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Karoo: Info/Advice

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra

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Nimrod
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Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby Nimrod » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:22 pm

Hi there

I was in the karoo park this weekend for the first time. The chalet we stayed in was very nice. We even had our own dstv tv so we could watch the WP thump the Cheetahs.

I must say I did enjoy it a lot. The park is very still and peaceful. You can realy switch off and relax, but for some reason I expected a bit more. I dont know, maybe its because im a regular at the Kruger and kept comparing the two. At karoo we didnt sea much game.

Is there something that is a must when I go back to the Karoo to make my stay a bit more exciting?

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Lockie
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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby Lockie » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:28 pm

:hmz: ...I'd leave the TV off and do more drives. Sightings are like fishing...you may not get a bite, but if you don't fish, you defiantly won't get a bite...just saying :D

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Nimrod
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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby Nimrod » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:36 pm

Lockie,

We only had the tv on for the one rugby match. That was our rule. We never have a tv in a national park.

On saturday we went on a five hour game drive thank you very much...

Friedrich von Hörsten
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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby Friedrich von Hörsten » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:51 pm

Nimrod

Come back next month and watch the Kalahari lions teach the local animals a few lessons! And next year we might just have a cheetah or two to spice things up some more....
I have written to them in the past, suggesting a few more roads that are accessible to sedan vehicles. Two options in a park isn't enough for a prolonged stay. Until that happens, most people will just stay over for a night at Karoo NP and spend longer times elsewhere...

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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Nimrod
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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby Nimrod » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:50 pm

Thanx Friedrich

I will def go back there. I believe the lions are kept in a boma at this stage? I didnt get to see the lions but i guess the boma isnt for the public to see?

Chow

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Stoffel
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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby Stoffel » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:02 pm

If I call myself a Kruger fanatic, I should probably also call myself a Karoo maniac. But there's a huge difference between these parks. In Kruger you can expect something exciting everyday. But Karoo is a park to go and find your own inner soul by just indulging yourself into the undeniable silence, tranquility and grandeur of this part of South Africa. Even after the release of lions and cheetahs you will probably find this unique park a rather quite place regarding animal activity versus Kruger or KTP. It is quite a big park (just less than 90 000 ha) with the biggest part in rather barren mountainous area. Being situated in a semi-dessert area the carrying capacity of the park is much, much lower than a park like Kruger - in other words much less game are to be found per square kilometre.

Therefore, my recommendation to first-time visitors is to go to Karoo with the idea of going to find peace in yourself and not expect to see lots of game.
Chris Boucher

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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby Friedrich von Hörsten » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:11 pm

Thank you, Stoffel!

That is a pretty good summary of what the Karoo is about.
Having said that, what is the difference between Karoo and Kalahari? Same animals, same carrying capacity, same extremes in temperature...
But NO Nossob and Auob riverbed, where animals concentrate in the rainy season! The only serious `river' around here is the Leeu-Gamka, which is mostly more south of the park. The only other `magnet' to attract animals, is the waterholes. So expansion of the park onto the southern plains, plus more roads for sedan vehicles to watering spots will give approximately the same kind of animal viewing experience as the Kalahari in the long run! Hopefully it will always stay quiet and peaceful!
At least it is closer than Kgalagadi!

Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby jonjon » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:59 pm

[quote="Stoffel"]. Being situated in a semi-dessert area the carrying capacity of the park is much, much lower than a park like Kruger - in other words much less game are to be found per square kilometre.

Is it wise to introduce lions and maybe cheetahs to the park if the number of animals will dwindle rapidly by the lions chowing its way through the park

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MATTHYS
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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby MATTHYS » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:11 pm

More info to be found in this thread, Jonjon.

Addo Elephant wrote here :

There will be 8 lions translocated to Karoo NP - four adults and four cubs. Our policy is going to be to have a very conservative lion carrying capacity and to monitor the effect of lions on the prey population. We will manage the lion population at between 12 and 15 lions until we have evidence that we can carry more lions.
aquila non capit muscas

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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:47 pm

I agree, Stoffel has summed up Karoo well.

For others reading this topic who may not have been to Karoo National Park, here's what you can do:

Wildlife Viewing and Scenic Drives – Take a drive on Lammerjiesleegte, the Klipspringer Pass or the Potlekkertjie Loop for views of the spectacular scenery and wildlife viewing. Keep an eye out for Cape mountain zebra, black rhino, gemsbok, springbok, eland, kudu, Burchell’s zebra, steenbok, klipspringer, ostrich and Verraux’s eagle.

Fossil Trail – explore this 400-metre trail which is also wheelchair-accessible and learn about the fossils which have been found entombed in the rocks of the Great Karoo landscape. Genuine fossils and petrified wood are on display on this paved trail.

Bossie Trail – wander along the 800-metre long path on a mountain slope where you can learn about the medicinal and cultural uses of the karoo plants. Collect a pamphlet with a key to these fascinating facts from reception before you start the trail. (This walk will be guided after lion introduction).

Pointer Trail - The Pointer Trail offers two route options: one of 4.9 km and the other of 11.4 km, climbing up to a high point with spectacular views over the landscapes of the Park. (this walk will be guided after lion introduction).

Ou Schuur Interpretive Centre – This treasure-trove of information about the history, cultural heritage and ecosystems of the Karoo will keep you entertained for hours and leave you with a greater understanding of the area.

Bulkraal – Situated off the Lammerjiesleegte loop, braai and picnic sites are available here for a lunch or snack stop. You can also take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool.

Bird Hide – the bird hide is situated near reception and overlooks a small wetland and reedbed.

4x4 Trails – The 13km Afsaal loop and 90km Nuweveld loop are available for 4x4ers at no extra cost. You can also stay over at the Embizweni cottage on the Nuweveld trail if you want to "get away from it all".
The 7 km Pienaars Pass trail winds up the steep slopes to join up with the Klipspringer Pass. This trail is technically difficult and caution should be exercised. Only 4x4 vehicles may travel on this trail. Enquire at reception for tariffs. You can also take a trip on the 4x4 trail on a guided game drive.

Night Drives – guided night drives are on offer on the Park’s vehicle. Learn about the fascinating world of nocturnal animals and gaze at the clear starry skies. Enquire at reception for bookings and tariffs.
Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region

jonjon
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Re: Things to do in Karoo park?

Unread postby jonjon » Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:01 pm

What a pity that the Pointer Trail is now a guided walk. Gone are the days when you can walk in the park at your own pace, where you could sit on a rock and just take in the Karroo through all senses now I suppose that we have to pay and maybe there must be a set number of people with some who want to rush and others like me who want to "smell the roses" thats progress I suppose

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Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)

Unread postby jonjon » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:15 pm

I dont think that the Parks board know what a jewel they have concerning the Karoo Park. There is no other park in the SA like it. It is like visiting back in time a few million years into the past, and to think how much history is locked away in the ground. Alas we only can see about two thirds of the park the rest is inaccessable by the public.
This park has the right qualities to make it the premium park for three day hiking trails or more, but alas to fully explore this wonderful area you have go to private farms, and some of them are too far away.

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Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)

Unread postby Lennie Senior » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:34 pm

jaybabe's comment dated 30/11/2010 regarding camping in Karoo:-
My wife and I are regular caravan camping visitors to Karoo and I have never experienced bad or noisy behaviour in the camp area. It has always been a wonderful experience camping at Karoo with very well looked after ablusions and, despite the arid area, well maintained lawns. Should it happen that a noisy party cross my camping at Karoo, I shall certainly be the party-pooper to stop them right away !

During our last 2 day visit in September 2010, we saw Steenbok, Red Hartebeest, Ostrich, Tortiose, Black-Backed Jackal, Springbok, Mountain Zebra, Burchell's Zebra, Gemsbok, Klipspringer and Kudu. Unfortunately we missed Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo and Eland, however, this will be corrected soon !

I am looking forward to a 4 day camping stay at Karoo within 14 days and I may be blessed to wake up at night hearing a lion roar !

Lennie

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Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)

Unread postby jad » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:20 am

LS
I have only visited the park once. I was told by many people that "there is nothing there you only need one day and you have seen it all" so I just booked for two nights at a camp site, I should have booked for a week. I have only started camping about a year ago and I must go back to the Karoo NP as soon as I can because it is such a beautiful place to visit. The only thing that I could grumble about, there are no views of the mountains from the camp site but the shade was welcomed. I can only go around June does anyone know the temperatures around that time?

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Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)

Unread postby Lennie Senior » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:41 pm

Jad

My view is that you do not visit a nature park "to see it all". To experience the beauty of nature as a whole in a specific park (and not only the game that may be present) is so much more rewarding. By just being able to be there is already a blessing. Furthermore, my opinion is that one should not compare the different nature parks as each of them have special characteristics to treasure.

You may find the daytime wheather in June very pleasant, however, the nights can become very cold, but this is tipical Karoo in winter and it is up to you to make it a cozy camping experience !

Enjoy your stay at Karoo National Park in June and I shall enjoy mine in 10 days time.

Lennie


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