Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park


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Ais-Ais Richtersveld: for the botanical eye and adventurous traveler

Written on: April 23, 2013   |   I visited in August 2009 The harsh environment of the Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park brings its own unforgettable charm. This desert location falling in both South African and Namibian borders is home to less impressive wildlife numbers; the park’s predators include leopard, african wild cat and caracal and you may be lucky to spot them. But, the park nevertheless offers an exceptional wilderness experience and the majestic mountain desert landscape will remain a vivid memory long after you’ve traversed the park’s dusty dirt roads.

The flowering season is a good time to visit (consider combining your visit to Ais-Ais Richtersveld with a trip through South Africa’s West Coast around the same time). Although the Ais-Ais Richtersveld Park is located in a desert area, the park operators and guides will proudly tell you that two floral kingdoms are found within the park’s borders. To the trained eye, the Ais-Ais Richtersveld Park is a biodiversity hotspot. The Richtersveld is home to the half-human (halfmens) tree dotting the desert landscape. Many legends about these human figure like trees are told among the indigenous Nama people. It is this sight that attracts many local and international tourists.

Visiting the Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park requires some extra planning – the park is entirely self-catering and best you bring enough of all your own supplies, from firewood to water. Visiting the Ais-Ais Richtersveld Park is for the traveler serious about the off-track routes. But nothing beats this true wilderness experience on the banks of the Orange River. A guided walk in the park is highly recommended and once the experienced guides showed you where to find life in this desert, you will be sure to marvel at the desert with renewed interest. The Park is officially a World Heritage Site which in itself, should prompt the adventurous traveler to visit.
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Nov 11, 2014   |   Visited: Jun 2010.
The Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is so called because it spans the borders of South African and Namibia. Transfrontier Parks are a relatively new development in southern Africa, formed in recognition that natural ecosystems and their management shouldn’t necessarily coincide with political boundaries. The Ai-Ais Richtersveld covers a huge area with differ... read more
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