By Chrispin Inambao NOORDOEWER LOCATED on the banks on a stretch of crocodile-free Orange River near Noordoewer – the gateway to South Africa from Namibia – the Abiqua River Camp is an idyllic riverside haven whose tranquillity is heavenly with jaw-dropping views of nearby mountains. The tidy, well-managed river camp is a must-see with clean ablution facilities with hot water and showers while visitors could quench their thirst with an icy-cold lager or rather a coke with brandy, or simply with a non-alcoholic beverage at a well-stocked bar within the camp. Meals could be ordered, or for the more adventurous there are clean braai facilities where meat, fish, chicken or sausages could be barbequed over an open fire while enjoying the awesome surrounding views. Firewood, ice and braai packs are available at reasonable prices while one-day canoe trips on the river can be arranged with the management consisting of a husband and wife team. Save for a few grape farms, Noordoewer is an area of extreme contrasts as it combines a desert with an abundance of sand, some imposing bare rocks, high hills without any vegetation and an almost dead landscape. And then there is the green blue band of the Orange River with its tree lines and green meadows. There are few grape growers such as Nicolaas van der Merwer who have erected plantations for table grapes, tomatoes, butternut and mango along a six-kilometre stretch of tarred road some sixty kilometres from the scenic Grape Valley. Cooking a great meal on the edge of the Orange River is easy and for those with a passion for fishing they could cast their line for species of barbel or some other fry. Your days along the river can be impressive with a quietness only frequently broken by the chirping of the several bird species found in this part of Namibia. Abiqua is also a gateway to the breathtaking Fish River Canyon, one of the largest such ravines in the world second only to the spectacular Grand Canyon in the U.S.A. Friendly staff is also on hand to attend to your earthly needs.
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