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The Great Karoo is a vast and unforgiving landscape of which the Karoo National Park is but a small portion. Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having adapted to survive in these harsh conditions.
Karoo National Park is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld mountains and rolling plains, where many species that originally occurred here now occupy their former ranges (Many species have been relocated - such as black rhino, buffalo and cape mountain zebra. Over 20 breeding pairs of black eagle find sanctuary within the park.) The Karoo National Park has a wide variety of endemic wildlife.
There is also a wide diversity of succulent plants and small reptiles, including five species of tortoise.
How to get there
The Karoo National Park is situated close to the N1 highway between Cape Town and the hinterland, approximately 1000 km south of Johannesburg and 500 km north of Cape Town.
The rest camp is approximately 10 km from the town of Beaufort West. There is also an airport some 10 km north of Beaufort West, just off the main highway (no scheduled flights). Car hire is available in Beaufort West. All internal roads are tarred, with the exception of the 4X4 Trail.
05:00 – 22:00 Arrivals after 22:00 are not permitted.
The reception office is open from 07:30 to 19:00.
Visitors with reserved accommodation who arrive after 19:00 must make prior arrangements to collect the keys to their accommodation at the entrance gate (+27 (0)23 415 2828).
- All accommodation is serviced daily and equipped with bedding, towels and soap.
- Six-bed Cape Dutch style guest cottages, each with two bedrooms, en suite bathrooms (bath and shower) and fully equipped kitchen.
- Three-bed Cape Dutch style bungalows, each with bathroom (shower) and kitchenettes with basic equipment. Two have been adapted for persons with mobility difficulties.
- Cape Dutch style cottages, with one bedroom (double bed), open-plan kitchen (microwave and hob) and lounge, bathroom (shower).
- Award-winning camping and caravan camp sites amidst a veritable green oasis in the rugged Karoo environment with communal ablution and kitchen facilities.
- All caravan sites equipped with 220V power points.
- A maximum of six persons, one caravan with a side tent and one vehicle, or one tent and one vehicle, or one autovilla or one motorised caravan will be permitted per site.
- Scenic drive along the picturesque Klipspringer Pass with environmentally sympathetic style of construction and scenic viewpoint at Rooivalle.
- Game viewing in own vehicle.
- Karoo 4X4 Trail. Maximum of 8 persons. This trail may be undertaken in own vehicle, or in a park vehicle with guide.
- Night drives, under guidance of trained staff.
- Two nature trails, one of 800 m (Bossie Trail), and one of 10 km (The Pointer's hiking trail).
- Karoo Fossil Braille Trail is 400 m long and is specifically adapted for handicapped visitors, depicting the geology and palaeontology of the Great Karoo.
- Swimming pool for resident guests only.
- Bird hide at the dam near main restcamp.
- Fully licensed a la carte restaurant, also serving light refreshments.
- Shop where curios and basic commodities may be purchased.
- An information centre.
- Washing-machine and tumble drier.
- Picnic facilities for day visitors.
- Public telephone.
- Full conference equipment and catering service. (Reservations - Tel: +27 (0)12 426 5025 / Fax: +27 (0)12 343 2005/6)
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.