Richtersveld – Part 2

By PG Jonker


After two nights at De Hoop we departed for De Toon, 71km’s away. The route takes us through the Domorog pass. The road is narrow and steep with low range necessary. Or so we thought. When we got to the bottom of the pass a local farmer was waiting for us to pass so that he can drive up the pass with his ordinary Toyota bakkie. He explained that “with a bit of IQ” one can do it without 4×4 or low range.

Point taken, but I’m not sure how long such a 2×4 vehicle’s clutch and brakes could last.

We reached Springbok plain where the road stopped in the middle of nowhere, with a notice indicating the terrain beyond as being forbidden terrain.

From there we travel to Kokerboomkloof, past De Toon (the Toe), or also known as Eierkop (Egg head), due to the shape of the rock formation.

Here we also visit the Drumsticks rock formation.

Right opposite the Drumsticks there is another rock formation that looks like a turkey, watching over your shoulder.

At Kokerboomkloof we made camp. The name comes from the great many Quiver trees to be found there.

This time I took a few pictures of the Quiver trees, so as not to end up the way I did without a picture of the Halfmense.




[Source: Map data ©2014 AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd, Google]

We left De Toon early for the Helskloof gate, 71km’s away. We pass De Koei (The Cow) camping site. It did not strike us as very inspiring, and there were no-one there.

We left the Park at the Helskloof gate and headed for Peace of Paradise, next to the Orange River, but more East, nearer to Noordoewer. We visited Khubus.

We then passed through Eksteensfontein.

Just as we came out of the Helskloof pass Frikkie’s Hilux lost its rear right wheel with the half shaft being pushed out of the differential.

Four hours later Frikkie had the wheel fixed, and we were on our way again.

Peace of Paradise was a wonderful bit of paradise. Sadly it apparently burnt down a few years later and was not rebuilt.  Amazing how exciting people can be about flushing toilets after only a few days without it.


We set off from Peace of Paradise with Frikkie dictating the pace with the Hilux. Only a few kilometers away he saw that the rear wheel was again starting to push to the outside. After making enquiries as to the availability of a mechanic we (erroneously) ended up at the plot of Oom Hendrik van Zyl. Oom Hendrik happened to be a retired mechanic and auto electrician who used to do field repairs on Spoornet vehicles. Oom Hendrik had every tool necessary, and with the assistance of his son Christo the bakkie was back on the road in no time.

It turned out that Frikkie did everything right the previous night, but for the fact that he did not have a circlip that was necessary to finish the job. Oom Hendrik also did not have one, but he had a spring that he used to cut out a circlip. And off we went.

Frikke and we travelled in convoy, south bound on the N7. As Frikkie’s confidence in the final repairs of his wheel increased so did his speed until we did a handsome 90km/h.

In the meantime Pieter and his family had to leave to meet a deadline at home and was travelling ahead. However, their drive home came to an abrupt end with a head on collision with a Colt bakkie in the Piekenierskloof pass.

As Pieter came to a standstill the Nissan Sentra behind him also collided with him. After pausing a second or two to make sure there were no further collisions Pieter and Hanneke and their young son got out and put some distance between them and the stricken bakkie – very much aware of the full fuel tankd and jerry can on his roof rack. Fortunately no further calamities befell them or the vehicle.

By 19h00 that evening Frikkie and us made it to Vanrhynsdorp from where they headed for friends at Vredendal. An hour later we checked on Pieter and Hanneke at a guest house in Citrusdal before heading home.

Just past midnight we hit our beds in Durbanville.


Distance done: 2050 km

Petrol used: 307liters

Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Magnum DC 4×4

Engine: 3.4 liter V6 petrol

Power: 108kW @ 4800 rpm

Torque: 267Nm @ 2800 rpm

Fuel consumption for trip:

Average: 6,7 km / litre (14,9l/100km)

Worst: 4,8 km/l (4×4) (20,8l/100km)

Best: 8,7 km/l (11,5l/100km)

Nights out: 7 (1 x Port Nolloth, 5 x Richtersveld, 1 x Peace of Paradise)

Tent pitched: 3 times

Water used: 90 litres of drinking water over 5 days between 7 adults and 5 kids (and an estimated further 450liters of river water for washing and dishes)



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