Aussenkehr Nature Park Trails
101 Trail Guide | 2010
Aussenkehr Nature Trails
For those with limited time, Aussenkehr offers a taste of the tough love of Namibia, close to home.
It is bordered by the Orange River in the south and Ai-Ais National Park in the west. Its eastern border is 42 km from the Noord¬oewer border post between Namibia and South Africa.
Aussenkehr has two main trails – one predominantly mountain and sand, and a second with river frontage.
Running along an old jeep track, the first trail is relatively easy. It follows a dry riverbed through a canyon, winding between sheer rock cliffs more than 100 m high.
You exit the pass with Tandjiesberg mountain range and its vertical dolerite sills behind you, and start climbing.
The trail heads towards the Springbokvlakte Plateau, and then edges around volcanic rock formations, past huge quiver trees towards Palmietsfontein. After continuing past the old customs road, the tracks run past the ruins of an old German military battalion and a small graveyard of German mountain infantrymen who fell during the Nama rebellion of 1903-1906. The trail eventually exits at Sjambok, on the banks of the Orange River.
The second trail covers just over 100 km and is a little more demanding. It runs in deep sand tracks along the river bank, through the Gamkab River Canyon following the riverbed for about 10 km. This scenic section is also part of the original Ai-Ais 4×4 Trail. You exit the canyon into the dunes of Aussenkehr. It starts off easy but becomes more difficult when a few sideslopes have to be negotiated.
The remainder of the trail traverses the slopes of the Tandjiesberg mountain range, across the Springbokvlakte and down a few more canyons before it rejoins the D212 back to Aussenkehr.
What you need to know
Norotshama Lodge on the banks of the Orange River offers thatched, air-conditioned chalets with an à la carte restaurant, swimming pool and bar. If you want to camp you can do so at the riverside Fish Eagle Camp.
Mountain biking, horse riding, river rafting and rock climbing.
Noordoewer (42 km)
Best time to go:
April-September, when it’s slightly cooler.
The 2 trails total just over 200 km
How long will I be driving?
1 day each
What you should know
Angela or Elize van Zyl
00264 63 297 215
2 trails: 200 km | 1 day each