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    Ai Ais/Richtersveld National Park

About Ai Ais/Richtersveld National Park

Conjure up a desolate and forbidding landscape, seemingly devoid of life, except for some people dotting along the horizon.

Make a startling discovery upon closer inspection when the mirage dissolves into the human-like half-mens (half person) tree, and the harsh environment prove to be a treasure-chest containing the world’s richest desert flora. Miniature rock gardens, perfectly designed by nature, cling precariously to cliff faces. Tiny succulents, mere pinpoints against a backdrop of surreal rock formations, revel in the moisture brought by the early morning fog rolling in from the cold Atlantic Ocean.

Rugged kloofs, high mountains and dramatic landscapes that sweep away inland from the Orange River divulge the fact that you are now in the vast mountain desert that is the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld National Park, a peace park straddling the border between South Africa and Namibia, and managed jointly by the local Nama people and the South African National Parks.

It was formed in 2003 by combining the Namibian ǀAi-ǀAis Hot Springs Game Park and the South African Richtersveld National Park.

This is a harsh and unpredictable land where water is scarce and life-sustaining 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.

The park is only accessible by means of a 4x4 vehicle, but vehicles with high clearances such as combi’s and LDV’s do travel in the park. Sedan vehicles are not permitted. There is no specific route that can be booked in advance.

Be sure to look out for Rock Hyrax, Ground Squirrel, Jackal Buzzard, Half-mens (Half Human) and the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.

The |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld climate is harsh and dry, with extreme temperatures of up to 53 degrees Celsius having been recorded in mid-summer. Activities should be restricted to early mornings and late afternoons. Nights are cool, but may become chilly during winter. Heavy night-time dew occurs in the park.

Petrol and diesel
- Unleaded 95 - available at all times
- 50ppm Diesel - available at all times
Oil is available at the private shop.

- Cellular reception is only available at the park's Reception area or in Sendelingsdrift. Currently Cell C, MTN and Vodacom networks are available in Sendelingsdrift. A coin operated public phone is available at Sendelingsdrif.
- A satellite phone (if you have available) is also recommended.

Shop and Restaurant
There is currently no ATM facility, shop or restaurant available in the Park. Guests are advised to bring their own supplies that will last for the whole duration of their stay.

How to get there

Ai Ais/Richtersveld National Park, Namibia

Contact Details

Address: Ai Ais/Richtersveld National Park, Namibia
Email: richtersveld@sanparks.org
Telephone: +27-27-8311506
Website: www.sanparks.org

Operating Hours:
Please contact the office for details
Places: Grootplaas