In the southern reaches of the Richtersveld semi-desert, you will come to the lovely little town of Eksteenfontein. Named after the Reverend Eksteen who did much to assist the plight of a group of people originally from Bushmanland called the "Basters", the town was named in his honour. The "fontein" part of this name comes from a historical fountain in the town, legacy of an ancient, verdant past. The fountain and the Stinkrivier nearby are surrounded by endless stories told by local elders, of battles and mysticism, and are certainly worth a visit.
Eksteenfontein lies in a wide plain stretching to distant mountains and Halfmens trees. Like Kuboes, it belongs to the hot, dry semi-desert region of the Richtersveld, home to endemic succulents and desert wildlife. The Richtersveld National Park as well as the banks of the Orange River are within a two hour drive.
With a few days notice, the women of Eksteenfontein, or !Obes, as it is called in Nama, will bake delicious fresh bread and cook a tasty traditional meal for you. Locally produced riempie chairs which make great souvenirs or gifts, are available for purchase, as well as T-shirts printed with a halfmens, bokkie, or other memorabilia at the textile printing centre.
Eksteenfontein and Rooiberg offer you a true wilderness experience with walks and guided hikes taking you through rugged mountains and past lichen and lizards stretching out in the sun. 4x4 tracks meander across empty plains to the Orange River and mountains of the Richtersveld National Park.
ATTRACTIONS: THINGS TO DO
Museum: There is much to learn about the �Bosluis Basters and Namas and their resettlement in Eksteenfontein
Textile group: A needlework (lappies) group producing and selling hand-made garments, curtains, tablecloths etc with Richtersveld motives.
Town tour hiking trail: A tour, by pipe car or hiking, unveiling historical graves and traditional stock posts. Tour guide available
Donkey cart riding: A ride in a donkey cart along the route from town to Rooiberg (the Red Mountain) to see the extraordinary plants and quartzites..
Traditional Namastap dance: Children in Eksteenfontein still dance the traditional Namastap.
Rooiberg: The Red Mountain offers the purest air, the clearest skies, and abundant Halfmens and Baster Quiver Trees.
Hiking: One to three day hikes can be arranged with accredited local guides.
Eksteenfontein is the gateway to the planned Rooiberg Conservancy, a vast wilderness adjoining the Richtersveld National Park. This small town is 50 km from Lekkersing and 80 km from Kuboes, and a 4x4 trail connects Eksteenfontein with Vioolsdrift, where you can cross the border into Namibia. Eksteenfontein can be accessed easily without a 4x4 along tarred and gravel roads from Steinkopf.