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Karoo National Park

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This page displays all information relevant to this park/camp, except the following:

Availability | Reservations |

Visitor Tips

  1. Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes for walking inside the rest camp. Check the sightings board outside Reception before heading out on a game drive to see where the best sightings can be had.
  2. Day visitors are welcome. No bookings are required.
  3. As outdoor lighting in the camps is limited, a torch/headlamp is required when walking outside at night.
  4. Cool clothing for summer and warm for winter – the region is subject to sudden changes in weather, particularly in the mountains.
  5. Remember to bring a hat, walking shoes, sun block, camera, binoculars and bird and mammal reference books.

Where To Stay

Notices

Closure of Klipplaatsfontein 4x4 route

Please note that the Park’s Klipplaatsfontein 4x4 route has been temporarily closed. We apologise for any inconvenience and will advise once it has been re-opened.

Things To See

  1. Swimming pool oasis and picnic site at Bulkraal and the Bulkraal picnic site in the game viewing area
  2. Ou Schuur Interpretive Centre in a lush garden setting
  3. Picturesque Klipspringer Pass with its environmentally friendly style of construction and the scenic viewpoint at Rooivalle
  4. Verreaux's eagle

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Accommodation

Main Rest Camp

Chalet (CH2/4Z):

Chalet (CH2/4):

Family Cottage (FA6):

Family Cottage (FA6BZ):

Camping

Afsaal Cottage

Afsaal Cottage is an old Shepherds hut which has been upgraded. The facility is situated on the southern section of the Nuweveld 4x4 route, approximately 35 kilometers from the main rest camp.

The unit can accommodate two adults and two children. It is equipped with an energy friendly solar power system for the lighting, a gas burner for food preparation, as well as a 90 liter solar powered fridge/freezer to store food and drinks. Two outside braai areas are also available. No fire wood is provided. Inside the unit are two single beds with mattresses and bedding. Extra bedding is provided. Two additional stretchers are available on request, for children only. The unit is not serviced daily, but only cleaned on departure and before arrival. A shower with a gas geyser ensures that there is hot water available. The unit is also equipped with a wash basin on the outside. In front of the unit is a lit waterhole, providing 24-hour game viewing from the comfort of the porch.

Staying over at Afsaal Cottage will give visitors an early start to the game viewing area and the possibility to see the elusive game species. Normal gate hours are applicable to the Afsaal Cottage and park management depends on the honesty and integrity of visitors to abide by the gate and park rules. Visitors should also note that there is no Cell phone reception at the Cottage. The base rate tariff of one to two people is R850 per night. Additional children will cost an additional R125 per child. Bookings can only be made through the Park's Reception, on (023) 415 2828.

To view the accommodation prices, refer to Tariffs

Please note:

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

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Activities & Facilities

Activities

Please note:

As from 1 March 2015, the Park will implement a minimum of two nights' stay bookings at the 4x4 Embizweni Cottage. All existing bookings will be honoured, but all future bookings will only be made for at least two consecutive nights.

4x4 Eco-Trails

There are four 4x4 eco-trails available to visitors in 4x4 vehicles, at no extra cost:

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Guided game drives

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Guided walks

Fossil Trail

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Bird hides

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Picnic Facilities

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Note to Travellers

Facilities

Conference Facilities

The town of Beaufort West is 12 kilometres away from the rest camp.

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History

During the late 1950’s a local farmer (and twitcher) William Quinton campaigned for a conservation area in the Beaufort West vicinity.

However, it was only in the 1970s that South African National Parks proposed the establishment of a National Park that would be representative of the Nama Karoo Biome after a campaign launched by the South African Nature Foundation (SANF) and funded through the commission and sale of special art stamps depicting the flora and fauna of the Great Karoo. After considering a number of possible suitable areas it was decided to establish this new park in the vicinity of Beaufort West.

In a gesture of support, the Town Council of Beaufort West donated 7 209 ha of communal land north-west of the town to the South African National Parks. This area then formed the nucleus of the Karoo NP, proclaimed in 1979. SANF purchased additional land to be incorporated into Karoo NP, and in 1989 a luxury rest camp was opened.

The Great Karoo is an area of unrivalled importance for understanding the evolution of the oldest known complex ecosystems on land. The park forms part of one of the Karoo’s classic study and collecting areas for the wealth of ancient petrified fossils of the long-gone Karoo animals. In the Karoo NP there is a clearly visible link between the geological horizons of the plains of Beaufort West, progressing through time, layer by layer, to those at the top of the Nuweveld escarpment.

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How to get there

Many visitors to Karoo National Park access the Park by car as this allows them the freedom to explore the park at their own leisure.

The Park is a convenient stopover on the N1 route between Cape Town and the interior of the country. Cape Town is situated about 500km south of the Park. Johannesburg is situated about 1 000km north of the Park.

The rest camp is situated 12km from the town of Beaufort West in the Western Cape, off the N1 highway.

Air

Car Hire

Car hire facilities are located at airports and major cities.

Internal Road Network

All internal roads are tarred, with the exception of the 4x4 trails. Coaches and buses cannot access all roads in the Park – drivers should contact Park Reception for more information.

GPS Coordinates

Entrance Gate: S 32˚21’48.2 | E 22˚32’28.4

Gate Hours

Gate Registration & Indemnity Form

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Maps

Maps

Main Camp

Click on the thumbnails below to view or download enlarged maps

Park Map

Click on the thumbnails below to view or download enlarged maps

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Tariffs


General Tariff Information

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Vital Information

Climate

Annual rainfall totals 260 mm, with the plains being hot in summer, and the mountain areas relatively cool throughout the year. During mid-winter snow occurs regularly on the peaks of the Nuweveld Mountains.

Day Visitors

Day visitors are welcome. No bookings are required.

Office Hours

Tips and Hints

Contact Information


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Birding in Karoo National Park

While birding on the plains route, larks and chats are prominent. Karoo Korhaan, Ludwig’s Bustard and Namaqua Sandgrouse should also be looked for. The park’s best birding occurs in and around the campsite. Acacia Pied Barbet, Red-eyed Bulbul, Karoo Scrub Robin, Cape Robin-chat, Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler, Layard’s Tit-babbler, Yellow-bellied Eremomola, Pale-winged Starling, Southern (Lesser) Double-collared and Dusky Sunbird and Redheaded Finch are all ever present. Karoo Eremomela, Namaqua Warbler (Prinia) and Pririt Batis are regional specials to be looked out for. Raptors to look out for include Booted Eagle, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Rock Kestrel and large numbers of Lesser Kestrel in summer. The park also has a high concentration of Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle.

(For more birding information and park bird checklist, go to Information for Birders)

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Mammals & Reptiles

Because of the sparse vegetation, game viewing in Karoo National Park is easily facilitated. Best viewing is achieved on the 13km “Lammertjiesleegte” Route on the plains.

Large herbivores such as Red Hartebeest, Eland, the two zebra species, kudu and springbok are all regularly seen. Klipspringer are regularly seen on the pass of the same name. Other species are less obvious due to smaller size, nocturnal habits or restriction to the wilderness areas of the park.

Cape rock elephant-shrew Cape Fox
Smith's rock elephant-shrew Bat-eared Fox
Round-eared elephant-shrew Cape Clawless Otter
Lesser red musk shrew Striped Polecat
Forest shrew Water Mongoose
Lesser dwarf shrew Yellow Mongoose
Common split-faced bat Small Grey Mongoose
Cape serotine bat Suricate
Melck's serotine bat Small-spotted Genet
Vervet monkey Aardwolf
Chacma Baboon Caracal
Cape Hare African Wildcat
Scrub Hare Antbear (Aardvark)
Smith’s Red Rock Rabbit Rock Hyrax
Riverine Rabbit Black Rhinoceros
Pouched mouse Cape Mountain Zebra
Grey pygmy climbing mouse Burchell’s Zebra with Quagga bred
characteristics
Pygmy mouse Red Hartebeest
Short-tailed gerbil Springbok
Hairy-footed gerbil Klipspringer
Grant's rock mouse Steenbok
Namaqua rock mouse Gemsbok
Multimammate mouse Kudu
Striped mouse Eland
Saunders' vlei rat Lion
Panthea Leo Common Duiker
Karoo bush rat Gemsbok
Spectacled Dormouse Grey Rhebuck
Porcupine Mountain reedbuck
Common Molerat  
Brown Hyena  


Reptiles

Karoo National Park has a very rich reptilian fauna. Of particular significance are the 5 species of tortoise. However there is also a terrapin, an agama, 2 chameleons, a monitor, 18 snakes and several geckos, skinks and lizards.


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Vegetation

The vegetation in the Karoo National Park falls within the Karoo-Namib bio-geographical region, with areas of the park falling into the Nama Karoo Biome..

The vegetation physiognomy consists of Montane Karoo grassy shrublands, Karoo grassy dwarf shrublands, Karoo succulent dwarf shrublands, and riparian thicket. Steep elevation and precipitation gradients have a direct impact on gradients in vegetation. High elevation (1800m) and relatively high rainfall (406mm) montane grasslands occupy communities dominated by grasses. The increasing aridity away from the escarpment edge is steep, and Motane Karoo dwarf shrublands replace these mesic communities. At lower elevation (800m) the precipitation is very low (175mm) and uncertain.

The substrata influence the vegetation, with the sandy substrata of the drainage lines supporting more woody taxa and grasses. Moving away from the mesic environment of the riparian zone, rapid desiccation occurs and more xeric communities are encountered.


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People with Disabilities

Wheelchair Access

Accommodation

The rest camp has three units accessible to wheelchair users (two chalets with two beds and a sleeper couch and one unit with six single beds in two bedrooms).

Chalet (CH2/4Z)

The unit is accessible to the mobility challenged. The chalet features two single beds, sleeper couch and a bathroom with a shower. The kitchen is equipped with a microwave. An aircon is also availble.

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Family Cottage (FA6BZ)

The unit is accessible to the mobility challenged. The cottage features two bedrooms, each with one queen size bed and one single bed. There are two en-suite bathrooms. The kitchen is equipped with a microwave. An aircon and DSTV (limited channel) is also availble.

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Please note:

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

Accessible Activities & Facilities

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