Getting There – |Ai-|Ais Richtersveld TP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Travel Alert

Travel restrictions and additional entry requirements may apply for South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic and if so, can change from day-to-day. Please visit our coronavirus page to stay informed about the latest developments.

Travel Alert

The |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park spans two countries: South Africa and Namibia. The Sendelingsdrift pontoon takes cars across the border, crossing the Gariep (Orange) River from the Richtersveld in South Africa to the Fish River Canyon and Ai-Ais hot springs on the Namibia side. It acts as a proper border crossing, so you'll get your passport stamped.

The |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld is primarily a self-drive destination (especially on the South African side) although organized tours are available. The park is not accessible with an ordinary 2WD car. A 4WD vehicle is preferred, but high clearance pick-ups or 2WD SUVs can also enter the park. Driving in convoy is recommended. On the Namibia side, fly-around-tours with chartered planes are common, and the Fish River Canyon can be part of the itinerary.

South Africa Side

There are two options available to those visiting |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld on the South Africa side. Upon flying into Johannesburg – O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB), you can hire a car and drive to the park. You can also take a connecting flight from Johannesburg to Upington Airport (UTN) or Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and rent a car there. The park is 1600km/994mi away from Johannesburg, 885km/549mi from Cape Town and 720km/447mi from Upington.

Namibia Side

Generally, visitors to |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld in Namibia fly into Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) located 40km/25mi east of Windhoek, where you can rent a car. The park is located approximately 650km/403mi away. You can visit the canyon as a day trip, or you can go deeper into the park to Ais-Ais Hot Springs. A 4WD vehicle is only necessary when venturing deeper into the park (including the hot springs).

Your tour operator can organize a chartered flight to the Fish River Canyon. The flight time is about 1½ hours from Windhoek.

Airlines & Ticket Prices

Please check Skyscanner, or for multiple-destination flights check Expedia, to see which airlines can take you to Namibia or South Africa, and what tickets would cost.

Domestic Flights

Tour operators will generally book charter flights on your behalf as part of your package. Several domestic carriers run scheduled flights:

Passport, Visa and Other Entry Requirements

Please check our Getting There – South Africa and Botswana page to learn more about passport, visa and other entry requirements.

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