Hidden Treasures in the Richtersveld Park

Nature lovers will relish a trip to the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park on the borders of Namibia. Walk quietly and discover the park’s hidden treasures – butterflies!

Most people journeying to the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (RTP) go to see the spectacular mountain views and unique succulents, many of which can only be found in this specific area. One thing you probably wouldn’t expect to find in this arid park is beautiful, fluttering butterflies – but that’s exactly what it’s got. There’s an astonishingly diverse range of butterfly- and moth species in this unusual national park, so grab your magnifying glass and start searching.

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The most common species to be found include the bright yellow African Migrant and the Brown-Veined White Butterfly. Other beauties include the mystical Speckled Sulphur Tip and the Small Orange Tip – you can often find the latter hiding in dense shrubbery along the Orange River. The park is also home to a number of regionally endemic butterfly species, such as the mottled Desert Veined Tip, which is found only in select tributaries near the confluence of the Orange- and Fish Rivers in the north-eastern area of the park.

If you’re having an unsuccessful butterfly search, try looking near Shepherd’s Trees, as many species favour this tree for egg-laying purposes. You may have some luck looking at the top of slopes or koppies, as male butterflies tend to ascend to these areas in search of mates.

Where to stay on your visit?

Use the rustic Tatasberg Wilderness Camp as your base, and explore the surrounding landscape. The reed cabins sleep two in two single beds, and have an en-suite shower-only bathroom. The wooden deck offers breathtaking views over the Gariep River – sip on your morning cuppa while you appreciate the beauty of nature.

Written by Anthony Walton, courtesy of SAN Parks Times www.sanparkstimes.co.za

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