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Camdeboo: Advice

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Camdeboo: Advice

Unread post by cubscorner » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:37 pm

i hope to visit south africa this june 2010 (i'm canadian), and plan to be in graaff-reinet from june 16-19. i'm male, and relatively fit (play soccer weekly), is it possible to access camdeboo national park and/or the valley of desolation from graaff-reinet, or do i have to get on a tour bus. i'd rather explore on my own then get on a tour this realistic?

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Re: getting to camdeboo nat'l park, valley of desolation

Unread post by arks » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:01 pm

Hi cubscorner and Welcome!

Camdeboo is very close to GR, but it is also quite large. The best way to explore is by car, so I'd suggest that you hire a car for your visit. There are several hiking trails, I believe, within the park, but you'll need a car to get there.

Have a great trip!
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Camdeboo : advice

Unread post by Bart47 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:12 pm

For me this is a full day's drive. It looks very good and also the weatherforecast is excellent.
But is it worthwhile.
I like nature and am an amateurphotograhper, like to shoot birds, landscapes, mammals, macro you name it.
Is there a lot to see down there?
And how are the roads? Do i need a 4 x 4 to enter the park or is a sedan good enough?
Thank you.

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Re: Camdeboo advice

Unread post by Crested Val » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:22 pm

We were in Camdeboo in 2009.
Saw springbok, gemsbok and many birds.
Stunning scenery.
We were in a sedan and I don't remember any problems.

I'm sure there will be others with better and more up to date info. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Camdeboo advice

Unread post by Bart47 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:09 pm

This is very helpfull. The stunning scenery and birds alone makes it worthwhile.
Thank you very much!

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Re: Camdeboo advice

Unread post by JDW » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:22 am

We were in Camdeboo last September.
The park area next to the lake is flat and the roads, which are mainly dirt were in excellent condition.
This is also the main area to see wildlife which was abundant.
The other areas are very hilly with some steep climbs to vantage points. The roads to the Valley of Desolation are tarmac in very good condition, however roads are not overly wide and with a long drop on one side is not for the faint hearted!!
Much of the park in the hilly area is not covered by roads, however there are numerous walking trails.
Whilst there is wildlife throughout the park it is often not easily seen in the areas away from the lake.
The area around the lake is relatively small and 2-3 hours is more than enough time to see it.
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Anybody been to Cambdeboo recently?

Unread post by Haupie » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:48 pm

I am going to this park at the end of May. I can only guess that I will need some warm clothes. Staying in a tent. Can anybody offer any advice? I read Hawk's TR and it made me so very interested. Thank you for any response
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Re: Anybody been to Cambdeboo recently?

Unread post by DinkyBird » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:06 am

Haupie, EL is a warm little corner of SA. Be prepared for cold, as in COLD. Warm beanies and gloves and shoes, lots of layers clothing and bedding wise, and even a heater for your tent. And chose a spot in the sun. It is amazing how the sun warms one when it rises.
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Re: Anybody been to Cambdeboo recently?

Unread post by Haupie » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:36 pm

Hi there and thank you once again for your comments :k

A mate and I had some business to do in Graaf Reinet and decided we would book into Camdeboo for our one night stay last Friday night. We left Slummies at 9h00 and arrived in GR at 13h00. We had a fantastic breakfast in a quaint little town called Bedford on the way

We bought some wood, salads and a variety of sausages at a local butcher in GR and set off for the park. 6 minutes later we were at reception and had a very quick registration with the help of 2 very efficient and willing ladies.

Off to the tented camp. 4 of the 6 tents were booked out for the night. We were booked into no 1 and 2.

Tents were very cool (not cold, as in lekker). Plenty warm blankets and more than good enough for any traveller.

After off loading we immediately hit the road in to the game viewing area where we found plenty kudu, blesbok, red hartebeest, eland and springbok. Also saw 2 duiker, a small herd of wildebeest and a steenbok.

Many buzzards, a few falcons, flamingos, duck and geese. I am not yet a birding expert but was surprised to see many different species around. The place must be amazing for birding in the summer when the migrants arrive.

We then proceeded to the Valley of Desolation which has been on my wish list for a loooong time. It was only a short drive, but worth it. What an awesome place. The 200m walk from the parking area to the viewing sites is a testing 200m for an unfit person. However it is most rewarding. Excellent views. Fantastic rock formations and a quietness only broken by the abundant Kransduif. Many were breeding pairs and their communication was quite something in the total silence up on the top of the cliffs.

The sun was setting rapidly and made the views spectacular. Golden peaks rising above the shaded rocks.

I was hoping for some quiet time to reflect and ponder life and got just that.

We left a few minutes before gate closing time to make it back into the game viewing area and enjoyed driving amongst the antelope in semi darkness.

The animals are still quite shy and this shows how under explored the park is. There are some HUGE kudu bulls and Eland around.

Back in the camp we made our 1st fire and cracked a few beers. As darkness set in properly, the temperature plummeted. Fortunately I was wearing jeans and did not need a jersey at all. At bedtime it was 4 degrees celsius outside. Cool, but manageable.

We feasted on some lamb livers in net fat for starters and then made our 2nd fire. Self made (but not self hunted) impala sausage and eland fillets were most delicious with potato salad.

In between we fought off the plummeting temperature with a bottle of Calitzdorp White Jerepico and plentiful glasses of Fish Eagle brandy.

Bedtime came too soon. Fortunately 2 blankets and a duvet kept me warm through the night and the background music created by the birds in the adjacent dam, ensured a peaceful rest.

Ablutions were good. More than anybody could expect of a tented camp.

The communal kitchen was well stocked and very spacious and comfortable.

A good time indeed. I will most definitely return with the family to spend at least 2 nights.

Another gem in the Sanparks arsenal of parks.

I will recommend it to anyone :clap: :dance: :thumbs_up:
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