Richtersveld and Namaqualand

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In the far north-west of South Africa, on the border with Namibia, lies the Richtersveld. At first glance, it is a desolate and inhospitable place with hot sandy plains and startling, jagged mountains of black rock. But there is a remarkable variety of life here, and it is one of the world’s only biodiversity hotspot located in an arid region.

As such, thousands of plant species, many of which are endemic to the area, can be found in the Richtersveld. It is also the home of the last remaining groups of Nama (Khoikhoi) people who still practice their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, living in portable reed huts and moving with their flocks of sheep and goats. This now-unique form of transhumance, combined with the region’s amazing botanical wealth, have earned the Richtersveld Conservancy the title of South Africa’s eighth world heritage site for its natural and cultural significance.

This travel guide to the Richtersveld contains all the information you need to explore this stunning region. It covers the geological, botanical and cultural history of the area, and it contains full details of where to stay and what to do. The guide includes the Richtersveld Community Conservancy, the Richtersveld National Park, as well as the nearby towns of Alexander Bay and Port Nolloth. It even goes across the border into Namibia, where the Richtersveld is joined with the Ai-Ais hot springs and the Fish River Canyon (said to be the 2nd largest in the world) in a spectacular Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The Richtersveld is also part of the greater Namaqualand region, which runs south from the Orange River for several hundred kilometers. This beguiling part of the world has won international renown for its annual spring flower spectacle, when millions of flowers burst out of the ground to mount a staggering display that attracts visitors from all over the world. The guide will tell readers all they need to know to plan a trip to Namaqualand, both in and out of flower season.

Praise for the Southbound World Heritage series:

“These are fantastically comprehensive guides… packed full of information and beautiful photographs, and small enough to slip inside a backpack” – Jane Strode, Daily Sun

“Handy travel companions… these guides may be small but they’re literally jam-packed with information… making these guides holiday must-haves for an informed and more enjoyable trip” – Longevity magazine

“These handy books are accessible for everyone from the lay person to geologists and scientists, answering all your questions regarding these sites” – Saturday Dispatch

“…compact pocket guides packed with info, maps and colourful pictures” – 50/50

“They are a celebration of various aspects of South African culture, including our historical inheritance and the land on which we live” – Diane de Beer, Pretoria News

“There’s this marvellous new collection of pocket guides by Southbound, each highlighting a specific World Heritage Site in South Africa… Easy to use and fun to read, the pocket guides are a must for anyone remotely interested in our country’s heritage” – Independent on Saturday

“These books reveal fascinating parts of our country that many of us aren’t properly aware of. They’d make excellent gifts, singly or collectively, and are great primers for planning a holiday” – Bruce Denhill, The Citizen

“All [eight] of South Africa’s World Heritage Sites are covered, each in a manageable pocket guide which provides a remarkable amount of information for the edification of the serious eco-tourist… comprehensive contents… an extensive amount of information” – Carol Knoll, Environmental Management

“…intensely practical… fantastic series to buy” – Jenny Crwys-Williams, Talk Radio 702

“…these are among the best we have – opinionated and full of personality” – Patricia McCracken, Farmer’s Weekly

272 pages, black and white with colour photo inserts, dimensions: 180x100mm

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