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 Post subject: BIG SKY Country! (Karoo NP)
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:58 am 
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On route back from our trip to KNP we had decided to overnight at Karoo National Park. On one of our last nights in Kruger the blues set in and we decided to extend our stay at Karoo to 2 nights in order to have some time to enjoy the splendour of the Karoo National Park. :D

We arrived at about 3:00 and had a very friendly welcome at the gate. No more than 500metres into the park we spotted a Pale Chanting Goshawk! Sadly we were not organised and did not have our camera's handy :wall:

The check in was friendly and well organised. We even got breakfast vouchers :dance: . This was most welcome, as our food stocks had dwindled down to almost nothing!

While unpacking the car I noticed this rather hardly but beautiful plant... I was amazed as the Karoo was very dry and I believe it has been in a drought.
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The accommodation was superb and I have to say that it is exceptionally well thought out and has more than enough of everything! It was truly a wonderful surprise. We celebrated with a G&T while admiring the awesome mountain view.
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Now it was time to stretch our legs and we decided to investigate the Bossie Trail. This trail is a short trail where many of the plants are marked and at the beginning of the trail there is an information handout which gives all the names of the plants with their medicinal purposes and which animals eat favour them.
This guy watched us warily as we passed by.
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We enjoyed observing the differeces betwwen the Mountain Zebra's and the Burchells we had seen in Kruger...I really love the Mountain Zebra's
Image

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:58 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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I love Karoo TR's!

Thank you JayBabe for this one. Very lovely photos. :clap:

Is there even more to come?


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:02 pm 
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:clap: :clap: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:10 pm 
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We were fascinated by this diversity of vegetation in this seemingly inhospitable terrain...each plant and animal has its place. We walked back to camp which was fully booked but you would never say so as each chalet had its own outlook onto the mountain.
pic of camp:
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These guys were waiting for us on our return:
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We lit our fire which is built in on the stoep(veranda) opened a bottle of red and enjoyed the view:
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We were priviledged to have this awesome sunset

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A few minutes later...

Image

We went to bed feeling rather pleased with ourselves that we had booked 2 nights in this great park :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:21 pm 
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What a view! :big_eyes:


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 pm 
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We woke up to a very windy Karoo day....this was nature's way of re-acquainting us with the wind as we would soon be home and no doubt would be going back to a windy period!!! :shock:
This scenery really doesn't show how hard the wind was blowing....
Image

We were treated to a slendid full breakfast with really great service considering how busy it was. :clap:

Well watered and fed we set of to do the Potiekkertjie Loop: first up to greet us was this guy:
Image

We came across these pretty impressive kudu's
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This is an idea of the landscape

Image


further along the way we came across some rather skittish Eland

Image
more to follow

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:31 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Karoo takes my breath away everytime.

I absolutely love your photos. Please keep them coming!

(You called your Gemsbok an Eland :wink: )


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:36 pm 
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:mrgreen: So many places I want to visit.

Excellent pictures!

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:02 pm 
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There is place for breathing freely :D :dance: :dance: :thumbs_up: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:07 am 
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Moose: thanks for following. :redface: Talk about a stoopid error ..Thanks for picking it up. I am rather desperate to see a Eland so I guess that's whats on my mind!

Stark:: I hear you ....so many places to see but so little time and money! :hmz: Karoo is worth a visit in my opinion!

Micetta: The air and wide open spaces is amazing :D

BIG Sky Country continued:

We headed off to the Doornhoek picnic site for a loo break. It is well set out with plently of shade. I would imagine on a day where it wasn't to windy it would be very pleasant to have a picnic or braai there. We set off agin and would be returning to camp via the klipspringer pass.
WOW this pass is fantastic with the most amazing views!!!

Image

Another view shot
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The pass is fairly steep but the road is good

Image
My screen is jumping more to follow!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:12 am 
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More perfect pics of Karoo. :clap:

Are there Eland in Karoo? I can't remember whether i've seen any there...

*edit* Yes there are, but I still can't remember whether i've seen them or not :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:21 am 
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What a wonderful stop over and you have great pics.
I know some people think(know) I'm touched in the head - but we spent five nights in the Karoo National Park.
It is a beautiful place to stay if you are looking for tranquility and open spaces plus the added joy of the animals and birds.

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:23 am 
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Moose: : That was quick....are you missing the bush and Karoo? When are you coming back to play in SA??? Yip there are Eland in Karoo ...but we missed them! Means we have to go back sometime :dance:

At the top of the Klipspringer pass there is a viewspot. We got out but almost got blown into the gorge!!! We scanned the cliffs for Black eagle but no such luck!
The gorge:
Image

On the way down the pass we noticed this rather large....
Image

He was a real beauty and entertained us for a while before disappearing.

Image

I was amazed at the wall that had been built along the sides of the very steep pass...what an engineering feet in a rather difficult terrain....Urrrgh my screen is jumping again!!!

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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:33 am 
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ROCK MONITOR! :big_eyes:

That tops my list of reptiles I want to see. Wow.

I'm coming back to SA in April for 3 months, but I haven't worked out a plan yet. So far it looks like the only park i'll be able to get to is Karoo.


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 Post subject: Re: BIG SKY Country!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:49 am 
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Moggiedog:Glad to see you on board...I must say I also thought Karoo could be a week visit...but the dilema is always...a week in Karoo or a week in kruger :hmz: Kruger wins !!! I think I need to win the lotto retire really young and spend my time travelling from one Sanpark to another!!!

Moose:Here's another Rock monitor pic for you...glad you will be back soonish!!!
Image

We went to check out the campsite and I must say it looked well maintained and the staff were working hard to keep it looking good. The only thing that may stop me from camping there over a weekend or holiday is the possibility of noise...there was a party of people looking like they were in serious party mode :shock: Now I am not a party pooper :hmz: but don't like boom boxes and that kind of thing in the bush!!

We visited the Ou Schuur Centre for a most informative and interesting look at the cultural heritage and ecosystems of the Karoo. Pity our only sighting of a caracal was a stuffed one :big_eyes: at the centre and not a live one!

More to follow soon....

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