richtersveld transfrontier park wilderness camps
!Ais!Ais/richtersveld national park wilderness camps
Also called South Africa’s “mountain desert”, this arid Park is home to the Nama people. Traditionally pastoralists, they followed the rain with their herds of goat and sheep staying in igloo-like huts made of Wag-n-bietjie saplings. The framework of these huts is covered with “biesiematjies” when they are used, and remained behind when they moved on.
This age-old way of roofing inspired the design of the tourism facilities developed in the Park. Various interpretations thereof made for interesting structures. To make the mats waterproof (for the rare times that rain fell in this desert) they were painted with a waterproofing paint or covered with canvas.
Walls were either dry stack stone or reeds from the Gariep River, with a double layer being used with shade netting in between the layers. This keeps out insects and breaks the speed of the cold winter winds.