Have you ever felt like dropping out of the rat race and finding space to unmuddle your mind? The Tatasberg wilderness camp in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is a perfect place to do just that.
Three klipspringers bolted away from us, up a 60-degree koppie littered with slippery rocks, as if it were easy. The view from the top stopped us in our tracks, extravagant layers of surreal pink, mauve or grey mountains laid out before us.
We spent four days there and loved it. It has to be said, though, that some things need a bit of work. The cabin’s walls are made from reeds and canvas, the ceilings from reed mats stitched together in the traditional method used in Nama matjieshuise (dome-shaped reed huts). But the Velcro fastenings of some of the ‘window’ flaps have been battered by dust and wind over the years so they don’t hold all that well and could do with replacing.
Once he recovered his composure, he was thrilled to be able to use some of the junk he carries around with him everywhere ‘in case of emergencies’. By the time he was finished he’d used a quarter roll of duct tape, a wooden pole that had fallen out of the pergola and was just sitting there, and one of his packing straps to hold it all in place.
What they hadn’t told us was that there’s another path closer to the mountain, which is rocky but much easier.
‘If you go to the Richtersberg campsite’s ablutions, you’ll see the two routes and can choose the higher one,’ he said.
Built by members of his own family, the pass follows the route from R16 and R14 on your map before it rejoins the route back over Akkedis Pass at R3.
Was every vista we saw on our Richtersveld trip beautiful? No, but even the ugly ones were intriguing in their own way. Would I go to Tatasberg again? In a heartbeat.
For more about Tatasberg, its facilities and how to book, read my blog post for Wild magazine.
Which is your favourite camp or campsite in the Richtersveld? Share your views in the comments below.
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