Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 1
 [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: In the Kingdom of Camdeboo - Feb 2008
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:04 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:45 pm
Posts: 581
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
“Camdeboo” what a beautiful name. What does it mean? It sounds like the name for a magical kingdom in a Fairy Tale. I can just hear the story beginning... “In a far off mystical land, in the Kingdom of Camdeboo.....”

Image


The majestic grandeur of the Rock Cathedral before us, across the deep valley, with its magnificent rock formations; their tall pinnacles standing like sentinels guarding the valley below, does something to the human spirit ... The silence, except for the soft sound of the wind and the occasional call from a bird swooping down to disappear in the valley far below sets the scene for feelings of a deep reverence for creation.

Here in this sacred place, something beautiful happens to the human soul, a mystical connection is made, and that small flame that lives deep within each of us, brightens and glows. For a brief moment it lights the soul, bringing with it a deep mix of emotions that is impossible to describe. Feelings of belonging, an almost certainty that there is meaning in this life, a sense of purpose, a design and destiny beyond anything our limited minds can grasp. But there is also a deep aching sadness and loneliness, a sense of separation, separation from our real home, a longing to cross the barrier that keeps us trapped in this limited world.

I stand here overwhelmed by my insignificance in this scene. What is my small instant of life in a universe that man has estimated to be 15 billion years in existence. For how many aeon's have these mountains stood here, these magnificent rock formations silently watching the valley below. What dramas have played out far below, what changes have they witnessed. If they could speak what would they say

Perhaps they would tell us of their birth, of the power and might of nature as she shaped and formed the surface of the earth so long ago, of the slow beginnings of life, of the roar and terror of the dragons who roamed the valley below for millions of years. Of the advent of man and his struggle to subdue and conquer the land.

Would they speak sadly of his mistakes, how through his lack of understanding he has misused the earth, slowly eroding the intricate web of life that nature has so carefully developed over so many millennia.

Would they remind us that Nature is patient and long suffering, but is abused at man's own risk. That it will brush him aside with impunity and rebuild the earth without him if he continues for too long on his path of destruction

But today perhaps the Mountains would look down on a small, but very special part of the valley, a green jewel called Camdeboo National Park, and say. “Man learns slowly, but he is an intelligent being and there are signs of an awakening, an understanding that nature cannot be conquered ... We will continue to stand here and watch ....”

Db nudges me, “I'm getting wet and cold and by the look of the sky we're in for heavy rain, we'd better get back to the car”. I nod in agreement and we head back to the car park to take the short drive down to the valley floor.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:25 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:45 pm
Posts: 581
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Image
Link to map on website.

Camdeboo National Park, one of Sanparks recent acquisitions, is a small park which surrounds the town of Graaf Reinet in the Karoo.

The Park is neatly wrapped around the town, with a shape that, at a stretch of the imagination could be called a rather distorted letter “M”, with the open end facing south.

The roads from Aberdeen and Port Elizabeth meet at the bottom open end of the “M”. before entering the town and then split again in the centre of town, with one going off north west to Murraysburg and the other to Middleburg, both roads cutting through the Park.

Graaff Reinet is a quaint little town full of history, with dozens of original houses and cottages beautifully restored, and what must be one of the biggest and best maintained church buildings in the country.

The town is big enough to offer everything one would need and yet is small enough for the early morning traffic to be not much different form the Sunday afternoon traffic.

We visited the Park's “Environment Education Centre” which is accessed from the Aberdeen road at the foot of the western leg of the Park. The Centre, a well laid out collection of wooden buildings is well hidden in the green bushveld, watched over by the mountain topped by the “Cathedral” on one side and “Spandauskop”, a well known landmark on the other side.
Image

In a perfect setting for conservation training, it is well equipped with lecture room, dormitories, kitchen, ablutions and even a swimming pool. Power I assumed is supplied by a diesel generator that thumped away, on and off during the day, and the numerous green rain water tanks obviously supply the fresh water.
Image

The drive along the road up to the centre produced sightings of Kudu, Springbuck and these two “Lovebirds”. The Mountain Zebra is really a cute looking guy with his smaller size and different striping from the Burchell's Zebra.
Image

There are also a number of hiking trails leading off from the Center. in various directions.
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:27 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:45 pm
Posts: 581
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
At the northern and top end of the western “Leg” is the mountain with the view sites that overlook the town and the “Valley of Desolation”, and of course allow a close up view of the stunning rock formations.

There is an information hut and a 45 min walk to different view sites along the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, the rain prevented us from completing the walk.

“Winterhoek” is a new area which adjoins the western top side of the Park where the road from the mountain view site reaches the low ground.

Finding the gate open, we decided to investigate and drove a few kms into the new area.

What a wonderful feeling it was to gaze out across that land and see the evidence of the restoration taking place, to see the alien plants being removed and the measures being taken to combat the soil erosion.
Image

To know that another small scar on this earth, will heal and man and nature will work in harmony here once again

At the top end of the Park, in the area joining the two “legs” is the Nqweba Dam which is part of the main Game area. The dam is fed by the Sundays river which continues down around the town and on its way south through Addo National Park to reach the sea at Colchester..
Image

The main entrance to the park is on the north western side of the game area and the public roads circle the dam to exit again onto the Middleburg Rd.

We entered the game area from the Middleburg side and drove through to the Murraysburg gate, hoping to afterwards also explore the large game area at the bottom of the right hand “leg”, but unfortunately time and rain prevented this.
Image
Image
Image

It seems that there are limited public roads there at this stage, but there are hiking trials and also 4x4 trails. I'm not sure if our info on this section is accurate so I am open to correction here.

We would have loved to explore the Park more thoroughly, but unfortunately only having two days there just wasn't enough time.

Although there is no accommodation for visitors in the park other than the Education Centre, there are plenty of B&B's etc close by in Graaf Reinet.

With signs everywhere of development in progress, we left Cambdeboo with the feeling that lots of exciting things are still going to take place there, and hopefully, even the provision of a bush camping site along the lines of “Mvubu” in Addo.

We will return.


Last edited by Hawk on Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 3 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bat8, impyim, Pumbaa, teddy_rsa and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Luca at 13:22:37 Submitted by Lindyvee at 13:26:04 Submitted by Mellory at 12:24:59 Submitted by Lindyvee at 13:26:34