Vast, daunting, harsh - absolutely awesome.

A narrative and photographs are simply not enough to convey the absolute magnitude of the Richtersveld National Park.

Surprisingly, this vast and seemingly barren "rock desert" is home to the richest assortment of succulents in the world! There are some 185 bird species recorded in the park. Fresh water fish such as yellowfish, the Orange River Mud Fish and sharptooth catfish amongst others are also prevalent in the Richtersveld National Park. Angling is permitted subject to the acquisition of permits, once again in an attempt to preserve the delicate ecosystem of this unique land.

Richtersveld National Park is also home to a host of mammals including the following buck; springbok, klipspringer, grey rheebok and steenbok amongst others. Also to be found are baboon and a small population of Hartmann's Mountain Zebra (a protected species). Including several other mammalian species, there exists a plethora of reptile and snake species.

Endemic to the Richtersveld and south-west Namibia is the Halfmens also known as the Noordpool (Northpole), as the strange rosette of deciduous leaves at the crown of this extraordinary plant always faces north. This stem succulent is found in clustered growth areas throughout the Richtersveld and reaches an approximate 2 to 3m in height. Peppering the vast desert landscape are Quiver trees, from which the San people made their arrows.

The Richtersveld is definitely not for the fainthearted. Unless you are travelling in style in the latest 4x4 innovation, be prepared to "rough it". For the adventurous visitor, a paddle down stretches of the Orange River should provide the thrill of a lifetime bringing you even closer to the natural wonders of this beautiful "rock desert" with it's contrasting backdrops and landscapes.

This must truly be paradise for the outdoor and wildlife enthusiast.