Words by Patrick Cruywagen Pictures by Patrick Cruywagen and Alison Cole.
Sadly, the northern reaches of the Northern Cape aren’t an obvious destination for many travellers – even though it’s home to the wild, wide open spaces of the Kalahari. Our Bush Editor spent some time in the area on the prowl for wildlife, lonely gravel roads and the soon-to-be-famous Hakskeen Pan.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when travelling to a dry, desert-like area is to assume that you’ll be hot all the time. That said, when I was here last (see our Riemvasmaak feature in our July ’12 issue), it was so warm that we slept in the open next to the Orange River. But today, as we wait for the sun to appear above the Korannaberg Mountains, it’s bitterly cold – sitting in our open-sided game viewer is like being in a blast freezer. But it would be wrong to curse the mountains for blocking out the sun’s early rays – these same slopes act as a natural basin, catching the precious rainfall and bringing life to an otherwise desolate landscape.