Top Ten Southern Africa Classic Adventures

The Richtersveld by Camel

The Richtersveld and southern Kalahari comprise South Africa's harshest landscape, but also one of its most beautiful: There are red-rock formations and dunes the color of wine, and in spring the desert is lit by a riot of wildflowers. Through it all winds the wide Orange River, whose waters support herds of desert-dwelling game: horse-sized gemsbok; delicate, lyre-horned springbok; and leopards and lions, who hunt through the bitter-cold, star-filled nights. A company called Adventure Runners organizes a combination of camel and canoe safaris through this vastness, an area not nearly as developed for tourism as many other parts of the subcontinent. You'll spend two to three days on camelback (or horseback, if you prefer) and then it's into canoes for the last two days to explore the river (which includes some stretches of angry whitewater), camp on the sandbanks, and fish as you go. The experience transforms a seemingly hostile land into a vast, private playground.


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