Noordoewer Info

by Fish Eagle Productions

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Norotshama

This website, which was established on Wednesday 22 February 2012, will tell the story of the Northern bank of the Gariep / Orange river, from Noordoewer to Sendelingsdrif in Southern Namibia. It is part of a webring of information sites being compiled by Fish Eagle Productions, that include Springbok Info, Port Nolloth Info, Steinkopf Info, Richtersveld Info and Rosh Pinah Info.

It will expand gradually throughout March 2012 - Please bookmark and come back often!

Some traveling suggestions:
  • The Sendelingsdrif to Noordoewer stretch can easily be combined with a visit to the Richtersveld National Park and the Richtersveld conservancy as a circular route, with the option of going up to Ai-Ais and the Fish River Canyon along the Gamkab river road running along the Aussenkehr border with the Ai-Ais Park.
  • Whichever way around you do the trip, you might want to go to Rosh Pinah, just up the road from Sendelingsdrif, to replenish fuel and supplies.
  • Rosh Pinah is also home to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism - the head office of the Ai-Ais Game Park. Wayne Hendley, the chief conservation officer of the park, can be contacted for information on the operation of the pontoon at Sendelingsdrif, as well as for info on the accessibility of the gravel section of the Sendelingsdrif to Noordoewer road. His contact number is 063 274 760, or you can send an e-mail to metroshpinah@iway.na .
  • An angling license is required to do some fishing in the river. This license can only be purchased at the Noordoewer Local Settlement Council Office (0264 297164). If you thus plan to enter Namibia at Sendelingsdrif, you have to order your license in advance. Alternatively you can arrange with Wayne Hendley referred to above, to order a license for you to the Rosh Pinah office, where you will have to pick it up on entry.
  • Apart from fishing and canoeing (at Norotshama, Amanzi or Felix Unite), you can refer to the Norotshama page for more outdoor activities to work into your trip planning.

The distance from the Sendelingsdrif pontoon in the North West to the Noordoewer bridge in the South East, is roughly 150 km of amazing landscape - a holiday destination in itself.

The section from Noordoewer to Aussenkehr is tarred (50 km), while the rest is gravel.

The gravel section can generally be traveled without a 4x4, although great caution should be exercised due to narrow sections and sharp bends in the road. When either the Orange River or the Fish River are flooded, the gravel section could be closed to traffic.

The area along the Northern bank of the Orange river from Sendelingsdrif to Noordoewer can be divided into 3 sections: 

  • The Ai-Ais / Richtersveld Transfrontier Park - 73 km between the control gates;

  • The Aussenkehr farm / nature park and

  • The Noordoewer Settlement and Sonop Farms area.

Camping (no facilities) is allowed anywhere along the river in the Ai-Ais section, while Aussenkehr offers camping and luxury accommodation at the Norotshama River Resort.  

Close to the Noordoewer Settlement area Amanzi River Trails and Felix Unite offers camping and chalets, and at the garages in Noordoewer you will find the Orange River Lodge and the Noordoewer Lodge.

The start of the Ai-Ais section close to Sendelingsdrif seems a bit industrial with the Namwater plant supplying water to Rosh Pinah and its 2 mines, the water-flow controlling weir being constructed as a joint effort between South Africa and Namibia, and the remains of diamond mining activity.

Within a few kilometers however you can start experiencing the culmination of mountain desert and mighty river, with majestic, bare mountainous terrain surrounding the Orange River with its lovely sandbanks, camping and fishing spots. The cry of the Fish Eagle, which often frequents this area, rounds off the picture.

Please take note that in most places a 4 x 4 is required to venture down to the river.

The new low-level bridge over the Fish River where it flows into the Orange River is nearing completion, and is making life a lot easier to cross this obstacle when flowing. 

A couple of kilometers from the bridge on the Noordoewer side, there used to be a campsite at the farm Bo-Plaas. On a recent visit to the farmhouse we were told that although the signs are still up, the campsite is not maintained any more, and that the signs will soon be removed. 

At the exit point from the Ai-Ais section, the first turn-off to Ai-Ais guides you along the Gamkab riverbed. This road requires a 4 x 4, and later meets up with the road leading to Ai-Ais from closer to Norotshama, for which a 4x4 is not required. (The Gamkab river is the border between the Ai-Ais park and Aussenkehr.)

Aussenkehr strikes one as a miracle - export grapes produced in a desert landscape!! 

The photo to the right and the first 2 below (the road and the landscape on either side of the road) accentuates the point. This farming area also boasts a SPAR, an Agrimark, Norotshama River Resort and an interesting community of workers with their characteristic houses covering the hills. 

Based at the resort, lots of activities are offered on the farm - from rock-climbing, through canoeing to 4 x 4 excursions. 

Having left Aussenkehr and close to the Noordoewer Settlement, a road sign leads you to a camping treasure. Amanzi is not to be missed if by now you need grass, trees, electricity, a cold beer and something meaty on the fire! 

The 3 km to the camp runs through another miracle of this area - farms that produces vegetables of export quality !

At the Noordoewer Settlement it will be time to replenish fuel and supplies at one of the 2 filling stations, and to maybe spend a night at one of the 2 comfortable lodges, Noordoewer or Orange River Lodge.

 

Soutpan Safari Camp If your travels take you through Port Nolloth, the Soutpan Safari Camp is a good place to stay over if you like a campfire, wooden cabins and a sheltered area.

 

 

Web design and maintenance by Fish Eagle Productions, Springbok. Call Christo Conradie, +27826426356 (RSA) / +264817566444 (Namibia), or e-mail:  christo@fisheagleproductions.co.za

 

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