Did you know?
The organic dates grown in Pella are sold to mail-order customers all over South Africa.
If you’re a confident 4x4 driver, with good driving and navigating skills, then try the Namaqua Adventure Route, one of South Africa's least visited and most beautiful 4x4 trails.
The Namaqua Adventure Route is not for the fainthearted and it's best to travel with at least one other vehicle just in case of an unexpected breakdown.
The entire 612km 4x4 trail stretches along the Gariep River from Pella, the little mission station near Pofadder in the Northern Cape, to the river's mouth in Alexander Bay. However, if you have time, add another 120km to your journey to test your skills further at Amam's dunes.
The first section of the route is from Pella to Vloolsdrift, but visit Pella's fascinating church in its almost surreal setting of date palms and sun-baked hills before you set off.
Set aside three days for this 328km first part of the trip that runs through communal and private land, most belonging to the scattered Nama people. Take all your supplies with you because there are none available along the way.
It's worth taking the one-day detour to Amam (named Xam Xam by the indigenous people after the wild grass that grows there) where you’ll be faced with some of the best 4x4 desert dune driving in the country.
Experts claim that the second part of the route, from Vloolsdrif to Alexander Bay, crossing the mountains of the southern Richtersveld, is comparatively 'easier' than the first part, with general dealer stores along the way if you need to stock up on essentials.
The entire trail takes you through remote desert landscapes, although it's comforting to know that civilization is not too far away if you need it.