Karoo National Park

The Karoo National Park is located in the Great Karoo, a vast vast and rugged landscape with bare plains. The park was founded in 1979 to prevent the flora and fauna present being lost. The area is half desert making it seem like the Karoo park does not have much to offer, but the opposite is true. Here you will find South Africa’s largest ecosystem. There is a unique vegetation and what lives here has adapted to the very difficult living conditions.

Due to the dry soil many different types of succulents can be found here. The most common are the native Karoo acacia, vygies, aloe and euphorbia. Bird lovers will find a wide variety of beautiful birds here, including a large number of large birds of prey. The following animals are found in the park: springbok, mountain reed, kudu, jackal, gray roe deer, ibex, terrestrial wolf, gemsbok, red hartebeest, wildebeest, zebra, black rhino, lion, dassies, turtles and many others.

Many fossil remains have been found in this area, some of which are estimated to be millions of years old. On the 400 meter long fossil trail you will learn more about these finds and you will see a number of them.

In the evening you can enjoy a very clear starry sky here. In the summer months (November – March) it can get very hot during the day (up to 43 ° C), especially on the open plains, but there is regular rainfall. In winter it is sunny, but it can get quite cold at night (up to -5 ° C). In the winter it often happens that there is snow on the tops of the Nuweveld Mountains. The best travel time is between March and October, but spring (September / October) is the best time when the dry Karoo turns into a sea of flowers.
– Go game watching in your own vehicle and also enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the view from the Rooivalle viewpoint.
– You can drive 4×4 trails for which no extra costs are charged.
The Nuweveld EcoTrail (90km) and the Afsaal EcoTrail (13km). Both can be extended by De Kookfontein Loop (7km) or the Sand River Loop (7km).
The Pienaars Pass 4×4 Trail (8km) is for the advanced 4×4 driver (is a grade 4 route and goes through very rough terrain) you have to pay for this trail and only a few cars are allowed per day.

– You can go out with a guide and you can then choose from a SANPark Guided Night drive or a morning drive guided by SANPark, tours are always with a qualified guide. The tours are with a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 9 people. To avoid disappointment, we recommend that you book this in advance (by us).
– Walks with a guide to get acquainted with the eco-system of the Karoo. The walks leave early in the morning and you have to make a reservation at the reception before 19:00 on the previous day. availability guide.
– Follow the fossil trail, a 400 meter long route with an explanation of the geology and palaeontology of the Grote Karoo (also suitable for wheelchair users).
– Bird watching from the bird watching place located on the dam close to the main rest camp


Facilities of the park
– The park is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
– The reception is open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
– Shop open from 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM
– A la carte restaurant which is open for breakfast and dinner from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
– Camping
– Bulkral picnic area with toilet facilities, swimming pool and braai (bbq’s) for day visitors
– Doornhoek picnic area is the perfect stop for a picnic or braai during a game drive
– The roads in the park are paved with the exception of the 4×4 trail
– Motorbikes and bicycles are not allowed in the park
– There is no ATM in the park

Conservation Fees: the South African National Park administration has set a daily entrance fee that applies to all parks. If you are going to visit several SAN Parks in South Africa then it may be useful to purchase a Wildcard.

Accommodation: Karoo National Park Main Rest camp

All images/information on this page: © SANParks.org 2004-2016

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