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Karoo National Park, Beaufort West, South Africa

Karoo National Park Cottages

The mountainous, rugged, arid, beautiful Karoo National Park is home to the quagga, once extinct. It was miraculously recreated from portions of its genetic code present in tissue samples taken from a mounted museum exhibit. Two of South Africa’s most highly endangered species, the riverine rabbit and the black rhinoceros have also been successfully resettled.

Quagga at Karoo National ParkThe park is also home to a wide variety of indigenous buck, mountain zebra, wildebeest, wild ostrich and five tortoise species – the most in any conservation area in the world. Because of the sparse vegetation game viewing in the Karoo National Park is easily facilitated. Best viewing is achieved on the 13km “Lammertjiesleegte” Route on the plains.

Birding: If you are a bird lover, there are plenty of Karoo specials to keep you ticking away.

Scenic drive along the picturesque Klipspringer Pass with its environmentally friendly style of construction and the scenic viewpoint at Rooivalle.

Self-drive game viewing or guided night or morning drives in the park’s vehicles. Drives are led by knowledgeable guides.

4×4 Trails: Nuweveld EcoTrail (90km) and Afsaal EcoTrail (13km) are available to visitors in 4×4 vehicles. These two routes branch off the Potlekkertjie Loop. About 50 kilometres of the Nuweveld trail is a Grade one 4×4 trail with some steep, rocky sections and sandy dry river crossings. The Kookfontein Loop (7km) and Sandrivier Loop (7km) branch off the Nuweveld and Afsaal Loops respectively, providing varied 4×4 route options. The Embizweni Cottage is available for visitors to overnight on the Nuweveld Trail. The cottage provides fully-equipped accommodation for six people with a gas-powered stove, fridge and geysers as well as solar-powered lights. Bookings can be made via the Park’s reception on Tel: +27(0)23 4152828.

Guided walks are available free of charge to visitors. Led by a qualified guide who will introduce you to the fascinating Karoo ecosystems, walks take place at 06:00 (2.5 hours), 10:00 (1.5 hours) and 15:00 (1.5 hours). Guided walks are subject to availability, depending on the availability of a guide. There are also hiking trails.

Fossil Trail: This 400m long trail depicts the geology and paleontology of the Great Karoo. Genuine fossils and petrified wood are on display on this paved trail, accessible to wheelchair-users.

Information: Hours: Gates open from 05H00 – 22H00: Arrivals after 22:00 are not permitted without prior arrangement. The reception office is open from 07:00 to 19:00.
Visitors with reserved accommodation who will arrive after 19:00 must make prior arrangements to collect the keys to their accommodation at the entrance gate. Please call the camp at Tel +27 (0)23 415 2828. E-mail: brian.vanderwesthuizen@sanparks.org.

Visit the Karoo National Park website for more information. Read the Getaway Magazine Article on Karoo National Park.

More info on the town of Beaufort West More info on the Central Karoo area