The Ai-Ais Richtersveld Park takes up 6 045km² of pristine, rugged landscape on either side of the Orange River in Namibia and South Africa. This mutual conservation area was set up in 2003 when the Richtersveld National Park in South Africa was merged with the Ai-Ais and Fish River Canyon Park in Namibia.
You will find this immaculate wilderness about 760km from Windhoek in the south-western region of Namibia. It’s a beautiful place for a rugged no-frills adventure during your travels around this diverse country.
What to Expect
The park has 3 entry points at Ai-Ais Hot Springs and Hobas in Namibia and Sendelingsdrift Gate in South Africa.
Rustic accommodation and camping is offered within the boundaries of the park, with more luxurious lodgings dotted around the perimeter.
South Africa offers 8 accommodation options in the form of different campsites and reed huts. It is important to check the facilities carefully at the time of booking. Some of the overnight sites have solar power, gas cookers and private ablutions, others have shared facilities, and some have nothing at all.
On the Namibian side, accommodation offerings are all sited on the perimeter of the park. Here you will find chalets, double rooms and suites which range from hotel-style accommodation to self-catering options. You can venture into the park on day trips when staying at these establishments.
Exploring the Ai-Ais Richtersveld National Park
While you won’t come across big 5 game sightings when visiting the Ai-Ais Richtersveld National Park, you will get to experience some of Africa’s most unique and picturesque environments.
Photographers flock here to take advantage of the early morning light when capturing images of vast panoramas, incredible rock formations and amazing plant life.
Hikers enjoy the challenges offered by the steeply sloped Fish River Canyon as well as a chance to see some of the continent’s oldest archaeological sites.
Some of the most interesting attractions in the Ai-Ais Richtersveld National Park include:
- Halfmens Pass
- The ‘Hand of God’ imprint on the rocks near Sendelingsdrift
- The Tatasberg rock formations
- Hot springs at Ai-Ais
- Rare succulents at the Sendelingsdrift nursery
- Ancient San and Nama grave sites
Birdlife is surprisingly prolific in this harsh environment with 200 birds recorded in the area. You could also get to see klipspringers, steenbok, dassies, oryx, Hartmann’s Mountain zebra and baboons.
Taking a guided tour from Windhoek is a possibility, although most travelers prefer to hire a 4×4 and take their time exploring this vast wilderness.
Start planning your next Namibian adventure today. We can assist with advice on where to stay and what to do during your visit.