 at 5:16 am #

    Weereens pragtige fotos Fanie

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