Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:28 pm Posts: 204 Location: S25 59.901 E28 06.513 - SA
We only visited the Karoo National Park once. In March 2002. I immediately fell in love it. It is one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. At places, it seems as if you can see for ever. The early morning is as quiet as can be. I can understand why someone would go and live in the Karoo.
We had a laughable experience. Just after dinner a huge insect flew into the bungalow, chasing 6 adults and a 2 year old out. After investigation we found it to be a stick insect. Didn’t know some of the species has such big wings. It came out of the bungalow again after me made it dark inside and light outside. We sat for quite a while watching it under light on the stoep. The whole experience was just amazing.
Did plan to go again in 2003, but due to unforeseen circumstances we had to change the booking from Karoo NP to Mountain Zebra, which was also great…..
Now waiting for the change to go again…..
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm Posts: 39883 Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
We spent two nights at Karoo early in April this year.
What a special Park - so peaceful and so quiet. Vast spaces and really beautiful.
The highlight of our visit was watching the Black Eagle pair that nest at Rooivalle Krans. We made sure we were at the view site early in the morning to catch sight of them before they left for the day. It was such a thrill to actually see them there. Even got to watch them add a twig to their nest and mate!!
We will definately return, and soon, to explore the Park further. Really keen to do the 4x4 trail.
We are regular visitors to Karoo NP. We normally use the park as our first and last stay-over when we travel to the north with our caravan.
During one of our visits (sometime during the 90's) on our way back home, we also slept over in the caravan park. After parking the caravan, my daughter and I drove to the reception/shop to go and buy braai-wood for the evening's fire. Entering the parking area at reception (quite dusky by that time already), we saw a caracal moving amongst the vehicles parked there already. We could hardly believe our eyes. I said to her that we are not going to get out of the vehicle as it may be a rabies-infected animal. After a minute or two (watching it from the safety of our vehicle) it walked off towards the nearest chalets.
We quickly got out of the vehicle and ran to reception and informed them about the "danger" outside. The receptionist started laughing and informed us that it is a tame hand-fed caracal. A neighbouring farmer killed the mother and somehow got hold of the ittle kitten which he reared by hand. After a while the caracal (then fully grown but totally tame) became too much of a handful on the farm and he asked the park manager whether it can be "released" in the park.
The receptionist told us that we should not be surprised if it comes down to the camping area for a visit that night, because it was one of its favourite "hang-out" places.
We went back to the camp site with our wood and could not wait to tell the story to my wife and our neighbours for the night (Stefanus and Memory le Roux from Villiersdorp). Then Memory told us about her shock when they also stayed over in the park on the first night of their holiday (going north). The were having a braai next to the caravan and Stefanus asked her to collect something in the van. When she switched on the light, the caracal was lying on their bed. Stefanus said she yelled so loud that he was certain they could hear his wife in Beaufort West.
Many times I wondered what happened to the caracal since then. I also recall a story told by somebody else about the tame kudu in the park. It was a similar story - hand-reared by a farmer and later brought to the park when the young bull became quite a nuisance on the farm. This young kudu bull also made the camp site his favourite territory and apparently had a preference for ladies. He became too dangerous and was taken out f the park.
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