Part Two

This is the second part of a four part trip to Namaqualand you can catch the first instillment here. This part details my time in Springbok with good fried Adries Cilliers as we travel around Spingbok and surrounds searching for reptiles.


Augrabies Falls National Park To Spingbok

I made the  2.5 hour drive to Spingbok there wasn’t much happening on the drive saw now signs of life or death on the roads and the traffic was rather minimal. Passing through Pofadder, Aggeneys and Carolusberg before arriving in Spingbok.

Welcome To Spingbok.

An obligatory stop and photo opportunity – but no signs of any Pofadders!

A little context whilst on my way to Augrabies three days prior a friend Andries Cilliers mentioned he’d join me in Spingbok for a few days as he is travlling from Cape Town (around a 560km trip).

Arriving in Springbok I headed to my accommodation at the Springbok Inn, I was due to stay in their self catering units which were only R450 a night which is great for what the rooms looked like online. Upon checking in the receptionist mentioned due to the hotel being extremely quiet he would upgrade the accommodation to stay in the hotel at no additional charge for the duration of the stay!  The rates for the hotel were R 1500 pppn way above my trip budget!

The room was superb, as you’d expect with any 4 star hotel and most importantly there was air conditioning as I’d soon realise this would be a life saver!  I unpacked most of my things and then called Andries where he was waiting at the local Wimpy (having his standard milkshake and burger diet).

Room at Spingbok Inn

Grounds of the hotel


After we arrived back at the hotel Andries and I took it easy for a while as the temperature was teetering round the mid 30’s so we decided we’d wait it out until the afternoon before we head out again and scratch around for some more herps. We soured the hills behind the hotel and managed to find an Angulate Tortoise, Western Rock Skink and a few Variegated Skinks. We headed back around and went through a bunch of rubbish that was piled up around the rather derelict looking camping grounds and turned up a Webers Gecko and Andries found a few scorpions.

We threw together some dinner on my little gas stove on the balcony of our room its like we were glamping to an extent – but not really. At  around 20:30pm once it eventually got dark we headed up refueled – R538 its so hot in this little down they keep all the sweets/chocolates in fridges so they don’t melt it was that hot!

Heading on small pass road got a lifer Paradise toad,a lifer Barnards Gecko, a few Webers Gecko and a few more Quartz Geckos.
We drove through to a small town called Bulletrap and found large numbers of Quartz Geckos out on the road.

Having spent another hour and a half on the road we drove towards Steinkof but saw very little else on the roads not even dead geckos or snakes which was rather surprising as they temperatures were really warm – perhaps too warm. We headed back to the hotel at around 00:48am.

Day 5

Spingbok Inn

I woke up pretty early and photographed a few lizards and geckos before releasing them. The heat had already gotten to ridiculous level by 11am so we spent most of the day poolside alongside the restaurant and walked the grounds caught a two Namaqua Sand Lizards a young juvenile and an exquisite adult, a few Webers Geckos and saw a large Southern Ground Agama.

We arrived on scratching around the grounds and came across Pedioplanis intexta, Pedioplanis inornata and a few scorpions. Andries manage to find one of the targets we were really hoping to see the world’s smallest tortoise the Speckled Padloper.

Before we headed out again for another evening of road cruising, we had to stop past the Spar they have just about everything you need want and of curse whats more important that keeping hydrated and snacks? Having having received a little rain in the early evening we were really expecting a busy night! We stopped and bought a few supplies at the local Caltex before heading out of town, we saw very little one or two Bibrons Geckos and nothing else for a good 45mins until driving down a steep pass between to large rock faces Andries thought he spotted something on the just on the side of the road snake looking – he was right! I jumped out and picked up a nice looking Spotted Rock Snake off the edge of the road a great find.

Excited by this we drove a good hour and a half but failed to get anything else – it was rather cool at this stage so we decided to head back and call it at night at around 01:00am.

Adios Spingbok

Next stop Mcdougalls Bay – Port Nolloth

by Tyrone Ping

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