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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:53 am 
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Location: Cape Town
Some more images captured on our trawl around the park...

Curious onlooker...

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Burchell's Zebra

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Robust flowers...
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Springbok in the distance
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Noisy visitors to our chalet
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These guys were always picking our crumbs from the stoep floor

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These guys provided us some photographic fun
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The Karoo National Park is like a balm...For those who are in need of a resting place its wide open spaces....BIG Sky's , inquisitive birds and all the tiny plants that flower despite the aridness of this area will restore a sense of wonderment. It is worthy of a visit longer that 2 nights. Many people seem to use it is a stopover but I sense to really experience it , it needs a a little more time to explore more fully and feel its rhythm.
The staff at this National Park seem to be committed to its visitors and I couldn't fault anything...
We will be back!!!

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:43 am 
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:clap: nice pictures, nice sceneries, nice Eland :wink:
nice flowers between rocks :clap:
I love the sun stroking the cliff :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:38 pm 
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That was really nice Jaybabe :D :thumbs_up: the place gives the idea of infinity, where you can only hear the wind, smell the plants and hear and smell animals :wink: all products of nature....if you stay away from the camps :tongue:
:clap: :clap: :clap: Thank you :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Location: The planning is on again.....
WoW - Brilliant pictures and landscapes - Looks more and more like a "must do to me" as the summer in Kruger for you, Jaybabe :tongue:

Thanks :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:05 pm 
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Fantastic Jaybabe :clap: You really captured the spirit of Karoo. Thank you :D


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:21 am 
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Agree with everything that you have said about Karoo , Jaybabe. Awesome camp....just love everything about it. We were there last in August...it was very very windy . We should have a huge forum meet at the Karoo.....
Thanks for sharing.....:)

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Thank you for this lovely TR. I only came across it today because we are booked for the Karoo NP in March and I wanted to see what others thought of it. I think we are going to love it!

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5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:45 pm
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Location: Port Elizabeth
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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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:47 pm
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Location: Brackenfell, Western Cape
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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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:40 am
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Location: Port Elizabeth
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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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:47 pm
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Location: Brackenfell, Western Cape
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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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:40 am
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Thanks Lennie Senior, I have always loved the Karoo with all its fauna and flora I only wish I knew the names of all I see. I never ventured to the Karoo NP untill last Feb and like I said I wished I stayed longer. Whenever I visit a Park I always see something different and with the Karoo NP I was struck by its beauty, I would love to sit out in some parts of the park and paint a landscape. Every park has its charm and really I never compare one to the other. The Karoo NP will see me a lot more in the future, as soon as I can officially retire.


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 1:03 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Cape Town
Just spent a week in Karoo (3/7 to 10/7) and thoroughly enjoyed it. A great park! We missed the two male lions - they were literally metres from the fence behind our camping spot (10) and was seen by other campers who took an early morning stroll along the fence. Did not bother to tell anyone else about the lions.
We did see a brown hyena in Lammertjiesleegte - about 3km after the picnic spot turnoff - and two days later saw a caracal on the picnic spot road. What great sightings and in my estimation better than a lion sighting! Could not get good photo's though.
I am surprised at the number of peolpe who use the park as a stop over only. Do they miss out on a great experience!


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Location: Somerset West
Hi Doedsie,

You said:
Quote:
I am surprised at the number of people who use the park as a stop over only. Do they miss out on a great experience!


I couldn't agree more with you!

Just spent the last 3 days in B/West, and visited the park 6x, just to relax before school starts again today!

I have thought about your quote for a very long time, and even wrote to Sanparks a number of years ago, and told them that ``Karoo NP will remain merely a convenient stopover between Cape Town and Johannesburg until they return all the animals that belong there, especially the predators like lions, then it will become a proper destination in itself''.
Much was my surprise when a while after that, the announcement came that lions were to be introduced to KNP, so that it would no longer ``only be a convenient stopover between Cape Town and Johannesburg, but a destination in its own right.'' I know this caused serious dissent among KNP lovers, and I can understand why -- the Karoo is a place where you need to walk and listen... and with lions around, that is not so easy anymore!

The lions are back, and driving in the park has an exciting edge to it, but there are still a few things missing...

Imagine going to the Kgalagadi transfrontier Park, with ONLY the following facilities:
Twee Rivieren camp/The road to Rooiputs/ the road to Houmoed/1 chalet near Kieliekrankie on a 4x4 route. No leopards, no cheetahs, 8 lions plus the usual general wildlife and...
Honestly -- how many people would bother to travel from Cape Town or Johannesburg or Germany to go and see that?

Now change the name from Kgalagadi to Karoo. We have the same recipe, and expect people to spend more time there...?
* Honestly -- there are only 2 loops to drive (1 is currently half-closed),
* NO waterholes shown on maps, NO `waterholes' (only a derelict old cement dam plus trough x2, leftovers from previous farms) near the road where animals and birds like sandgrouse can be photographed or viewed while drinking…
* Spread 2 groups of lions over 80 000 hectares, where they mostly prefer the remote, mountain areas… plus a few black rhinos and buffalos hiding in an inaccessible spot
* Stop your vehicle on either of the loops, switch off the engine and listen to… the sound of trucks on the N1 in the background! Try to photograph the beautiful zebras on the first loop, and you find B/west or trucks on the N1 in the background!
*The true wilderness areas are on the 4x4 route, or around the corner into Doornhoek picnic spot, where you feel truly remote and cut off from our rushed world, but most visitors can’t go on that (easy) 4x4 route…

The only solution I can see is that there needs to be at least 1 more proper loop into the western interior of the park, up to the Leeu river, with at least a small campsite there at a central point where animals come down to drink, so that visitors have more options and incentives to investigate this beautiful park better.
*Plus bring in the missing springbok (I saw more zebras than springbuck!) plus leopards plus cheetahs, and eventually even wild dogs??? These predators can keep each other in check, and make the park more attractive to visitors!
* Considering that such an inordinate percentage of the park is inaccessible mountainous terrain, a very special 3 day guided hike could cover this magnificent area on foot...

I can see the day when true nature loving Capetonians don’t bother driving all the way to Kgalagadi anymore, but zip off to Beaufort West for the weekend to enjoy their wilderness experience in this stunning park with its huge sky and towering blue mountains…

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Nice pics jaybabe.

Nice park hey!

Looks like you need to get yourself a good birdbook, to ID all the shrikes, sparrows and weavers, among others!

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