Nature lovers with a 4×4 and a love of isolation and rugged scenery will be enchanted by the 50km coastal strip between the Groen and Spoeg rivers in the Namaqua National Park. By Romi Boom
In November 2008, SANParks acquired 34,000ha of land between the Groen and Spoeg rivers from De Beers. This spectacular coastal area, largely untouched by diamond mining and development, was incorporated into the Namaqua National Park. The area is of conservation importance due to its estuaries, marshlands and dunelands.
Beyond Groenriviersmond a multitude of trails pass secluded little bays such as Galjoenbaai, Skiploodsbaai, Breekskip, Boggerolbaai (aka Platduin) and Koringkorrelbaai. The trail crosses the Bitter River, passes white dunelands, a seal colony and a freshwater fountain before reaching the Spoegrivier caves. Look out for raptors hunting in the grey scrubland of wild rosemary and skaapbos. In the flowering season (July to October) the veld turns into a carpet of Namaqualand daisies, vygies, hondeblomme, perdeblomme and sorrel.
Accommodation along this untamed stretch of coast is camping only. Visitors must be completely self-sufficient in terms of food, water and wood. Cellphone reception is patchy and fuel is available only in Lutzville and Garies.
Bookings: SANParks Central Reservations +27 (0)12 428 9111 or www.sanparks.org