Of course you are right -- Addo and Karoo = very special, with or without lions!
Nobody denies this, but you seem to have a problem with lions in Karoo at present, as seen by your other posts in these threads -- sorry about that!
I think you miss the point every time:
Addo was, FOR MOST PEOPLE, nothing compared to Kgalagadi or Kruger, so you popped in there for a pm visit to see an elephant or two, then went your way. I dare say, Karoo was the same for 90% of its visitors -- a convenient stopover between Cape Town and Johannesburg, where you went for a little drive up Klipspringer Pass (all 10 km that existed at the time) to have a squizz at the beautiful Karoo plains below, have your picnic meal there, then left en route to bigger parks elsewhere... How many people would really bother to repeat this routine for a stay of 10 or 20 days?
Today, I believe, both these parks are becoming DESTINATIONS, not stopovers! I believe it is because of the addition of predators, more roads at Matyholweni and the new Karoo roads, so that you don't exhaust all the roads in the park in an hour or two of game driving.
Of course there is still the hiking, relaxing etc which is wonderful -- I lived in Willowmore in the Karoo for 4 years, and love the quiet and peace so much. The point is that you can find this quiet and peace ANYWHERE IN THE KAROO if you go on a dirt road and stop, get out for a walk, or sleep over on a farm B&B like those at 3 Sisters - I did that last year, and had some amazing sunrise walks beneath those Karoo koppies without the fear of lions etc.
If Karoo and Addo want to be self-supporting financially, the odd visitor who enjoys the peace, is not enough to keep them going. Unfortunately more visitors means less peace, but the park survives, and the animals do too.
Thanks for your love for the Karoo -- maybe we wil meet in Addo or Karoo before long. I would enjoy a chat with you. Have you been to Die Hel?
Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay