In my blog Strange bedfellows in the Richtersveld I mouthed off about how ugly the entrance to this wilderness area is when you approach Sendelingsdrif from Alexander Bay. Now I’m going to tell you why you just have to make the journey to see this mountain desert anyway.
‘Arid? Desert? How can the scenery be beautiful?’ you might wonder. Oh but it can.
Signature plants include gnarled shepherd’s trees (witgat), quiver trees, as well as an amazing array of succulents, including some that look like stones till they burst into flower. Botanists from all over the world come here to study them.
But perhaps the strangest plant here is the endemic halfmens, a succulent with a thick spiny stem that can grow up to three metres tall. The rate at which they grow is in harmony with the slow pace of life in the Richtersveld: just 1-1.5 centimetres a year.
If you haven't been yet, add it to your bucket list. If you have even a small spark of wildness in your soul, you won't be sorry.
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