Namaqua 4x4, Riemvasmaak, Augrabies & Richtersveld
This tour is a landscape treasure with incredible opportunities for photographs. We visit the unvisited, silent and unknown region that begins near Kakamas at the Orange River and runs through the Richtersveld. In October, it is warming up, but it is delightfully cool at night.
During our tour, we drive across wide plains and many ancient mountains. Over millions of years, forces of nature have changed the flow of the Orange River and the aspect of this dry but beautiful landscape.
We shall drive in dry riverbeds with beautiful changes in colour and visit the green Orange River where we can.
Join us on an adventure to discover the wonders of this geological intrigue while we are trekking westward to the vicinity of Alexander Bay at the West Coast.
The Team & Accommodation
Your tour leader is an experienced nature conservationist and adventure guide. He will be in radio contact with you and share a wealth of biological, cultural and historical knowledge.
Our experienced chef will prepare three meals in our mobile kitchen every day, with fresh salads, potjiekos, grilled meat and many other surprises appearing on the menu.
Our logistics team will pitch camp and break camp at the overnight spots. Mpafa Travel provides tents.
Some of the camps are bush camps, but Mpafa will provide a clean toilet and see to it that you are safe at all times. The team will leave no stone unturned to make you comfortable, provide you with wholesome food and, most important of all, see to it that you have a good time.
The 4 x 4 trips are average, but there are a few short stretches that an ordinary car will not be able to negotiate and you will need more clearance.
This is not a technical 4 x 4 route, but should you experience any problems, the team has the knowledge and recovery equipment to assist with bundu problems.
The good old coffee kettle will also be on the fire from sunrise until late.
Where there is no 220v power, we shall have a transformer to load camera batteries.
Day 1: Kakamas, Kalahari Rivers Camp
In the afternoon, we meet on the banks of the Orange River, ±25 km west of Kakamas at the Kalahari River & Safaris Co, where there are amenities like 220v power. There, you can also go for a walk or just relax in nature.
After a scrumptious dinner, we talk around the fire about the adventures to come.
Day 2: Riemvasmaak
It is about 30 km to the Riemvasmaak community, where we shall enjoy a delightful cup of coffee with “skuinskoek” while the people of Riemvasmaak tell us more about their area and their relocation to Namibia.
We do the Perdepoort 4 x 4 route with its beautiful scenery. The route is ±50 km, and we enjoy lunch under a large camel thorn tree with a sociable weaver nest. We return via Norbert Kai Camp to the hot spring campsite near the little town of Riemvasmaak.
Remember your swimwear for the hot spring.
Day 3: Augrabies
This is a beautiful 20 km to Blouputs with ample opportunities for photos, which will take a while. We cross the Orange River via a single-lane bridge, from where it is a tarred road to the Augrabies National Park.
Lunch is served in at the campsite where we shall overnight. Thereafter, everybody enjoys the falls and the rest of the 55 300-ha national park on his/her own.
Days 4 & 5: Little Pella
From Augrabies, we drive to Pofadder, where we refuel the vehicles. At Pella, we visit the Catholic Church before we tackle Charlie’s Pass. It is a beautiful day to the biggest date farm in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the afternoon, we enjoy the sunset on the banks of the river. We stay there 2 evenings to have a breather.
Today, we drive through the date plantations and are told more about the challenges of farming along the Orange River.
The rest of the day, we relax beside the swimming-pool at the restaurant, swim in the river or take photos at the quiver tree forest.
Day 6: Ramansdrift (Bush camp)
We drive through the quiver tree forest on the way to Witbank. Today we are beside the rive on and off. After Witbank, we visit Melkhoutboom to see what it looks like before we drive round to Ramansdrift, where we shall stay over at a nice bush camp.
Days 7 & 8: Vioolsdrift
We enjoy lunch and a swim at Kamgab before we visit the elephant’s trunk plants (“halfmense”) on the way to Vioolsdrift. There, we shall have electricity and hot showers.
Fuel is 80 km from there at Steinkopf, and we stay there 2 nights to refuel the vehicles and prepare for our three nights in a delightful bush camp.
There is also time for angling, relaxing and reading or rowing on the Orange River (at your own cost).
We shall also enjoy the sunset at a very exceptional place: Geelkranse (“yellow cliffs”).
Days 9, 10 & 11: Richtersveld
For the next 3½ days, we enjoy the breathtaking Richtersveld conservation area south of the national park. This World Heritage Site is relatively untouched with only the goatherds and a few roads that are there.
We shall use the less known roads to reach unknown but beautiful areas. To be able to do so, we must sleep over somewhere, and there are no amenities anywhere.
Therefore, the next 3 nights are bush camps. Mpafa will see to your comfort, from the tents and toilets to a lovely meal. The unspoilt environment and starry sky are quite an experience.
We drive further westward along the Orange River to where the Nababeep Conservation Area begins. We shall visit bushman engravings and drive to the hundreds of man-made cairns just before Helskloof Pass. We turn round there, back to the river, where we turn left and maybe have to build some road to the Kanikaip River.
There, we leave the rive until Day 12 and drive up the dry riverbed, where we shall also stay overnight.
The next day, we go in search of the red sand valley south of Eksteenfontein, and if the weather permits, we shall make camp in the open.
After Lekkersing, we turn towards the coast and north again to enjoy the sunset from a granite hillock, where we shall pitch camp.
Day 12: McDougall’s Bay
After breakfast, we drive further northward to the Orange River and then visit the renowned diamond town of Alexander Bay.
Just outside the town is a very interesting lichen field that warrants a visit.
It is a 90-km tarred road to Port Nolloth, where there are shops, and 4 km further, we stay overnight formally with our feet on the beach.
After the dust of the 3 days, a well-deserved hot shower is the order of the day.
The sunset over the sea is always beautiful, and we enjoy dinner while we ruminate about our trip.
Day 13: Back home
Unfortunately, after breakfast, it is time to say goodbye until the next time.