Richtersveld National Park
To the north of the Conservancy, the Richtersveld National Park is a mountain desert ecosystem of great beauty, which boasts one of the world’s richest and most diverse desert floral species. It has outstanding mountain landscapes, rock formations, shrubs, herb, trees, geophytes and wildlife. It possesses high levels of invertebrate and reptile varieties. This ecosystem is located in the most north-western region of South Africa and composes a small but significant part of the Succulent Karoo biome.
A naturalist’s dream
The Park encompasses 162 445 hectares of ever changing scenery from the undulating, sandy plains to the sharp, rugged, volcanic mountains, to the rolling hills and finally the lush riparian areas and floodplain of the Orange River. Tree cover is generally low with the exception of the tall Baster Quiver Tree, but there is a profusion of succulents. The different climatic and vegetation zones in the Park support a variety of arthropods, reptiles, birds and mammals.
A special National Park
Belonging initially to the same ‘Coloured Rural Reserve’ as the World Heritage Site, and hence belonging to the people as well, the Richtersveld National Park was established in 1991 as the first fully contractual national park in the country. More recently, in 2003, the Park was integrated in the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, in an effort to enhance biodiversity conservation in a wider area that also incorporates the Ai-Ais Hot Spring Game Park in Namibia.
The Richtersveld National Park offers accommodation in camps and provides guided trails throughout the year. Outdoor activities include swimming, canoeing, rafting, fishing, cycling and bird watching.
Hiking, 4x4 driving, and cycling: Extensive network of hiking and 4x4 trails linking up the 7 base camps in the Park (camping sites and self catering units).
Water sports: Canoeing, swimming, rafting, and fishing in the Orange River.