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 Post subject: Cape Parks trip December 2006
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:05 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
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Location: Krugersdorp
In December 2006 we visited a few of the Cape parks and had a fantastic time. We spent 2 weeks in Mountain Zebra, Tsitsikamma (Nature's Valley) and Karoo NP. A trip report with photos will follow soon... 8)

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject: Part 1 - Mountain Zebra National Park
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
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Location: Krugersdorp
OK here we go..

Part 1 - Mountain Zebra National Park

We left JHB on 16 December 2006 and overnighted in Bloemfontein. We were expecting the roads to be crowded but they were not. In Bloem we visited the Women's museum - a must for every visitor. The next morning we set off for Cradock and MZNP, our home for the next 2 days. The road from the N1 to Cradock was very quiet and relaxed. We had decided to spoil ourselves a bit and had booked a cottage in the park. We usually camp but on such a long trip its a mission packing and unpacking and pitching and unpitching the tent. As usual the park was very quiet with few visitors. We did a few drives but we did not see as much as our last visit in 1995. We saw mountain zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebees, springbok, eland amd steenbok but in very small numbers. We also did the mountain route but I would not advise doing it with a sedan or any low clearance vehicle. There is a very steep incline at one point and the track is very narrow and is one way only so you can't turn around. The track also crosses a smallish stream that is filled with large rocks. I could only go through since I could not turn around and go back. I got out and checked the stream and removed some rocks that would have scraped the car's undercarriage (I drive a Toyota Yaris sedan). Going through was very nerve wracking since the car was hopping around like mad. The route is very scenic and beautiful but definitely not for those with a fear of heights!

A view of the camp:
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Very aggressive ants in front of our cottage. I think they are called "balbrekers":
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Red hartebees:
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Scenery from the mountain route:
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Unfortunately I do not have many other pics to post of MZNP -most are family pics.

Next, part 2 a dash through Addo and then onto Tsitsikamma.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:48 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
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Location: Krugersdorp
Yes MZ is not really a wildlife park like KNP of KTP but the scenery and atmosphere are worth it. Nevertheless, one can have some amazing wildlife experiences there. I must say that our 2 nights there were not enough to really appreciate the park. We spent about 4 days there in 1995 and we saw a lot more. The hikes are pretty amazing. We only did the short hikes this time around but in 95 we did the long day walk, I think its about 11 km. That was amazing. We managed to sneak up onto a large herd of eland (about 50) in the dry riverbed near the camp site. We got within about 20 m when they heard us and ran away. We could clearly hear the c;icking sound their hooves make. I also remember a very huge boulder that had slipped down the mountain side and left a huge gouge. The kids (big and small :wink: ) love the swimming pool. We camped in 1995 and the ablutions were fantastic - they were the best I had ever experienced. I'm not so sure what they are like now. At the time we had the camping area to ourselves with only one neighbour for one night.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject: Part 2 - Addo and Tsitsikamma
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
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Location: Krugersdorp
Part 2 - Addo and Tsitsikamma

Our next stop was Nature's Valley in the Tsitsikamma National Park. As we left MZNP we decided to do a quick spin through Addo to see the new section. Of course we did not see very much but we did see the elies.

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We arrived at Nature's Valley rest camp just after the office had closed but the security guard had our keys. He led us to our forest hut and we unpacked. Naure's Valley rest camp is beautiful set amongst the forest on the banks of the Groot River. The forest huts are very comfortable being fully eqipped with everything but a stove, basin and fridge and toilet/bath. You use the communal kitchen and ablutions. Kitchen utensils are provided. The hut also has electricity with plug points - the camp sites are not powered. Here are a few pics of the view from the veranda.

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More pics to come...

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject: Part 3 - Tsitsikamma - Storms River and Nature's Valley
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
Posts: 957
Location: Krugersdorp
Part 3 - Tsitsikamma - Storms River and Nature's Valley

View of the ocean at Storms River rest camp:
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On the walk to the river mouth:
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View of Nature's Valley - one can see the houses of the town in amongst the trees center right. The Groot River and mouth are clearly seen as well as the wonderful beaches. This beach was not crowded at all during teh December holidays whereas nearby Plett was a madhouse.

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Some flowers on the hike up the hill.

Erica sp.
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Kolkol - Brunnea nodiflora (if memory serves well)
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This is the Groot River estuary:
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The Groot River as seen from th parking area:
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Thousands and thousands of these jellyfish washed up onto the beach at Nature's Valley:
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Some wildlife visiting our hut:
Gecko:
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Grasshopper:
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Nature's Valley rest camp is highly recommended. For those who want to escape the mad crowds durng December visit the beach at Nature's Valley. Oh and for those who love crowds stay away :twisted: :wink:

To be continued: Karoo National Park.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject: Part 4 Karoo National Park
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:32 am
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Location: Krugersdorp
Part 4 Karoo National Park

On the way back up to Johannesburg we had booked two nights at Karoo National Park. I had heard wonderful things about this park and was quite excited.

I was not disappointed. The park has the most beautiful views and is tranquil as only the karoo can be. It was hot when we arrived. We checked in went o our chalet, dumped the suitcases on the beds and went for a swim.

The park has some wonderful hikes. The fossil trail is extremely interesting and is located near the cottages. I particularly enjoyed the bossie trail. They have a small information booklet and plants along the trail are marked and the corresponding description is found in the booklet.

The The Pointer’s trail day walk is also interesting but must be done in the early morning in summer! Luckily it was overcast when we walked it.

We did not see very many animals but that we did not really try that hard - we wanted to spend most of our time walking and swimming.

A very nice feature of Karoo NP is that breakfast is included in the tarrif for all accommodation except camping. The breakfast is very good.

We also checked out the campsite and it is very nice set amongst sweet thorns so there is enough shade.

The chalets:
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The mosty beautiful and tranquil landscapes:
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View of the chaletsfrom the pool
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View of the camp from the The Pointer’s trail:
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Beaufort West can be seen in the distance also on the The Pointer’s trail:
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A lookout point on the Klipspringer pass:
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Two nights were not enough. We will definitely stop over here on our way to the Cape in the future and for at least 3 nights.

That's it.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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