In my previous blog I touched on the Richtersveld in general (click here to see). Again, I am no aficionado, this was my second time going but it truly is a special place. When looking into going to the Richtersveld, obviously the SANPARK’s area is well documented and you can pick up a phone and ask questions about the campsites etc. But there are lots of areas outside the park which are run by communities and are still a part of the Richtersveld. Tierhoek is one of these and like many community run sites in Namibia and Northern Cape, they seem to have been started out as a community initiative that over time has been neglected. Regardless, Tierhoek is a must if you are happy to ‘rough it’ for a night or two as this is a stunning and photogenic spot with its soaring orange boulders, panoramic vista from the campsite, the leaning toilet (which the kids found hysterical) and an old sunken car or two.
The sight is on a slight rise at the base of a kloof and from the campsite you look down over the plane. The silence and the stars at night are incredible. The first time there we got to watch a thunderstorm in the distance with lightening brightening the sky and stars lighting up the foreground it was an epic show of nature.
There are a few various places to camp up the little valley, but both times we have camped at the top where there are big boulders and two unused reservoirs. The first time there was not a breath of wind when we setup camp but maybe the thunderstorm in the distance should have tipped us off. During the night it slowly started to pick up and our winner of a campsite became hell. People had chucked their plastic bottles and cans into the empty reservoirs. This means that at night the bottles and cans get blown around the reservoir forming the noisiest orchestra possible! We lay there for an hour hoping that the wind would soon stop…to no avail! Pillows were put over heads and my husband huffed and puffed while tossing and turning – the kids typically slept on obliviously. Simon finally climbed into the reservoir in the early hours of the morning and took the biggest culprits out, but it was a very long night! This time we sent the kids in with leather gloves and a black bag as soon as we set up camp. They found it hysterical chucking out the cans like missiles!
In the morning a fog bank rolled in over the plane and watching the big boulders turn orange around you as the sun rises is magic. After packing up camp, we took a hike to the top of the koppie and the view is breathtaking. There is no specific path and you can boulder hop your way up. It is a very easy one to do with the kids and they loved the feeling of being on top of the world.
Another hit with the kids is that the campsite also has a network of boulder caves that they had a ball climbing through. They start right behind the braai area and come out around 10m behind the campsite. Send a dad in first just to check that there are no ‘critters’. They were also seriously chuffed to find a huge scorpion when they did the required scorpion hunt with the UV light but otherwise there were no other encounters.
Seriously, if you are en route to the Richtersveld National Park, you won’t regret stopping here for a night en route.
Tammy’s Top Tips for Tierhoek 😉
- Take cash, the community running the site do come past every so often. I think it is around R20 pp p/night
- Arrive being willing to share the campsite, there are no bookings so anyone can be there
- No water or ablutions. There is apparently a water source in the next valley over if needed. We took shower bags and rigged them between to rocks. The kids got filthy climbing through the caves and ontop of the rocks and into the reservoirs so it is pleasant for parents being able to wash them down before bed.
- Leather gloves – always useful for picking up rocks, collecting rubbish or wood etc
- Sturdy shoes for the kids. Takkies for the hike and gumboots for when they go looking for creatures.
- Definitely do the walk to the top of the koppie. It is truly a magical view!
- If camping at the reservoirs, check to make sure there aren’t any large plastic bottles or tins in.
- As always, good wine and good company!