Great Parks of Africa episode 4: from mountain zebras to shy and secretive caracals, Karoo National Park showcases a diversity of creatures who have adapted to demanding environmental conditions. Scale the varying altitudes of this nature reserve’s vast landscape.
Scattered throughout the wild lands of Africa are a number of protected havens that shelter some of the continent’s most iconic wildlife. Explore these majestic natural sanctuaries dedicated to the preservation of the continent’s rich yet vulnerable wildlife heritage.
Great Parks of Africa episode 4 – Karoo National Park
The Karoo National Park, founded in 1979, is a wildlife reserve in the Great Karoo area of the Western Cape, South Africa near Beaufort West. This semi-desert area covers an area of 750 square kilometres. The Nuweveld portion of the Great Escarpment runs through the Park. It is therefore partly in the Lower Karoo, at about 850 m above sea level, and partly in the Upper Karoo at over 1300 m altitude.
The Park has a camp site for caravans and tents, chalets, an à la carte restaurant, a shop for basic necessities and curios, and picnic sites. The Park can be viewed by visitors on their own or with a guide.
There are two main game viewing drives that do not require a four-wheel drive vehicle: the one to the east remains on the “Lammertjiesleegte” plains of the Lower Karoo; the other is the 49 km long circular route to the west which ascends the Klipspringer Pass on to the plateau (Upper Karoo), and eventually returns to the plains at the “Doornhoek” picnic site at the western extremity of the loop. From there it follows a south-easterly course across the plains to the beginning of the Klipspringer Pass, near the camp site and chalets. At the top of the Klipspringer Pass the Rooivalle View Point presents a magnificent panorama of the Lower Karoo. The middle portion of the park, to the west of the Klipspringer Pass circular route, is easily accessible in 4×4 vehicles, and covers an extensive area, with rewarding game viewing opportunities.