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Between rocks and quiver trees

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Micky Baker at the Fish River.
Micky Baker at the Fish River.

At the north-western limits of our country, where the Orange River cleaves South Africa and Namibia apart, nature has carved out an arid area of sheer desolation, destined to be seen by few, but deserving of the awe of many.

The Richtersveld has long been respected as a region of very little sustenance, and plenty of dangers. Today, a section is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an honour earned by the local Nama people who continue to practice their ancient nomadic way of life.

The long haul along the N7 (from Cape Town) and the N13 (from Gauteng) is not only scenic, but sumptuously smooth, too. The hours of driving go by quickly as you make your way to Namaqualand, home to Namaqua National Park. The park can be accessed through several gates, but to get to the popular Skilpad Chalets for your first overnight stay, you need to turn off at Kamieskroon.

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