With Rey Janse van Rensburg behind the wheel of his iconic cruiser, you are set to discover trails that very few people know about. After all, THIS is his homeland. Whatever Rey does not know about the Namaqualand and its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, is the… nope, I can’t think of a single thing he does NOT know!
There are many sleep-over camping tours available in the Richtersveld, but none are as unique as that of the legendary Rey Janse van Rensburg. We joined Rey on two such tours (yes, you will want to go back too!) and experienced first-hand his love and attachment to the area where he grew up as a child. Not being a camper myself, I can only say it is totally worth it. Having started out as a reluctant camper, I ended up being a happy camper! And what’s more, I’d love to go again!
Camping in the open in the Richtersveld is a truly unique and immersive experience. Not only is Rey a master at photography, but he is also a walking encyclopedia about the region Namaqualand region as a whole.
Here are some aspects of the Richtersveld with Rey Janse van Rensburg, that you’ll experience:
Camping in the open Richtersveld typically means staying in designated camping areas or wild camping sites. Facilities can be basic, with limited amenities such as pit toilets, fire pits, and possibly access to fresh water. It’s essential to be self-sufficient and come prepared with all necessary camping gear, food, and water supplies.
It is here that I was in awe of the starry sky above – never before, and never after, have I seen so many stars blinking at me. With minimal light pollution, the stars and constellations shine brilliantly, creating a mesmerizing celestial display. It’s an ideal setting for stargazing and astrophotography enthusiasts.
While the world is in turmoil about currency fluctuations, controversial world leaders, war zones across multiple borders, and strikes while white-collar leaders go into yet another business meeting, you can easily see why the Richtersveld and its people (the very few we saw in this sparsely populated region) are in Rey’s veins.
Camping in the open allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of modern life and immerse yourself in the peacefulness of nature. The quietude of the desert, interrupted only by natural sounds like the wind or wildlife, offers a serene atmosphere for relaxation and introspection.
Camping in the open Richtersveld offers the opportunity for exploration and adventure. Rey skillfully and effortless steered us into all the right directions on nature walks and off-road drives to discover unique geological formations, hidden canyons, and endemic plant species that thrive in this harsh environment.
The Richtersveld is known for its untouched and rugged landscapes. Camping in the open allows you to fully embrace the natural beauty and solitude of the area. You’ll find yourself surrounded by vast desert plains, towering mountains, star-filled skies, and plenty of fascinating anecdotes about the region.
Rey Janse van Rensburg is a well-known and beloved figure, having made significant contributions to the local community.
Born and raised in Springbok, South Africa, Rey has deep roots in the local community. His passion for his homeland and its people has driven him to work tirelessly to improve the lives of those around him.
One of Rey’s notable accomplishments is his commitment to environmental conservation. He has been actively involved in initiatives aimed at preserving the unique and delicate ecosystems of Namaqualand. With its stunning landscapes and diverse flora and fauna, Namaqualand is a region of great ecological importance. Rey has played a crucial role in raising awareness about the need to protect this natural heritage, advocating for sustainable practices, and responsible tourism.
Consequently, it comes as no surprise that South African National Parks also approached Rey as a stakeholder to participate in the 2018 – 2028 Park Management Plan process for the Richtersveld National Park.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Rey has received several accolades and honors throughout his career. However, he remains humble and focused on the work that still needs to be done. His vision and commitment continue to inspire others to make a positive difference in their communities, serving as a role model for aspiring changemakers.
The Richtersveld experiences extreme temperatures, with scorching heat during the day and significant drops in temperature at night. Be prepared with appropriate clothing, sun protection, and ample water to stay hydrated in the arid climate.
Rey is also known as the rugged bad boy of 4×4 destinations in the Richtersveld, which we experienced for ourselves. Who else do you know that drove the Richtersveld in reverse to get out? Whether you own a 4 x 4 vehicle or not (he provides vehicles that he personally checks and approves), you too can experience this extraordinary bucket list experience.
The company was superb, the food was great, the equipment and tools provided for the trip were in top-notch condition and safety was at all times in high regard. Therefore, everyone’s spirit was sky high and some whom we met as strangers became lifelong friends.
Rey Janse van Rensburg’s name has become synonymous with passion, resilience, and a deep love for Namaqualand. Through his unwavering dedication to environmental conservation, community development, and cultural preservation, he has left an indelible mark on the region and its people. His legacy serves as a reminder that one individual can make a significant impact and inspire others to work towards a better future.
If you’ve been fortunate to follow the South African Voetspore television series, you’ll remember Rey as the guy with the friendly smile and with a red sock on the one foot, and a blue sock on the other foot. It’s very difficult to miss him in a group because his iconic attire makes him stand out wherever he goes. Just like his cruiser with the Marilyn Monroe flag!
And that’s another story, that is the Marilyn Monroe flag. I believe since our last trip with Rey, the flag had seen its days and he is searching high and low for a replica.
Rey demonstrated his expertise in both 4×4 adventures and photography in the Voetspore television seasons, like:
He also featured prominently in two cookbooks that came about as a result of the same Voetspore series.
One of the highlights of an adventure with Rey is when it comes to dinner time out in the open. Firstly, know that you’ll be in the hands of one of the best storytellers in the region who has appeared on several chat shows. So, dinner time was the cherry on top after a day of unexpected surprises around every rock and stone in the barren Richtersveld landscape. Secondly, Rey’s famous potato chips are all about his unique and adventurous cooking method! And may I add, it tastes extra delish – you’ll soon find out when you join Rey on a tour. So, what more can you ask for… Rey’s stories and anecdotes combined with his cooking skills – a winning recipe, right!?