Page 1

b ound less a cr oss countr ies

“ how small we are and how little we know �

www.sanparks.org www.aridexperiences.com

Your natural heritage


Kgalagadi Transfrontier park

/Ai /Ais-richtersveld transfrontier park

Augrabies Falls national park

mokala national park

Namaqua national park

tankwa karoo national park

Three countries and six parks entwined in ecological embrace. Weave your personal encounters of the Arid Parks together into a tapestry of uplifting experiences.

Dream it, plan it, do it . . .

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arid parks


Contents

Introduction

Arid Parks - boundless across countries

Introduction to the Arid Parks Boundless Transfrontier Travel Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

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3

page

4

page

16

/Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park page 34 Augrabies Falls National Park Namaqua National Park Mokala National Park Tankwa Kar0o National Park Contacts Web, address & number details Map Find your way

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46

page

54

page

60

page

70

page

75

page

77

CREDITS Project coordinator Henriette Engelbrecht, SANParks Design & Editorial Tourism Blueprint www.blueprint.travel Majority of Photography Steve Newbould Additional Photography Piet Heymans, Barbara Hudson, Mark Wiseman, Marie Visser, Jacynth Roode, Marcia Camargo, Geoff Daglish, Bridgena Barnard, Bassie van Zyl, Morkel Erasmus, Martin Heigan, Claire Scott, Hannes Lochner, Morgan Trimble, Hein Wellman, Hanlie Fourie, Johann Visser, Sofie Mels, Annette Wilkinson, Jaco Powell, Johannes van Niekerk

V

The Arid Parks

ividly coloured wild flowers and stark desert landscapes; emerald green river beds and arid rocklands; towering giraffes and minute pygmy mice; flightless ostriches and graceful soaring eagles – this is the powerful contrasting imagery that comes alive in the Arid Parks. These Arid Parks comprise five National Parks (Kgalagadi, Augrabies Falls, /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld, Namaqua and Mokala) that are all situated within the borders of the arid and least populated province of South Africa, the Northern Cape. The Kgalagadi and the /Ai /AisRichtersveld have the added distinction of being Transfrontier Conservation Areas which straddle borders into Botswana and Namibia respectively and where the natural and cultural resources are collaboratively managed by the governments or authorities involved. Tankwa Karoo National Park, although not officially part of the Arid Cluster, has also been included in this booklet as it shares many of the characteristics of the other parks. The common thread that binds this tapestry of parks is the hardy and diverse fauna and flora which grapple against the elements to survive (and in some cases thrive) in these desert and semi-desert regions. The beauty and solitude of these open space are uplifting and often awe striking, drawing visitors from home and abroad to find a temporary repose from modern living.

A special thanks to the staff of the individual Arid Parks and everybody else involved in the project for their valuable input

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Crossing Borders south Africa, Botswana and Namibia

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Remember, when crossing the borders you will need your passport and your vehicle registration papers. For more information on crossing the border from Richtersveld, phone the Sendelingsdrift (SA) Port of Entry office 054 5610093. For more information on crossing the border from Kgalagadi, phone the Twee Rivieren (SA) Port of Entry 027 8312203 8

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he Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is an ecological corridor that allows for animals’ natural cross border migration, with the added convenience of enabling human visitors to cross borders too. You don’t need a passport for this if you intend to remain within the confines of the park, however, as with any international crossing, you will need your passport if you want to exit the park into Botswana, Namibia or South Africa. Coming

from Souh Africa, all passport control is done at Twee Rivieren regardless of whether you intend to exit into Namibia or Botswana. When in /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld, you will need to use the pont at Sendelingsdrift to cross from South Africa into Namibia (or visa versa) and your passport will be required. The many travel options once in Botswana or Namibia could fill this booklet many times over, therefore we have given you some handy contact details on page 75 to help you plan. One of the exciting cross-border options which all nature lovers should consider, especially if you want to visit both /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld and Kgalagadi, is detailed on the following pages.

You

can cross from

South Africa

|Ai|Ais-Richtersveld (top

to

Namibia

photo) or at

by pont at

Mata-Mata

in the

Sendelingsdrift

in the

Kgalagadi (above)

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C15

a suggested adventure from /Ai /Ais-RichtersveLd to Kgalagadi

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C14 C27 C15

Helmeringhausen

C17

Mata Mata

KoĂŤs B 1

C13 C14

Aus

C13

B 4

KEETMANSHOOP Mesosaurus Fossils / Seeheim

Giants Playground

Goageb

NAMIBIA

Twee Rivieren

C12

B 1

/AI /AIS RICHTERSVELD TRANSFRONTIER PARK

Fish River Canyon

C12

Grunau

Rosh /Ai /Ais Pina

C10

B 3

Sendelingdrift

Karasburg

(ferry crossing)

C37

M22

p l a nn i n g

Cross between South Africa and Namibia via the pont at Sendelingsdrift, which offers an adventurous route between the Richtersveld and the /Ai /Ais sections of the Park. It is also an enjoyable way of travelling to the ever popular Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Once you and you vehicle have crossed the mighty Orange River into Namibia, follow the excellent dirt road eastwards along the river towards the C37 turn-off. The desert mountain scenery along this route is spectacular. From the C37 turn left to the / Ai /Ais Hot Springs where it is recommended that you book in for a few nights and enjoy the warm therapeutic waters. See page 28 for more information on the Ai-/Ais camps. Take a day to explore the breathtaking Fish River Canyon from your base at the Springs or Hobas.

KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK

B 1 C19

To Botswana

Transfrontier

B 1

SOUTH AFRICA

Above The route taken is marked in red (map not to scale) See more detailed maps on the inside back cover Background The road between Richtersveld and /Ai /Ais Opposite page, /Ai /Ais www.aridexperiences.com

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Boundless Southern Africa is a forward-thinking initiative that promotes seven transfrontier conservation areas (TFCA’s) within southern Africa. A TFCA is defined as “the area or component of a large ecological region that straddles the boundaries of two or more countries, encompassing one or more protected areas as well as multiple resource use areas”. What makes the concept so progressive is that it is marketed in terms of ecosystems and not in terms of political or geographical boundaries. It unites African nations as viable and worthy collective tourist destinations and thereby boosts economic growth. It also promotes greater collaboration between African countries when it comes to conserving and protecting this continent’s rich and extraordinary environments, nature, heritage and cultures. Boundless Southern Africa is the marketing brand chosen by nine southern African countries to represent some of the best ecotourism destinations the region has to offer, including the /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. For more information go to www.boundlesssa.com

Open spaces, unlimited beauty, infinite possibilities. 12

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Once back on the road, head east on the C10 and north (left) to the C12. This will take you to the tarred B4 and Keetmanshoop, where if need be, you can fill up and restock. Leave Keetmanshoop on the B1 north and after 3km turn north-east onto the C16 road and 500m later onto the C17. Not far along the C17 is the Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground, where massive dolerite boulders form interesting random shapes. Another half hour’s drive along the C17 brings you to the Mesosaurus Fossils on the farm Spitzkoppe Ost, where trace fossils support the theory of the Continental Drift. Continue on to the nearby settlements of Koes. After this, it is a further 66km to the C15 turnoff and 74km through red Kalahari dunescapes to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park’s Mata-Mata Port of Entry. If you intend to cross into the Botswanan side of the Park, you will need to travel to Twee Rivieren first to check in at border control and have your passport stamped.


Moving between the Parks Planning your Arid Park route through South Africa

T

ravelling, and the planning of your trips, in some of these remote areas can be intimidating when you are not sure where you are going or who to contact. Therefore, to help you get the most out of your visit to the Arid Parks, we have put together a few suggested routes, included some contact details on page 75, as well as a map of the area on the fold-out cover. The three biggest commercial centres in the region are Kimberley, Upington and Springbok with Kuruman and

Calvinia at the northern and southern entrance points. Each offer all the amenities you would expect in bigger centres with Kimberley and Upington having the added advantage of commercial airports. Coming from the South (Cape Town) The Tankwa Karoo National Park (see page 70) with its wide open landscapes is the furthest south of the Arid Parks and can be accessed on the gravel surfaced R355 between Ceres and Calvinia. Approximately 70km west of Calvinia is Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve where the Oorlogs River cuts through a rugged series of deep ravines. Also nearby is the 100m high Nieuwoudtville Falls. However, the main road from the south is the N7. A convenient place to stop for fuel, 460km north of Cape Town, is Garies. The natural monument of Letterklip, just northwest of the town, comprises several enormous megalithic boulders with inscriptions of early travellers. Just 47km north is Kamieskroon, and 22km north-west of the town (you have to turn off at Kamieskroon) you will 1175 1039 1551

418

837

403

336

666 710 641 Calvinia

454

623

518

881

779

219

560

857

522 284 Colesberg

752

467

750

842

960

175

409

800

238 Kimberley

990

519

988

1080 1084

413

263

662

Kuruman

399 Springbok

1291 1274 1365 1642 912

554

975

875

958

1243

821

576 Upington

636

417

575

667

998

Bloemfontein

756

1405 1042 1660 Cape Town

927

598

300

992

667

p l a nn i n g

826

Durban

East London

1062 Johannesburg Port Elizabeth

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find the plant haven of Namaqua National Park (see page 54). 70 kilometres further north of Kamieskroon on the N7 is Springbok. Springbok and the smaller surrounding towns of Nababeep, Okiep and Carolusberg have a colourful history, largely based on the copper mining industry, and are well worth exploring. 15km southeast of Springbok is Goegap Nature Reserve which supports 600 indigenous plant species. From Springbok you either head further north, via Steinkopf, Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay to the surreal mountain desert of /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld

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Transfrontier Park (see page 34) or east on the N14 towards Kakamas. The four Richtersveld villages and the landscape south of the /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Park are also worth exploring and offer an interesting insight into their culture. Back on the N14 you cross into the Green Kalahari and eight kilometres before Kakamas, with its operating waterwheels, you turn left to the ever popular Augrabies Falls National Park (see page 46). The nearby Riemvasmaak with its own hot springs and black-rock volcanic wilderness is just north of the Falls. Returning to the N14 through vineyard lined roads, you head on to Kakamas. From here onwards to Keimoes, Kanoneiland and then Upington you will find the view of vineyards and the mighty Orange River dominant. The Orange River Wine Cellars Co-operative is represented at most of these towns, so do stop and indulge in wine tasting or a tour of the cellars. If you are going to visit the incredible 3.7 million hectare Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (see page 16) Upington is the place to stock up on foodstuffs, fuel and plenty of liquids. Upington and its surrounds have many interesting tourist attractions (too many to go into detail here) and is well placed for a stopover. When heading north to the Kgalagadi, 13km north of Upington is the small game park of Spitskop. Take time to visit and stay over at the guest farms of the Red Dune Route - the hospitality of these remotely situated Kalahari farmers will leave you astounded.


Coming from the North From Gauteng you enter our area along the N14, via Vryburg and Kuruman. Kuruman, with its life giving Eye Spring and Moffat Mission Station, is also an excellent refreshment stopover. From here you can choose to take the more adventurous (and mostly gravel roads) route via the mining town of Hotazel and Van Zylsrus to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (see page 16), or continue to Upington. The rest of your options will be similar to touring from the south, only vice-versa.

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Be entranced exploring the depths of Northern Cape’s natural wonders www.aridexperiences.com

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Coming from the south east and Kimberley If you are driving from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape or KZN via the N1, take the turnoff at Three Sisters on the N12 to Kimberley. The turnoff to the recently proclaimed Mokala National Park (see page 60), is just over 300 kilometres after the quaint little town of Victoria West, and a mere 57km south of Kimberley. Kimberley is the capital of the Northern Cape and the diamond capital of the world. Of its many attractions, those not to be missed include: the famous Big Hole Museum Complex, which has recently undergone a multi-million rand upgrade; the Nooitgedacht Glacial Pavements; and if you find Anglo-Boer War history enthralling, the N12 Battlefields Route and its Magersfontein Battlefield, is a must en-route to Mokala.

To get to the rest of the Parks from Kimberley head west on the N8. Pass Griquatown and turn right to Witsand Nature Reserve where you can see sixty metre white dunes cradled by the contrasting red Kalahari sands. There is good overnight accommodation here, but no fuel. From Witsand take the gravel road to the N14 and west to Upington and the rest of the Parks as described in the previous paragraphs.

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a truly unspoilt wilderness

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

T

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To this glorious collection of large mammals, one can add the smaller animals, such as the mischievous suricates, ground squirrels (shading themselves with their tails), whistling rats, luminous blue headed ground agama and barking geckos. And, one can’t forget the thousands of sociable weavers with colossal thatched ‘apartments’, lappetfaced and whitebacked vultures, the acrobatic bateleur, the tiny pygmy falcon and the large swooping martial eagle. Put all of these wonderful creatures in amongst endless waves of red dunes and dry riverbeds with majestic camelthorn and shepherd trees and you have the magic that is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. www.aridexperiences.com

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Kgala gadi

he Kgalagadi, simply put, is colossal. At nearly 38 000 km2 it is larger than many countries and one of the largest National Parks in the world. An amalgamation of South Africa’s previous Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park, this park was officially opened on 12 May 2000. It was the first formally declared transfrontier park in Africa. Meandering through both countries, the Nossob riverbed unites both sides of the Park with the promise of life giving moisture. Two of the three Kalahari eco-types are found here. The south-western part comprises duneveld, with its unique semi-desert vegetation and the northeastern part comprises Kalahari plains thornveld. The area also incorporates salt pans which play an important role in the grazing and life patterns of the game. The large mammals, especially the predators, are always a major drawcard at Kgalagadi, the powerful black maned Kalahari lions, solitary leopard, sleek cheetah, majestic gemsbok, massive herds of wildebeest, graceful giraffe, hyaena, foxes, springbok and many others.


Attractions & Activities

C

getting there

T

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K gala gadi

he main entrance is in the most northerly and remote part of South Africa’s Northern Cape. The closest commercial centre is Upington, which is 255km south of the Park. The road from Upington to the Park gate is tarred. The roads within the Park are all gravel but all the main roads on the South African side can be navigated with a two-wheel drive vehicle. In order to visit the Botswanan side, and for some parts of the minor paths on the South African side, you will however need a 4x4. There are commercial flights to Upington, where you can hire a vehicle, or hire a chartered plane and fly directly to the landing strip in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The GPS coordinates for Twee Rivieren (Kgalagadi) are: S 26026”53.6’ and E 20036”24.8’ Elevation 2887ASL; runway bearing (magnetic) 3200/1400; length 1 825m x 18m wide (tarmac).

onventional self-drive game viewing and relaxing around a campfire will always take precedence at a National Park (or Transfrontier Park such as this). There is no need to be limited to these however, as there are many other activities to enrich your visit. Experience the Kgalagadi to the full on a guided sunset drive. Depart at dusk and watch the sunset bring the warm Kalahari sands to life and return to camp under the cover of darkness. The radiant star- and moonlight contrast spectacularly against the jet-black sky. Participate in the natural beauty of a Kalahari dawn by going on an early morning walk. An informative field guide will share secrets of this thirsty land with you as the day gently unfolds. View slide shows and DVD’s at the Twee Rivieren Information Centre as well as You can go on a guided sunset drive (top), go on the photographic a guided early morning walk (above) and see various gallery displaying exhibitions (below) images donated to us by worldrenowned wildlife photographers. Or, make use of an electronic flower field guide. Learn more about the fascinating lifestyles of the predators at the Nossob Predator Centre as well as the beginnings of the Park at Twee Rivieren.


For those that own 4x4s, the Park offers many alternatives to the conventional roadways. On the Botswana side there are the Kaa, Polentswa and Mabuasehube trails. In South Africa Auchterlonie museum, 31kms north of Twee Rivieren, there is the guided on the Mata-Mata road four day, three night Nossob 4x4 Eco-trail, departing from either Twee Rivieren or Nossob (depending upon the month) every Monday year round (except Christmas and New Year), as well as the Leeuwdril 4x4 trail (13.2 km), a self-drive one way trail accessible and bookable from Twee Rivieren. All bookings must be made in advance at Reception where more information on the times and availability of your chosen activity can be obtained.

Hiking in the Kgalagadi

A

camp at

Mabuasehube

in

Botswana

botswana infrastructure

T

he Botswanan side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a place of absolute Kalahari wilderness. It is only open to 4x4 vehicles and you need to be fully selfsufficient to travel the area. A passport is not needed long as entry and exit is made through the same gate. Camping is available at Two Rivers, Polentswa, Rooiputs and the Mabuasehube area.

Trails Kaa Game Viewing Trail can be travelled in a single day, however, it is advisable to camp one night en route. The trail can be travelled in both directions. Polentswa Wilderness Trail allows one party of not less than two and not more than five vehicles to depart daily. Mabuasehube Wilderness Trail can only be travelled from Mabuasehube to Nossob. It passes through lovely tree savannah for most of the way.

For reservations

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Accommodation in SA

O

n the South African side of this unique semi-arid Kalahari wonderland, SANParks has three recently upgraded traditional camps and six truly unique wilderness camps. Added to this is also an exclusive lodge owned by the ‥Khomani San.

The following 12 pages detail the South African camps. www.aridexperiences.com

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Kgala gadi

For the more energetic the !Xerry Wilderness hiking trail, named after the diminutive steenbok, departs from Nossob every Wednesday (from April to October) returning on Friday. The trail is a selfcatered, guided experience where the hikers provide their own food, tents and water; these (along with the hikers) are transported to the base camp where they will sleep for two nights, and at the conclusion of the trail they’ll be returned to Nossob by the same means. The participants sleep at the rustic !Xerry bush camp. An armed and experienced guide will be in attendance to unlock the secrets of the Kalahari to participants.

To camp on the Botswanan side of the Park and to book one of the wilderness trails contact: The Parks and Reserves Reservation Office, e-mail dwnp@gov.bw Tel 00 (from South Africa) 267 318-0774 Fax 00 (from South Africa) 267 318-0775


Twee Rivieren Kgalagadi Park Traditional camp Number of chalets

31

Maximum people per chalet 1x6p, 22x4p, 2x3p & 6x2 people

24 with electrical points and 6 without Electricity, 240v, 15amp, 24 hours Supplies The shop at Twee Rivieren is well stocked Other facilities Swimming pool, Information Centre, restaurant, main Reception and border control activities Guided morning and sunset drives, guided morning walks, slide show, photographic exhibition Camping sites

Power source

T

wee Rivieren is the administrative centre and biggest rest camp. It is at the most southerly point of the Park and just inside the main gate on the South African side. All visitors need to check in at Twee Rivieren Reception, regardless of whether you are staying at the camp or not. The camp consists of air-conditioned chalets, the largest site for camping and caravanning in the Park, an information centre, a restaurant (the only one in Kgalagadi) and a shop which stocks basic foodstuffs as well as books and souvenirs. The swimming pool is for residents only. Book at Reception for night drives and guided day walks. Petrol and diesel are available, although closed at lunch time. This is the only camp with 24 hrs electricity and cell phone reception.

All

the chalets are fully equipped

and air-conditioned

Border crossing Patrons report at the new Twee Rivieren reception on entering the park. The border post control officials are also to be found here

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arid parks

Kgala gadi

Visitors who are leaving from Botswana to South Africa, or vice-versa, as well as those coming and going to Namibia at the Mata-Mata gate must report to the customs officials at Twee Rivieren’s reception. If you are staying within the Kgalagadi Park you do not need a passport even for the Botswana side, it is only necessary if you enter in one country and exit in the other. All visitors using the Park’s Port of Entry points must sleep in the Park for at least two nights.

The largest shop and only Restaurant are at Twee Rivieren

Fuel is available at Twee Rivieren, Mata-Mata and Nossob

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Mata-Mata

The new thatched Mata-Mata

chalets at

KGalagadi Park Traditional camp Number of chalets

13

7x2p, 4x4p, 2x6 people 20 with electrical points Power source Electricity, 240v, 15amp, 05:00-23:00 Supplies The shop at Mata-Mata has basic supplies Other facilities Swimming pool, bird hide, Port of Entry to Namibia activities Guided morning and sunset drives; guided morning walks Max people per chalet Camping sites

T

he Mata-Mata camp is on the Namibian border and has been given a major face-lift. The older chalets have been upgraded, the prefabs removed and 8 exquisite brand-new thatched chalets have been built. The new chalets all overlook the dry river bed allowing visitors to feel at one with nature. The border post to Namibia was opened in October 2007 and makes travelling to other Parks within southern Africa much more convenient (see page 23 for more information). This is the smallest of the traditional camps with a shop and fuel is available during business hours. Night drives and guided day walks can also be arranged from here.

.

Nossob KGalagadi Park Traditional camp

Number of chalets

18

2x6p, 6x4p, 2x3p and 8x2 people 20 with electrical points Power source Electricity, 240v, 15amp, 05:00-23:00 Supplies The shop at Nossob is very basic Other facilities Predator information centre activities Guided morning and sunset drives, guided morning walks, !Xerry Wilderness Trail (see page 16) Maximum people per chalet Camping sites

hiking

trail camp that is run from the

28

near

Nossob

N

ossob is very centrally situated and the chalets have been redecorated and revamped. It is also the best positioned departure point from which to explore the vast Botswanan side of the Park. Facilities include chalets, camping and a predator information centre. Night drives and guided day walks can also be arranged here. There is a shop and fuel is also available. arid parks

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Kg al agad i

The !Xerry Wilderness !Xerry Bush Camp


Kieliekrankie KGalagadi Park wilderness camp Number of units

4

2 people Solar and gas (no conventional plugs) Supplies Twee Rivieren is a little over an hour’s drive away Maximum people per chalet Power source

K

ieliekrankie is perched on one of the highest dunes in the Kalahari with seemingly infinite views over the surrounding dunes. The unfenced camp is the perfect venue to enjoy sundowners while absorbing the feeling of the immense space. The area consists of dune vegetation with few trees and the units overlook a waterhole.

Each unit has its own bathroom, bedroom and fully equipped kitchen with cooking utensils, cutlery, and fridge/freezer. The beds, as in all the camps, are supplied with fresh linen and serviced daily.

Urikaruus KGalagadi Park wilderness camp Number of chalets

4

2 people Solar and gas (no conventional plugs) Supplies The Twee Rivieren shop is a 2 hour drive away Other facilities The units are linked by a raised boardwalk Maximum people per chalet Power source

ithout moving from your camp you may be privileged to witness herds of springbok, wildebeest, giraffe, lion or even cheetah. Surrounded by Camelthorn trees, this lofted camp overlooks a very active waterhole in the river bed. The trees attract thousands of birds - sandgrouse, finches, doves and falcons, to name a few. Urikaruus is situated on the bank of the Auob River between Twee Rivieren and Mata-Mata camps.

30

arid parks

Kgala gadi

W

Each unit has its own kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and is fully equipped with cooking utensils, cutlery, linen and fridge/freezer. Like all the wilderness camps there always is an armed ranger on site. www.aridexperiences.com

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Kalahari Tented Camp KGalagadi Park wilderness camp Number of chalets

15

4x4p and 11x2 people Solar and gas (no conventional plugs) Supplies Fuel and a small shop are close-by (3km) at Mata-Mata Other facilities Swimming pool Maximum people per chalet Power source

T

he Kalahari Tented Camp is conveniently close to Mata-Mata and the recently opened Namibian border post. With 15 units it is by far the largest of the wilderness camps. Sightings of plenty of giraffe are usually made in the vicinity. There is a swimming pool, surrounded by an elegant wooden tanning deck, to cool down in. The spacious stilted canvas tents are elegantly decorated and look out on a waterhole in the ancient Auob River. Guided morning and sunset drives, as well as guided morning walks can be arranged from here.

Each unit has a large bedroom and bathroom with a separate tented kitchen. The kitchen is fully equipped with cooking utensils, cutlery, linen and fridge/freezer.

Bitterpan KGalagadi Park wilderness camp Number of chalets

4

2 people Solar and gas (no conventional plugs) Supplies Both Nossob and Mata-Mata are under 60km away Other facilities Raised viewing platform and a private circular drive route Maximum people per chalet Power source

itterpan is accessible only to four-wheel drive vehicles (no trailers) and links the two rivers of Nossob and Auob. The route may only be travelled in a one-way direction from Nossob to

Mata-Mata. The area overlooks a huge pan but has few trees. The camp, which is small and exclusive, is surrounded only by the silence of the great Kalahari. It has four twobed units with their own bathrooms. The communal kitchen and braai area makes this a very popular site for 4x4 groups. Each unit has its own bathroom and bedroom. A communal kitchen is fully equipped with cooking utensils, cutlery, linen and fridge/freezer.

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Kgala gadi

B


Gharagab KGalagadi Park wilderness camp

Number of chalets

4

2 people Solar and gas (no conventional plugs) Supplies The closest shop and fuel is at Nossob which is 23/4 hours south by car Other facilities Raised viewing platform and short drives to Gharagab (4km) & Dankbaar (18km) waterholes Maximum people per chalet Power source

G

haragab is only accessible to 4x4 vehicles and the one-way sand track is turned into from the main road, 20km on from Grootkolk. Situated in the north of the Park close to Union’s End, this camp will give visitors the chance to experience this beautiful tree and grass savanna veld of the Kalahari. The units are made from a combination of wood, cane and canvas and, like the other wilderness camps, are well equipped. The water here is very salty, even too salty for cooking, so remember to bring your own. Each unit has its own kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and is fully equipped with cooking utensils, cutlery, linen and fridge/freezer.

Grootkolk KGalagadi Park wilderness camp Number of chalets

4

2 people Solar and gas (no conventional plugs) Supplies The closest shop and fuel is at Nossob which is 21/2 hours by car to the south Other facilities A communal kitchen, dining room and braai place allow 8 people to socialise together Maximum people per chalet Power source

T

Kgala gadi

he remote northerly parts of the Kgalagadi are a favorite haunt for the unique black maned Kalahari lion. And only 20km from Union’s End and close to the Namibian border is the Grootkolk Wilderness Camp, the most northerly situated camp. Although it is in a remote situation this small and exclusive camp is still accessible to two-wheel drive vehicles. The camp is unfenced, bringing the veld right to your door. There is a trained and armed ranger to help protect you from wild predators. A waterhole which attracts wildlife is visible from the camp when lit up at night and adds to the magical atmosphere of the vast open plains.

Each unit has its own kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and is fully equipped with cooking utensils, cutlery, linen and fridge/freezer.

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!Xaus Lodge KGalagadi Park Luxury lodge Number of beds

24

2 people Self-generated electricity (5 hours a day) Supplies All meals are catered for by the lodge. A curio shop sells artworks made by the ‡Khomani San Activities Early morning guided dune walks, visiting ‡Khomani San crafters, sunset drive with sundowners on the dunes, night game drives & star gazing through telescopes Maximum people per room Power source

!

Xaus Lodge is run by a private concessionaire on the !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage land returned to the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities. It is the only fully-catered luxury lodge to be located in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It is a 24-bed thatched luxury lodge that blends into the landscape of this remote wilderness area. Situated on the red dunes of the Kalahari it overlooks an enormous salt pan where, from the privacy of the deck of your own chalet, you can observe the animals drinking at the waterhole below.

For more information contact: Transfrontier Parks Destinations info@xauslodge.co.za +27 21 701 7860 (office) +27 79 7711 418 (mobile) www.xauslodge.co.za

Official Kgalagadi

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Travel Guides

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he Kgalagadi Kids Guide will keep the children occupied and educate them at the same time. Based on the main guide it has a animal spotting section, puzzles, colouring activities and games.

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Kgala gadi

n indispensable travel guide of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is available at the Park Reception. This A4 publication has over 160 full colour photographs and covers the history of the Park and surrounding areas, climate, geology, rivers and resource management. But most importantly for the tourist, it includes illustrated descriptions of all the main plantlife, birds, small sand creatures, mammals, reptiles, antelopes and predators. To help you get around The guides are for sale at Reception. it includes a detailed map with The Travel Guide and times and distances between Kids Guide are only camps, waterholes and attractions. available in English.

Don’t forget the kids!


an extraordinary mountain desert

/Ai /Ais Richtersveld auntingly beautiful and seared by a blistering sun, the lava mountains and sandy plains form southern Africa’s largest Mountain Desert Park. In August 2003 an international treaty was signed between the Presidents of South Africa and Namibia to form the /Ai /AisRichtersveld Transfrontier Park. This has opened the way for border crossings within the Park between South Africa and Namibia, where a pont takes you across the Orange River at Sendelingsdrift. Though surrealistically harsh (this is the driest area in the Northern Cape), the rugged Richtersveld side of the Park nurtures some 30% of all South Africa’s succulent plant species. With less than 50mm of rain each year, it is 38

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home to leopards, lizards and adventurers. Paradoxically beautiful, it is a land for those keen to ‘rough it’. You can explore it from the comfort of your 4x4 or paddle the river, taking in the awe-inspiring, seldom-seen purity of a mountain desert wilderness. This is a harsh and unpredictable land where water is scarce and lifesustaining moisture comes in the form of early morning fog – called ‘Ihuries’ or ‘Malmokkies’ by the local people – which rolls in from the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean, sustaining a remarkable range of small reptiles, birds and mammals. A staggering assortment of plant life, some species occurring nowhere else, is to be found here, with gnarled quiver trees, tall aloes and quaint ‘half-mens’ keeping vigil over this inscrutable landscape. www.aridexperiences.com

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/Ai /ais-Richtersveld

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Transfrontier Park


The

mighty

Fish

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Canyon

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he rugged landscapes and high diversity of arid plant species are undoubtably the biggest attractions of the Richtersveld. Added to that is the challenge of the ‘offroad’ driving, the seclusion of the wilderness camps and the contrast that the Orange River brings to its arid surrounds. Fly-fishing and river rafting on the river are also very popular. On the Namibian side the awesome Fish River Canyon and the /Ai /Ais hot springs are the main attractions. For those fit enough, the 5 day Fish River Canyon hiking trail is also very rewarding. /Ai /ais-Richtersveld

endelingsdrift is the main South African entrance to the Park. The closest substantial commercial centre is Springbok which is just over 300km away, depending on the route you take. You can drive to Sendelingsdrift with a two-wheel drive vehicle, but once in the Park, and to travel many of the alternative routes to and around the Park, you will need a 4x4 vehicle. Sedan vehicles are not permitted. The most common route is north from Springbok on the N7, turning left at Steinkopf (49km) onto the R382 to Port Nolloth (94km). From Port Nolloth you head north for 84km to Alexander Bay. This is where the tarmac ends. From Alexander Bay head back inland for 90km to the Park gate. Besides being the entry point to the Richtersveld side of the Park, Sendelingsdrift is also a border post and entry to the Namibian side of the Park. A restored pont offers an unusual and convenient way of crossing the Orange (Gariep) River that separates the two countries. The pont can carry a maximum of 6 metric tones and, weather permitting, runs from 8h00 to 16h15 daily.

The Pont, transports you across the river (on occasion the pont is shut down due to strong winds - so please phone in advance to find out if it is operational).

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Sendelingsdrift Richtersveld Park rest Camp Number of chalets

10

4x4 people, 6x2 people 12 with hot water ablutions (no electricity at campsites) Power source Electricity, 240v, 15amp, 24 hours (chalets only) Supplies A small supply store Other facilities Swimming pool, main Reception, Port of Entry control with pont crossing (enquire to confirm if pont is running) Maximum people per room Camping sites

A

ll visitors to the Park have to report to the Reception at Sendelingsdrift, which is just inside the main gate. The ten chalets are perfect for the first night’s stopover or for those just wanting to make use of the pont. They are built in the style of an old mining camp and equipped with air conditioning, fridge and two plate electric stoves. The front porches all have views over the Orange (Gariep) River and there is a swimming pool. The nearby camping site is basic and enclosed. The pont which takes you over the river to Namibia is close by.

Pootjiespram Richtersveld Campsite 18 with cold water ablutions None activities Fly fishing, river rafting (own equipment needed) and swimming in the Orange River Number of camping sites

Power source and supplies

/Ai /ais-Richtersveld

education centre facilities

Accommodation in traditional Nama huts

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ootjiespram is the largest campsite in the Richtersveld. Only eleven kilometres from Reception, it is situated on the banks of the Orange River and is a favourite first stop camp site as it is away from the more built up Sendelingsdrift. Although there are cold water ablutions the sites are still very informal and well spread out. The educational centre, with its traditional Nama matjieshuis to sleep in, also has a large boma. It is well away from the main camping site and can be booked for school groups.

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Above & Right All the campsites at Pootjiespram have access to the river. Left The

educational

centre is well away from the main camping area

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De Hoop Richtersveld Campsite 12 with cold water ablutions None activities Fly fishing, river rafting (own equipment needed) and swimming in the Orange River Number of camping sites

Power source and supplies

T

his is one of the most popular spots in the Park and is arguably the most centrally situated camp site that is also on the river. This area is also a favourite with fly-fisherman, birdwatchers and children.

Richtersberg Richtersveld Campsite 6 with cold water ablutions None activities Fly fishing, river rafting (own equipment needed) and swimming in the Orange River Number of camping sites

Power source and supplies

A

nother popular spot for those who want to have the river flowing past their tent. The camp, like De Hoop, overlooks the river and the rugged mountains on the Namibian side. These are complemented by the jagged peaks of the awesome Tatasberg range.

/Ai /ais-Richtersveld

Kokerboomkloof Richtersveld Campsite Number of camping sites 8 with dry Power source and supplies None

toilets

Boulder hopping, viewing of the most awesome rock formations activities

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his Kloof is favoured by photographers as it’s home to some of the best rock formations in the Richtersveld. The rocks seem to absorb the light and the hues of the rocks change throughout the day. The campsites are all snuggled up against massive boulders. There is no water available, therefore bring your own. The closest water is at Richtersberg, 32km away.

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Tatasberg Richtersveld wilderness camp Number of chalets

4

2 people Solar lights and geysers (no conventional plugs) Other facilities Orange River frontage Maximum people per chalet Power source

T

atasberg Wilderness Camp, within sight of the Orange River, is beautifully constructed of natural materials that blend into the surrounds. The uniquely designed chalets have their own design, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and are fully equipped with cooking utensils, cutlery, linen and fridge/freezer. Solar panels provide light and gas geysers provide hot water.

Gannakouriep Number of chalets

/Ai /ais-Richtersveld

Richtersveld wilderness camp 4

2 people Solar lights and geysers (no conventional plugs) Other facilities Within a rocky valley Maximum people per chalet Power source

G

annakouriep is situated in a rocky valley that has a wild feeling about it. Each chalet has its own unique design, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and is fully equipped with cooking utensils, cutlery, linen and fridge/freezer. Solar panels provide light and gas geysers provide hot water. It also caters for people using wheelchairs. Please note that the water at Gannakouriep is very high in mineral content and is therefore not suitable for drinking. Guests should bring their own drinking water.

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Richtersveld Conservancy community accommodation

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he Namas are an integral part of the Richtersveld and no visit to the Park would be complete without visiting (and preferably overnighting in) at least one of the surrounding villages of Lekkersing, Eksteenfontein, Sanddrift or Kuboes. For more information contact the Richtersveld Reception. Tel +27 (0)27 831-1506

The Camp

overlooking

Left Mats

Kuboes

being made for the traditional

matjieshuis (mat huts)

/Ai /Ais Namibian park camps

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Gondwana Cañon Park

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utside the Park, just a few kilometres east of the Fish River Canyon, is a well managed private conservation area named Gondwana Cañon Park where four types of lodging can be found. E-mail: info@gondwanapark.com Tel +264 (0)61 230066

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Official /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld

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Travel Guide

detailed travel guide of the /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is available at the Park Reception. This A4 publication has over 160 full colour photographs and covers the history of the Park, the conservancy, climate, geology, and resource management. To help you get around it includes a detailed map with times and distances between camps, waterholes and attractions. The guide is sold at the Sendelingsdrift Reception www.aridexperiences.com

/Ai /ais-Richtersveld

he Namibian side of the Park gives you the choice of staying at /Ai /Ais Hot Springs Resort or the Hobas Camp site. /Ai /Ais, meaning ‘burning water’, is situated at the southern end of Namibia’s Fish River Canyon. The /Ai /Ais Hot Springs Resort has thermal baths in the spa complex that are particularly soothing for people suffering from rheumatism. There are indoor pools of various temperatures and an outdoor pool. Visitors can choose between flats, rondawels and camping sites. There is also a filling station and a restaurant. The Hobas camp site is situated at the northern end of the Fish River Canyon and is also a good place to overnight before starting the Fish River Hiking Trail. /Ai /Ais Reception Tel 092 6463 262045 (office hours) Hobas Reception Tel 092 6463 266028 (office hours)


the place of the thundering falls

Augrabies Falls National Park

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Augrabies falls

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his is where the mighty Orange River is at its most impressive as it thunders its way through a ravine and cascades down into a pool walled by sheer granite, 56m below. Few sights are as awesome or sound as deafening as water thundering down the 56m Augrabies Waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood.

The Falls derived their name from the Khoi word ‘Aukoerebis’ meaning ‘place of great noise’. Essentially a scenic park where Klipspringer and kokerboom (quiver trees) stand in stark silhouette against the African sky, silent sentinels in a strangely unique environment where only those that are able to adapt survive. Do not plan on just nipping in to see the main falls there is much more to experience in this arid piece of moonscape-like land. Awesome and strikingly beautiful it offers the visitor over 50 000ha of unique riverine ecosystems to explore, with viewpoints from which to survey the dramatic landcape that unfolds below. www.aridexperiences.com

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getting there

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Augrabies falls

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ugrabies Falls is easily accessed from Upington, as it is only 120km south of the town along tarred roads. Travelling from Upington on the N14 (that runs between Upington and Springbok) turn right just after Kakamas. From here it’s 28km further to the Park gate and another 3km to Reception and the rest camp.

Augrabies Falls conference centre

et off the shady, secluded Reception area of Augrabies National Park, the conference venue is an ideal venue for small to medium meetings, workshops and seminars. The conference centre can accommodate up to 70 delegates in a well-equipped, airconditioned facility.

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Augrabies falls

he 56 metre high main falls that cascade into the granite abyss of the Orange River Gorge are unmistakably the top attraction at Augrabies. The Falls are very easily accessed through an extensive network of boardwalks, some of which are wheelchair friendly. This, however, is not the beginning or end of the attractions of the Park (by a long shot) and visitors should allow enough time to explore further. Drives take you to scenic viewpoints with descriptive names of this rocky region like Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner. Although not prolific, giraffe, klipspringer and Hartmann’s mountain zebra can be seen while driving in the Park. For the hikers there is the 5km self-guided circular route Dassie Hiking Trail and for those wanting more of a challenge there is the Klipspringer Hike (closed 15 Oct - 31 March) which takes hikers right down into the gorge and back out again and takes 3 days.

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Augrabies Falls rest camp Number of chalets

59

50x2 people; 9x4 people (each unit also has a sleeper couch for children under 16) Camping sites 40 with electrical points, 30 without Power source Electricity, 240v, 15amp, 24hrs Supplies The shop has basic supplies Other facilities Reception, 3 swimming pools for residents & one swimming pool for day-visitors, shop, petrol & diesel, restaurant, hiking trail, conference facilities Maximum people per chalet

A

ugrabies Falls National Park has only the one camp, but it is also the largest camp of all the Arid Parks. Its 120 beds (excluding the campsite) are in constant demand, so make sure you book well ahead. All chalets are fully equipped with self-catering facilities and are air-conditioned. More than half of the camp sites, all set in a wonderfully shady area, have electricity and besides the usual ablution facilities there is also a communal kitchen, laundry and ironing room. For those wanting a break from the traditional camp braai there is a fully licensed restaurant and if supplies run low you’ll find a well stocked shop. The three swimming pools are for residents’ use only. Both the chalets and the camping site are within walking distance of the main falls and access to them have been made wheelchair friendly with an extensive network of boardwalks.

Official Augrabies Falls

Both

residents and day visitors are

catered for with

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4

pools

detailed travel guide of the Augrabies Falls National Park is available at the Park Reception. This A4 full colour publication covers the history of the Park, climate, geology, and resource management. To help you get around it includes a detailed map with times, distances and attractions.

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Augrabies falls

The guide is sold at Reception

Travel Guide A


unique succulent and flower species

Namaqua national Park

Caracal 4x4 Eco Route

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Nam aqua

ituated in the heart of the Succulent Karoo the Park has grown enormously and stretches from the well-known Skilpad section, near Kamieskroon, on the escarpment westwards to the coast. The recently added ‘GroenSpoeg’ coastal section is the only significant remaining untouched section of the Namaqualand coast. The gradient from the escarpment to the coast is important from an upland-lowland and rainfall perspective and contributes to the richness of species within the Park. With its winter rainfall, Namaqualand is home to the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world and more than 1 000 of its estimated 3 500 plant species are found nowhere else on earth. Amphibians and reptiles are also well represented, with a number of endemic species. The mammals that have adapted to these harsh conditions include gemsbok,

springbok, red hartebeest, klipspringer, aardvark, baboon, steenbok, duiker, porcupine, black-backed jackal and leopard. Birds are typical of the dry arid western regions of the country. www.aridexperiences.com

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getting there

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he Namaqua National Park lies 21km west of Kamieskroon, which is 67km south of Springbok. Turn off the N7 at the Kamieskroon sign, continue to the T-junction and turn left following the brown information board with the SANParks logo on it. You will go onto a gravel road. Pass the Kamieskroon Hotel and, travelling westerly, you go under a concrete bridge. Keep on with this road until you reach the Park. Although the road can be a little rough, it can be travelled on with an ordinary two-wheel drive vehicle.

Attractions & Activities

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he Park is still in a development phase but has a lot to offer its visitors. The best known, and at this stage most popular part of the Park, is the 5km Skilpad circular route especially in the springtime flower season. Besides the famous spring flowers, the Park is home to 134 different vegetation types, many small fauna species, amazing bird life and a fascinating collection of reptiles. A great way to explore Skilpad is by mountain bike, Visitors should bring their own mountain bikes. There are two 2-hour walking trails, a picnic area with ablutions and a shop and kiosk at Skilpad. The rest of the Park is accessible to 4x4 vehicles through 220km of roads that includes roads to an unspoilt coastline and a 25km route, with lovely vistas, to Soebatsfontein.

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Namaqua

he 188km Caracal 4x4 Eco Route (see the dotted path on the map on page 51) takes visitors Caracal 4x4 Eco Route through some of the most spectacular scenery in Namaqua, from the Kamiesberg with unending vistas, through the inland dunes and along 50km of breathtaking West Coast. The Luiperdskloof Cottage (see page 54) is also along this route. www.aridexperiences.com

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Skilpad Namaqua park rest camp Number of chalets

4

3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children Electricity, 240v, 15amp, 24 hours Other facilities The neighbouring farm’s tea room provides light snacks Activities 2 hour walking trails, mountain biking, 4x4 trail Maximum people per chalet Power source

A

ll four chalets are perched on an escarpment and have uninterrupted views to the far away coastline. They have a separate bedroom, lounge, open plan kitchen, enclosed veranda with dining area as well as indoor and outside braai places. They are fully equipped for self-catering and one unit has been adapted for use by guests with challenged mobility.

Luiperdskloof cottage, Namaqua park Can accommodate 6 people in two bedrooms Gas heating and stove, paraffin lighting Activities On the Caracal 4x4 route (see page 52) Maximum people Power source

L

ies in a secluded valley in the Kamiesberg section of the Park, underneath a pair of imposing granite domes. The area is dotted with fountains, some with shady glades - perfect for picnics or just some quiet time. It can only be reached by 4x4.

Namaqua

Namaqua Coastal camping, Namaqua park 8 Camping areas (31 camp sites) along the coastline, with braai areas and Enviroloos

Facilities

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he pristine coastline from Groen River mouth to the Spoeg River mouth is a recent valuable addition to Namaqua Park and is still in a development stage.

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where endangered species roam

16 km gravel road to Lilydale Reception

Motswedi

21 km gravel road to Mosu Reception

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national Park Black Rhino, White Rhino, Buffalo, Tsessebe, Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope, Mountain Reedbuck, Giraffe, Gemsbok, Eland, Zebra, Red Hartebeest,Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Kudu, Ostrich, Steenbok, Duiker and Springbok. Situated in the transition zone between the Karoo and Kalahari biome, Mokala’s thornveld savanna, dolerite outcrops and riverine vegetation attract a prolific number of bird species. Some of which include; the blackchested prinia, blacksmith lapwing, melodious lark, cinnamon-breasted bunting, freckled nightjar, short-toed rock thrush, pygmy falcon and northern black korhaan. www.aridexperiences.com

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mokala

his is South Africa’s newest Park, proclaimed as recently as June 2007, and is conveniently situated only 80km south west of Kimberley. Mokala is a Setswana name for a Camelthorn tree (Kameeldoring) (Acacia erioloba), and this Park is dominated by magnificent specimens of these picturesque gnarled and twisted trees. They vary from a small spiny shrubs barely 2m high, to a 16m high trees with wide, spreading crowns. Mokala National Park’s 27 500ha landscape varies between koppieveld (hills) and large open plains with the isolated dolerite hills giving the place a feeling of calm seclusion that contrasts with the large open sandy plains in the north and west of the Park. Drainage lines from the hills form little tributaries that run into the plains that drain into the Riet River on the Park’s northern border. Mokala is an important area for the regeneration of valuable species and is home to, amongst other species,

Mokala


getting there

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here are two entrances to Mokala, coming from Kimberley towards Cape Town on the N12. The first turoff from the N12, on the right, leads to Lilydale (37km south of Kimberley) and at the second turnoff from the N12 (at the Heuningneskloof Crossing) you turn right to get to Mosu and the main reception (57km from Kimberley). Within the Park, there is an internal gravel road (26km) that links Lilydale to Mosu. Mokala National Park makes an ideal two or three night stopover when travelling to or from some of the more northerly situated Parks. There is also a light aircraft landing strip for those who prefer to fly in.

A Welcome break between Jo’burg and the cape If you’re driving between the Mother City and Gauteng then consider going via Kimberley and catch your breath at the Mokala National Park. This way you not only avoid the toll roads but also get the chance to have a holiday en-route.

mokala

Conference facilities

Mosu, Mofele and Lilydale lodges have superb facilities for conferences, weddings, team building events or workshops. Each conference room can seat 30 delegates in boardroom style or up to 40 to 120 delegates in theatre style. There are no breakaway rooms through but both facilities have a big fireplace in each with air-conditioning at Mosu Lodge and Mofele Lodge Conference Rooms. 66

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Attractions & Activities

A

s in all our Parks you can do your own selfdrive game viewing but why not just sit back and relax on one of our day or night open-vehicle guided game drives. Let us take you to see the fascinating rock engraving of the original inhabitants of the Park on the San rock art excursion. Apart from the restaurant at Mosu, we also do special outdoor catered-for meals that you let you really enjoy the African savannah with delectable food. You can start you morning with a bush breakfast or in the evening you can request a good old traditional open fire South African braai (barbecue) where the fare is cooked to perfection under the canopy of a large Camelthorn tree. As evening slips into night, look up and enjoy the brilliant, shimmering starlight which is so clear that you feel as if you can reach out and touch the stars. For those staying at Lilydale you have the added attraction of the Riet River. The river is very popular with fly fishermen (on a catch-and-release basis only) and is a favourable habitat for the large- and small-mouth yellowfish. Inflatable canoes (rubber ducks) can be hired for a self-guided 1- or 3- hour trip down the river at very reasonable rates. We take you and the rubber ducks down to the river and then fetch you at the end of your river adventure.

mokala

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Mosu Mokala national Park lodge 12 self-catering; 3 non self-catering 2 people Power source Electricity, 220v, 15amp, 24 hours facilities No shops or fuel. Kimberley is only 80km away Other facilities Restaurant, bar, pool and conference facilities activities Catered bush braais, game drives, San rock engraving excursions Number of chalets

Maximum people per chalet

M

osu Lodge, with its many thatched buildings, radiates with luxurious bushveld charm. The chalets are surrounded by typical Karoolike koppies (hills) studded with Camelthorn trees and are unfenced, leaving the game free to join the birdlife on your doorstep. All residents have access to a stunning pool, a full bar and a restaurant that specialises in exclusive venison dishes. All twelve chalets are self-catering with a microwave, threeplate stove, fridge, crockery and cutlery. Five of the selfcatering chalets are air-conditioned, have an indoor jet master (fireplace) and DSTV Hotel Bouquet. All chalets have an outside braai place and thatched gazebo.

Mofele Mokala national Park lodge 1 - nine bedrooms (6-10 bunk beds per room) group bookings of up to 60 people Power source Electricity, 220v, 15amp, 24 hours facilities No shops or fuel. Kimberley is 80km away Other facilities Conference and catering facilities Number of units Maximum people

et amongst extensive rolling lawns, Mofele Lodge has recently been converted to accommodate larger school groups for environmental education and is also an ideal venue for a ‘bosberaad’, team building session or a large tour group. Catering for up to 60 people, Mofele now has nine rooms with various amounts of double-bunk beds in each.

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Mofele Lodge has nine rooms, all with ceiling fans and a variety of bunk bedding.

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Lilydale Mokala national Park lodge 12 4x2p; 4x3p; 2x4p; 2x5 people Power source Electricity, 220v, 15amp, 24 hours supplies No shops or fuel. Kimberley is only 80km away Other facilities Bar, swimming pool and conference facilities activities Inflatable canoe hire and fly fishing Number of units Maximum people

A

ll of the thatched cottages at Lilydale are freestanding and they have lofty views that overlook the Riet River. Canoeing in inflatable rubber ducks and catch-and-release fly fishing are two of the additional attractions of this rest camp. The venue is also favoured for wedding receptions.

Motswedi Mokala national Park Luxury Campsite 6 camping sites 6 people in two tents / 2 vehicles facilities Each site has its own ablution facilities and kitchen Solar and gas (no conventional plugs) Activities Nearby waterhole Number of sites

Maximum per camp

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mokala

his new luxury campsite, snuggled under the canopies of Camelthorn trees is the first of its kind in the Arid Parks. Each site has its very own kitchen with a refrigerator as well as private ablution facilities, which means no more having to share with fellow campers!

and Steek is Haak & Steek Haak a small isolated

Mokala national Park family cottage 1 x cottage, 4 people Solar and gas (no conventional plugs) Activities / facilities Nearby waterhole, lapa Number of cottages Power source

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camp overlooking a waterhole 10km from the main lodge. Here you’ll find a small, very rustic cottage that can sleep four. www.aridexperiences.com

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space and tranquillity in abundance

Tankwa Karoo

TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK

national Park

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mammal species including duiker, steenbok, porcupine and black-backed jackal. Leopards also naturally roam the area and large game species such as Cape mountain zebra, red hartebeest, gemsbok, eland and springbok, that were historically found within the area, have been reintroduced to join the existing kudu. Tankwa is the ideal destination for those seeking the brightest stars in Africa, a once in a lifetime glimpse of a rare endemic bird or, perhaps, nothing more than a silence that reaches deep into the soul. www.aridexperiences.com

tankwa Karoo

ituated on the southern boundary of the Northern Cape, with the Roggeveld Escarpment in the east, Cederberg in the west and Klein Roggeveld Mountains in the south, a four hour drive from Cape Town brings you to this truly spectacular National Park. Situated within the Succulent Karoo Biome, the unique features of the vegetation are combined with mind-blowing landscapes – from the sheer cliffs of the Roggeveld Escarpment to the moonscapes of the Tankwa Desert. Tankwa Karoo National Park came into being in 1986 with the proclamation of approximately 27 000ha of state-lands to National Park. This is the area that can still be seen demarcated on most commercial maps. Since 1996 additional portions of land have been bought and Tankwa Karoo National Park’s size currently stands at approximately 143 600ha. Tankwa Karoo National Park has a multitude of small

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Elandsberg Tankwa karoo wilderness camp Number of chalets

5

Maximum people per cottage 4x

4 people, 1x 6 people Gas appliances and paraffin lamps Other facilities Superb uninterrupted views Power source

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hese fully equipped cottages come complete with fireplace in the lounge, covered braai area, individual splash pools and are comparable to upmarket private game lodges. The buildings blend superbly into the surrounding landscape, being constructed on the contour of the hillside and positioned in such a way that they are not directly visible from one another. Built using traditional methods and materials of unbaked bricks and clay plastering. The large picture windows afford wonderful views of the Roggeveld Escarpment.

The Farm Cottages Varschfontein Paulshoek DeZyfer Number of Farm cottages

3

Max people per Farm Varschfontein Power source

9, Paulshoek 6, DeZyfer 6 Gas appliances and paraffin lamps

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Camping

There are two formal campsites and six other designated spots where fully self-sufficient campers are allowed to camp.

Private Lodge

Gannaga Lodge is situated within the Park, and offers full catering, a conference venue and accommodation for up to 20 guests.

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arid parks

Tankwa Guesthouse complex Number of units

4

Max people per unit 2x

4 people, 1x 2 people, 1x 8 people Power source Gas appliances and 220V lighting

C

onveniently situated on the southern boundary of the Tankwa National Park and a stone’s throw from the Oudebaaskraal Dam. The complex offers a range of accommodation and is ideally suited for groups of up to 18 guests. With its construction reminiscent of a desert fort, it has played host to weddings, team building exercises as well as film and commercial shoots. A 900m landing strip situated next to the main building, also allows for fly-ins by guests. www.aridexperiences.com

tankwa Karoo

he Varschfontein Cottage is an old farmstead 45km from the Park offices within the dry westerly section of Tankwa. The desolate beauty of the area is breathtaking and there is a reservoir in which you can swim. The Paulshoek cottage, 5km from reception, with its old-worldly furnishings, has beautiful views of the Roggeveld Escarpment. DeZyfer Cottage, the latest renovated cottage, has a ‘stoep’ ideal to sit and enjoy the silence, and watch the endemic birds. All of the farmsteads are self-catering, fully equipped including braai facilities, but do not have electricity.

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Contacts

tankwa Karoo

Addresses & numbers SANParks Central Reservations

Reservations are all done through our Pretoria Head Office. PO Box 787, Pretoria 0001 Tel +27 (0)12 428-9111 Fax +27 (0)12 343-0905 email: reservations@sanparks.org web: www.sanparks.org

getting there

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ankwa is the closest of the Arid Parks to Cape Town and is an ideal first stop for Capetonians when doing a tour of the other Arid Parks. Its close proximity to the Cape also makes it ideal for weekend getaways. The easiest route from Cape Town is via Ceres. From here, you head north on the R46 for 40km and then take the R355 towards Calvinia. After approximately 70km, turn right on the P2250 towards Middelpos and continue for a further 75km to reach the Park Offices at Roodewerf. If touring from the north, the R355 turnoff is just west of Calvinia. Continue for 50km, turn left onto the P2267 and continue for a further 55km to reach Roodewerf. The R355, P2250 and P2267 are gravel roads, as are all the roads in the Park. However, most are navigable with a two-wheel drive vehicle. Diesel is available at the Roodewerf Office. Last stops for petrol are Ceres (180km), Calvinia (110km), Sutherland (140km – closed on Sundays) and Middelpos (50km).

Attractions & Activities

ankwa Karoo National Park is still in a developmental and land consolidation phase. As such, the Park offers limited visitor facilities, signage and other amenities and prospective visitors are urged to confirm availability of accommodation and other relevant information with the Park Office. Tankwa is a place of solitude and vast horizons. The nights are profoundly quiet with a lavish display of stars. It is a priceless addition to our National Parks system, in a world that is becoming ever more congested, noisy and threatening. 78

arid parks

/Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park South Africa (Richtersveld) Tel +27 (0)27 8311506 Namibia (/Ai /Ais) - Tel 092 (from SA) 6463 262045 Augrabies Falls National Park Tel +27 (0)54 452 9200 Namaqua National Park Tel +27 (0)27 672 1948 Tankwa Karoo National Park Tel +27 (0)27 341 1927 email: tankwa@sanparks.org Mokala National Park Tel +27 (0)53 2040 158 Reservations are done from Parks as well as Head Office Explore www.aridexperiences.co.za to uncover more of the natural wonders of the Northern Cape’s Arid parks. South African Tourism Tel + 27 (0)11 895 3000 Web: www.southafrica.net Northern Cape Tourism Authority Tel +27 (0)53 8331434 Web: www.northerncape.org.za Namibia Tourism Board Tel +264 61 2906000 Web: www.namibiatourism.com.na Roaring Kalahari Route Web: www.roaringkalahari.co.za

Wild Card

C o n ta c t s

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Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park South Africa - Tel +27 (0)54 5612000 Botswana - The Parks and Reserves Reservation Office Tel 00 (from SA) 267 3180774; Email: dwnp@gov.bw Fax: 00 (from SA) 267 3180775 !Xaus Lodge - tel +27 (0)21 7017860 web: www.xauslodge.co.za

Purchase a Wild Card and avoid paying daily conservation fees, in a variety of parks (vaild for one year). Card enquiries: 086 146 9453 and register online www.wildcard.co.za www.aridexperiences.com

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Distances between parks

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Distances from Kgalagadi to . . .

Total km

KgalagadigUpington [253km]gKeimoes [52km] gCalvinia [368km]gTankwa [106km] =

779km

KgalagadigUpington [253km]gKeimoes [52km] gN14 Turn off [48km]gSpringbok [287km] gN7 Turn off [82km]gNamaqua [21km] =

743km

KgalagadigUpington [253km]gKimberley [405km] gHeuningneskloof [57km]g Mokala [21km] =

736km

KgalagadigUpington [253km]gKeimoes [52km] g N14 Turn off [48km]gAugrabies [28km] =

381km

KgalagadigUpington [253km]gKeimoes [52km]gN14 Turn off [48km]gSpringbok [287km]gSteinkopf [49km] gAlexander Bay [178km]gRichtersveld [90km] =

957km

Distances from |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld to . . .

Total km

RichtersveldgAlexander Bay [90km]gSteinkopf [178km] gSpringbok [49km]gVanrhynsdorp [280km]gCalvinia [121km] gTankwa [106km] =

824km

RichtersveldgAlexander Bay [90km]gSteinkopf [178km] gSpringbok [49km]gN7 Turn off [82km]gNamaqua [21km] =

420km

RichtersveldgSteinkopf [268km]gSpringbok [49km]gN14 Turn off [287km]gKeimoes [48km]gUpington [52km] Kimberley [405km]gTurn off [57km]gMokala [21km] =

1187km

RichtersveldgAlexander Bay [90km] gSteinkopf [178km] gSpringbok [49km]gN14 Turn off [287km] gAugrabies [28km] =

632km

Distances from Augrabies Falls to . . .

Total km

AugrabiesgN14 Turn off [28km]gKeimoes [48km] gCalvinia [372km]g Tankwa [106km] =

554km

AugrabiesgN14 Turn off [28km]gSpringbok [287km] gN7 Turn off [82km]gNamaqua [21km] =

418km

AugrabiesgN14 Turn off [28km]gKeimoes [48km] gUpington [52km]gKimberley [405km] gHeuningneskloof [57km]gMokala [21km] =

611km

Distances from Mokala to . . .

Total km

MokalagHeuningneskloof [21km]g Britstown [198km]g Calvinia [406km]gTankwa [106km] =

731km

MokalagHeuningneskloof [21km]gKimberley [57km] gUpington [405km]gKeimoes [52km]gN14 Turn off [48km] gSpringbok [287km]g Turn off [82km]gNamaqua [21km] =

973km

Distances from Namaqua to . . .

Total km

NamaquagN7 Turn off [21km]g Vanrhynsdorp [192km] g Calvinia [121km]g Tankwa [106km] =

440km

arid parks

Discover the SANParks Arid Parks on the

Arid Experiences website.

www.aridexperiences.com

BOTSWANA

KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK |AI-|AIS/RICHTERSVELD TRANSFRONTIER PARK NAMIBIA

AUGRABIES NATIONAL PARK Upington MOKALA NATIONAL PARK

Springbok

KIMBERLEY

NAMAQUA NATIONAL PARK

TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK

open to view detailed map

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Map

Take A break between Jo’burg and the cape

If you’re driving between the Mother City and Gauteng consider going via Kimberley. This way you avoid 90% of the toll roads and get the chance to stay over at Mokala National Park (see pg 60).

Plan Your trip around the Arid Parks

Kgalagadi

Transfrontier Park

Pg16

inside back cover Map

/Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park Pg34

Augrabies Falls Pg46 National Park

(see page 42)

Mokala Pg60

National Park

Namakwa Pg54

National Park

Tankwa Karoo Pg70 National Park

Arid Parks