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Visitor Tips

  1. There are a number of 4x4 routes that can be explored in both the eastern and western sections of the Park.
  2. Day visitors are welcome and can make use of various attractions such as the Valley of Desolation, Game Viewing Area and a number of picnic sites.
  3. As outdoor lighting in the camps is limited, a torch/headlamp is required when walking outside at night.

Where To Stay

Things To See

  1. Nqweba Dam
  2. Kwelimanzi bird hide
  3. Bat-eared fox
  4. Klipspringer

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Accommodation

Camdeboo National Park's accommodation is situated on the floodplains of the Nqweba Dam and accessed via the Lakeview Gate on the N9 towards Middleburg. This area is part of the Park's game viewing area which is home to buffalo, antelope such as gemsbok, eland, red hartebeest and springbok, smaller mammals such as black-backed jackal and many bird species.

Lakeview Tented Camp (CTT2)

Four rustic furnished tents provide a relaxed nature experience. Each tent sleeps two people and has a braai unit, fridge, table and two chairs. Bedding and towels are provided. There is a communal kitchen equipped with stove plates, cooking and eating utensils and microwave. Tents are booked as individual units but there is also a communal braai area for group use. Communal showers and toilets are provided.

View availability

Nqweba Camp Sites (CK6P)

Fifteen caravan or tent sites are situated beneath thorn trees on a gravel substrate. Each site has a braai unit and powerpoint. A communal kitchen provides deep freeze, stove top and microwave facilities while the communal ablutions have showers, toilets and a universally accessible unit.

View availability

Please note:

Accommodation images may differ from the actual units as refurbishment of various accommodation types occur on an on-going basis.

Camdeboo National Park encircles the town of Graaff-Reinet, which has a variety of accommodation options including hotels, guest houses and a caravan park.
Contact the Graaff-Reinet Tourism Office:
Tel: +27 (0) 49 892 4248
Email: info@graaffreinet.co.za


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Activities & Facilities

Activities

Daily Conservation Fee for 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017
South African citizens & Residents (with ID) R35 per person, per day
R17 per child per day
SADC Nationals (with passport) R70 per adult, per day
R35 per child per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R100 per adult, per day
R50 per child, per day

Once you have paid entry fees at one point of entry into the park, you will not be charged when visiting other park attractions. Please note that this does not include activities.

Valley of Desolation

With an estimated 100 000 people who visit this site each year, the Valley of Desolation is a premier tourist attraction in the region.

The road to the top of the valley was tarred in 1978 and today provides tourists with easy access to the viewpoints with their panoramic views of the landscape. The viewpoints at the Valley itself provide a breath-taking view of piled dolerite columns against the backdrop of the plains of the Great Karoo and a timeless sense of wonder at a landscape said to be the product of the erosive and volcanic forces of nature over a period of 200 million years.

Game Viewing and Birding

Presently, approximately 19km of gravel roadways provide visitors with the opportunity to view the entire range of indigenous species in their preferred habitats. For birding enthusiasts, nearly 250 bird species have been recorded in the Park.

Trails and walks

The Crag Lizard Trail (45 minutes) starts at the Valley parking area and extends for about 1.5km via the Valley viewpoints. It is marked with the Crag Lizard logo.

The Eerstefontein Day Walk starts and ends at the Spandaukop gate. There are three route options of 5km, 11km and 14km with good rest spots at Eerstefontein and Agtersfontein.

The Gideon Scheepers Trail is an hour long walk, starting at the Gideon Scheepers Monument, which commemorates a historic figure, and ending at Barbergat on the R63 to Murraysburg.

There is no charge for hiking trails in the park, apart from conservation fees.

4x4 Trails

Koedoeskloof 4x4 trail (grade 3 to 4)

This trail provides a drive to the top of the mountain, providing unique and spectacular views of the landscape. The trail can be completed with a return journey following the same track in about three hours but the Karoo tranquility and scenic vistas beg for a full day outing. The turning point of the trail, which lies on top of the mountain in the Winterhoek area of the Park, is the perfect place for a picnic lunch or tea break, with a picnic table provided here. The Koedoeskloof 4x4 trail is accessed via the Valley of Desolation gate, with the turn off to the trail well signposted about three kilometres after entering the park. No booking is necessary for those who wish to complete the trail and no fee is payable, apart from the Park conservation fee. Visitors can only attempt the trail in a 4x4 vehicle (no 2x4's with diff lock).

Driekoppe 4x4 Trail

This is a scenic grade 2 trail. Wildlife that may be seen in this section of the park includes Cape mountain zebra, kudu, mountain reedbuck,klipspringer and baboons. The flatter bottom-lands support populations of springbok, black wildebeest and ostrich. Duiker and steenbok are also common. You can follow the track past the water supply pump, to the top of Hanglip with its panoramic view of the Camdeboo plains or follow the stream bed down Wolfkloof to the waterfall. You can also walk a circular route by following the left hand turn off. Both 2x4's and 4x4's can make use of the trail.

Watersports

The Nqweba Dam, which covers over 1 000 hectares, provides cool relief during hot summer days and a base for a variety of water activities. Boating, canoeing, fishing and windsurfing are allowed on the dam (permit fees apply).
The Nqweba Dam attracts a wide variety of birds as well as wildlife such as buffalo, gemsbok, springbok and black wildebeest which come to drink from the waters. Fish species which occur in the dam include moggel (Labeo umbratus), common carp (Cyprinus carpio), African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), mullet (Mugil cephalus), round herring (Gilchristella aestuaria), mosquitofish (Gambusia affinus) and river goby (Glossogobius callidus).

***No Conservation Fees will be charged for use of the Education Centre only***

Facilities

Picnic Areas

Camdeboo National Park has six picnic areas with braai and ablution facilities:

General Amenities

Facilities such as fuel stations, ATMs, banks, shops and restaurantsare available in the nearby town of Graaff-Reinet. For more information on Graaff-Reinet, contact the Tourism Office on info@graaffreinet.co.za or tel: +27(0)49 892 4248.

Camdeboo Environmental Education Centre

The centre and staff offer programmes to any formal group to promote awareness of and sensitivity towards the natural environment. Courses are tailored to meet visitors' needs. A maximum of 40 people can be accommodated and visits may range from one to four days. This centre may also be booked for team building or conference purposes. However, educational groups get first option over private use.


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How to get there

Directions

Camdeboo National Park surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.

To Reception, Nqweba Campsite and Lakeview Tented Camp:
The gate is four kilometres out of Graaff-Reinet off the N9 to Middleburg.

To the Valley Of Desolation and Game Viewing Area:
The gate is reached 5km out of Graaff-Reinet on the R63 to Murraysburg.

The nearest international airport is in Cape Town and the nearest domestic airport in Port Elizabeth.

From Cape Town, take the N1 highway towards Beaufort West. Pass through the town of Beaufort West and then turn right onto the R61 to Aberdeen. At Aberdeen, take the N9, left towards Graaff-Reinet.

From Port Elizabeth, take the R75 to Jansenville and Graaff-Reinet.

Gate Entrance Times

Valley of Desolation Gates

Jan - Feb Mar Apr May June July-Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Open
06:00
06:00
06:30
07:00
07:00
07:00
06:30
06:00
06:00
06:00
Close
20:00
19:30
19:00
18:30
18:00
18:30
19:00
19:30
20:00
20:30

Game Viewing Area & Lakeview Gates

  Jan - Feb Mar Apr May June July-Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Open:
06:00
06:00
06:30
07:00
07:00
07:00
06:30
06:00
06:00
06:00
Close:
19:30
19:00
18:30
18:00
17:30
18:00
18:30
19:00
19:30
20:00

 

GPS Coordinates

Description

Name

Latitude

Longitude

View Point

Valley of Desolation

S 32° 15' 59 "

E 24° 29' 41 "

Reception

Reception

S 32° 13' 13 "

E 24° 32' 25 "

Car Park

Valley of Desolation

S 32° 15 '52"

E 24° 29' 36 "

Game Viewing Gate Area

 

S 32° 13' 12 "

E 24° 32' 26 "

Controlled Acces

Lakeview Park Entrance

S 32° 13' 13 "

E 24° 32' 29"

Gate Registration & Indemnity Form

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Natural and Cultural History

Camdeboo National Park was proclaimed as a National Park under the management of South African National Parks on 30 October 2005.

Following an extensive process of negotiation and discussion between government, conservation groups, and concerned stakeholders, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, announced the intention to proclaim the park in the area surrounding Graaff-Reinet. This was made possible by the World Widelife Fund in South Africa (WWF-SA), which donated the 14500 hectare Karoo Nature Reserve to be the centrepiece of the project.

A public consultation process was followed to decide on the new name for the park, culminating in the choice of Camdeboo National Park.

The Karoo Nature Reserve was established in 1979 when the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the World Wildlife Fund recognised the urgency for conservation measures in the Karoo biome and listed this action as a world conservation priority.

The vision for the future is ultimately to link Camdeboo National Park with Mountain Zebra National Park, protecting a huge diversity of plant and animal species. This will assist in the conservation of the endangered Cape mountain zebra. The idea is to create a single mega-conservation area over 120km in length and including up to 520 000 hectares of land under conservation, to be accomplished in the main by public/private partnerships.

Early history of the park includes use of the area by early, middle and later stone age people. Evidence of occupation by these people can be found in the form of stone age industry sites on the south eastern plains of the park. Artefacts found in these sites include bored stones, percussion-made hand axes, scrapers, blades and grinding stones.

Khoisan hunters and herders left evidence of their occupation during the late stone age in the form of rock paintings in the eastern section of the park.

The Inqua tribe occupied the park area during the mid 1600's, grazing their vast herds of cattle and fat-tailed sheep on the apron veld from the Camdeboo River near Aberdeen, across the Sundays River to Agter-Bruintjieshoogte near Somerset East.

White farmers settled on the Camdeboo Plains and Sneeuberg in 1770, introducing merino sheep and angora goats, as well as exotic plants. Over the years overgrazing and the effects of exotic plants have resulted in soil erosion and an increase in woody species or unpalatable plants.

Until the park was first proclaimed as a reserve in 1979, it was used as a town commonage with tenants grazing their livestock and contributing to overgrazing and erosion of some areas.


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Park Map

Click on the map to view enlarged

 

 

 

 

 

Camp Layout

Click on the map to view enlarged

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Tariffs


Once you have paid entry fees at one point of entry into the park, you will not be charged when visiting other park attractions. Please note, this does not include activities.

General Tariff Information

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Vital Information

Climate

Camdeboo National Park is located in a summer rainfall, semi-desert area.

Summers are very hot and winters can be very cold. During the summer months, visitors are advised to confine their activities to early mornings and late afternoons. Most of the average rainfall of 336mm per annum occurs in summer and autumn, with a peak in March. Thunderstorms and high temperatures are common during the summer months while snowfalls can occur in the high-lying areas in winter.

Tourism Day Visitors

Day visitors are welcome and can make use of various attractions such as the Valley of Desolation, Game Viewing Area and a number of picnic sites.

Handy Hints:

Contact Information

For enquiries email Camdeboo National Park or:


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Library

Regional Newsletters: Park-thusiasts

2016