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BEST 5 REASONS TO VISIT AI-AIS RICHTERSVELD PARK

Best 5 Reasons To Visit Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park In Namibia And South Africa

The best 5 reasons to visit Ai-As Richterveld transfrontier park include;The Fish River Canyon, True desert, Hotsprings, Birding,wild life

Ai-Ais Richterveld Transfrontier park is one of the most recently formed national parks in Namiba, It was formed in August 2003 by by the signing of an international treaty between South Africa and Namibia, combining the Namibian Ai-Ais hot springs game park and Southafrican Richtersveld National park. It is a national park with great mountain  desert wilderness beauty and is also regarded as the only arid biodiversity hotspot on earth

Early morning Atlantic fog rolls over the desert mountain range of the Richtersveld, bringing life-sustaining moisture to a myriad of succulent species in this inhospitable environment. This, the largest mountain desert park in southern Africa, consists of rugged mountains, rolling hills, undulating plains, and the adjacent floodplains of the Orange River.

Despite receiving less than 50mm of rain each year the Richtersveld nurtures about 30% of all South Africa’s succulent plants and  it is also home to a variety of mammals that have adapted to this harsh climate. These include the leopard, Hartmann’s zebra, blackbacked jackal, klipspringer, duiker and rock hyrax (dassies)  which are a favorite prey of Verreaux’s eagle that can be seen hovering over the vast blue  sky. The park also has many other birds,.

 

 

The park is only accessible by means of a 4×4 vehicle, but vehicles with high clearances such as combi’s and LDV’s are able to travel within the park. Sedan vehicles are not permitted. Entrance and overnight permits must be obtained at Sendelingsdrift before entering the park.

  1. wild life

There are a number of wild animals which can be found in this tranfrontier park but these are animals which can withstand the Aris climate but most of the wild animals in Ai-Ais richtersveld transfrontier are mostly concentrated in the denser  vegetation which is around the orange river. It has animals such as Hartmann’s mountain Zebra which live in small groups of seven to twelve, Chamca  Baboons, Steenbook, Kilpspringer, grey rhebok,common duiker, Vervet mokeys

2. True desert landscape

Ai-Ais richtersveld Transfrontier park has some of the most spectacular arid and desert scenery in south Africa

3. Birding

The national park has ove 200 recorded bird spicies with about 23 species restricted to south africasuch as the only breeding pair of augur Buzzards  are only found hereand others are Cape bunting, Cape weaver,  Fairy flycatcher,Cape francolin, Karoo eremomela, Cape long-billed lark, Capped wheatear, Cinnamon-breasted warbler, Ground woodpecker, Karoo lark

4. The Fish River Canyon

Being the second-largest natural canyon in the world and also being eroded over many years, Set in a harsh stony plain, dotted with drought-resistant succulents such as the distinctive quiver tree, kokerboom, Aloe dichotoma, and Euphorbia gregaria, the canyon is a spectacular natural place found in the Ai-Ais richtersveld transfrontier park and it took hundreds of millions of years to evolve.

While its full length is 160 km, the width goes up to 27 km and its depth up to 550 meters and its most spectacular section is the 56km stretch between the northernmost and southernmost viewpoints and because the river flows inter­mittently there is always water in some of the pools except in very dry years.

The Canyon Contains small and largemouth yellowfish, tilapia, sharp tooth, catfish, and common carp, the pools are also frequented by the water monitor or leguan.

 

4. Hotsprings

As the name of the park its self stands for burning water in the local language of the natives which means it was named after the hotspring which are found in this area and also the waters in this area are believed to bear ingrediants which cure diseases

 

 

When to visit Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

The best time to visit Ai-Ais richtersveld Transfrontier park entirely depend on what the visitor is most interested to see and do and the park expriences two major seasons which are;

The wet season

The most preferable season to visit Ai-Ais Richtersveld transfrontier park is in the cooler period which usually starts in May and end September. In this season is also when there is enough rain which make wildflowers bloom and that is mostly from August to September making a colourful  landscape which is very pleasing sight to behold. There’s little wildlife viewing in Ai-Ais Richtersveld, so this isn’t really a factor in the timing of your visit

The dry season

The hotter months at the park start in October and usually end in April, In this hot season is when birding is at its best. But those interested in wild life and viewing the tremendous beauty of Ai-Ais richtersveld transfrontier park should avoid the hottest months of the year and these month are also very hot.

 

How to access Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

By plane

Because Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is situated in two countries which are South Africa and Namibia. The visitors can access it from both countries however most of the visitors access it through Namibia through Hosea kutako international airport which is located only 40km in the East of Windhoek where visitors can rent a car and this is mainly for the international visitors.

By road

Because of the park’s strategic location being in two countries, the Sendelingsdrift pontoon takes cars across the border to cross the Gariep (Orange River) from the Richtersveld in South Africa to the Fish River Canyon and Ai-Ais hot springs on the Namibia side. It acts as a proper border crossing, so all the visitors have to get their passport stamped to grant them authority to cross to the other country.

From the South Africa visitors are able to cross the Orange river with their vehicles via a point at Senglesdrift into the Namibian side of the park. Likewise, visitors have access to the South African side of the park from Namibia.

The Ai-Ais Richtersveld is mostly a self-drive destination this isespecially on the South African side although organized tours are also available.

The park is not accessible with an ordinary car like 2WD car instead a 4WD vehicle is preferred, but with high clearance pickup and even driving in convoy is recommended. On the Namibia side fly-around-tours with chartered planes are very common and the Fish River Canyon can be part of the visit.

 

Accomodation at Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

Visitor at Ai-Ais Richtersveld transfrontier park have a variety of options when it comes to choosing a place to sleep

The park has a number of camping sites and they are all well facilitated and they include;

The wilderness camps of Tatasberg and Gannakouriebare fully equipped, self-catering camps (although you need to bring your own drinking water at Gannakourib) and at Sendelingsdrift there are 10 self-catering units and a swimming pool. The four surrounding Richtersveld community towns also offer unique new accommodation establishments.

Ai-Ais hot springs Chalets

It offers outdoor heated pool with nearby hiking options up the Canyon and it also a place where one can see the orange river from the comfort of their beautifully constructed lodge.

Ai-Ais Apartments

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