Richtersveld Nationalpark, South Africa

After filling up with Diesel, water and food for at least a week  we headed north direction Richtersveld. As filling up took quite some time we did not manage all the way but took the next available camping facility. By then we had only driven  130 km, without passing one car. The road let through stoney desert, beautiful in a strange way. Nothing but stoney hills, glaring heat and one diamond mine after the other.

The camp site for the night was on a farm.  A very run down farm. As we approached it we drove through a huge field of dead trees. One could tell that when these trees were still alive the farm must have been beautiful. But right now it was just a very depressing sight. When we first asked the labour workers what had happened they said that after it had not rained for 5 years all the trees died. Strange, as the farm lay directly on the banks of the Orange river. When we went for a walk that evening, we saw a huge wheat field right at the border to that farm. So water could not be the main problem. After digging a bit deeper Timm found out that the farm was on Nama Land and that the tribe claimed it back.. It seemed that the court claim took quite long and by the time it was finalized, the farm had been in quite a bad state. The government now pays for water and electricity, but the trees can not be saved. Hectares of dead Citrus trees- but at least they have a lot of fire wood on te farm now, one oft he workers said with a big smile.

The next morning, after a night that felt like day, due to the 4 floodlights that enlightened  a spot oft he size of a quarter of a soccerfield (but government payed it, so never mind) we hit the road and got to Richtersveld National Park after a good hours drive.

Our Campsite was „De Hoop“, a beautiful spot at the bank oft he Orange river. The drive to „De Hoop“ took us  4 hours for about 30 KM- an offroad drivers  „playground“. When the drive got a bit boring for the kids we put them up on the roof and everybody was happy again. Words can not  describe the landcscape so let the pix talk. The Campsite is very basic, no drinking water, simple abolutions, but absolutly beautiful directly on the river – again a spot we could spent days at. Only our water supply forced us to go on. After 3 days of swimming, canoeing, fishing, hiking during the day and watching fireflies, listening to fighting baboons ( sounds very familiar, like fighting kids) and the most amazing stars at night.

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