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A Photo Tour of a the Karoo National Park…

November 6th, 2018 · 4 Comments

We went to the Karoo for a couple of days… hiking, game driving and all around adventuring. I could write so much… I thought I would begin with a photo tour, and then follow on with a post packed with everything you need to know for a visit there…

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For our followers overseas, the Karoo is a vast semi-arid area in the center of South Africa… a vast and wild expanse that anyone driving across the country has to traverse and most do so as fast as they can. But, when you linger a little longer you will discover a region of breathtaking beauty… let us take you on our adventure with us…
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A Diary Day by Day

  • Day 1: All good trips begin with a roadtrip… and all good roadtrips begin with a coffee. And road trips across South Africa wouldn’t be a a road trip if you didn’t count the windmills… from the emerging spring in the Western Cape… to the arid Karoo, through the Cape Fold mountains… to a place where the weather is predictably extreme… searing heat in the summertime and freezing cold in the winter, we found ourselves between the seasons and so we were in for a bit of both.
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  • Day 2: A Hike to discover the Plant Life, the medicinal plants and well adapted local plants. Followed by a wander along the The Fossil Trail.
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  • Day 3: We spent the morning putting all our book knowledge about tracking into practice, with rangers alongside us to guide us and teach us more tracking techniques. The afternoon we went on a Game Drive through the National Park, where wild animals, particularly buck, thrive.
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  • Day 4: We started the day extremely early, and a dawn game drive is the key to seeing what the park has to offer… exciting times. Followed by an evening walk through the veld…
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  • Day 5: The last day was spent packing up and heading home again, home again, jiggity jig.
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    The Main Features of Our Photo Tour

    1. The Pointer Trail and Lookout Point
    2. The Fossil Trail
    3. A Guided Tracking Trail At Grantham
    4. Potlekkertjie Loop
    5. The Klipspringer Pass Game Drive
    6. A Visit to the Interpretive Center
    7. A Photo Gallery

    The Pointer Trail and Lookout Point


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    Our first hike of the week, was a guided hike along the Pointer Hiking Trail… and our first lesson about the Karoo National Park was that lions roam freely and you may only step out with an experienced guide beside you.
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    On our first real day, we discovered the truth about the Karoo’s extreme weather, expecting a warm day, we were surprised by freezing weather and a brisk wind… that kept us hiking as fast as we could… because if you stopped, even momentarily the cold set in.
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    It was worth the cold climb to the lookout point… from where you can look down on the Rest camp and across the plain to the cliffs of the Nuweveld Mountains.
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    Grey skies and crisp cold weather… we were surprised to see wildlife out and about…
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    Including a lovely tortoise…
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    And this trap door spider…
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    And just there we spotted a red rock rabbit…
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    But the most spectacular thing, in this dry arid land… and did I mention bitterly cold, that can just as quickly become scorchingly hot, was the plant life… rich in abundant plant life…
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    Karoo violets for miles…
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    And all the magic that is a drop of water…
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    And these…
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    And masses of Karoo gold…
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    The Fossil Trail


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    After a quick picnic lunch we went for an amble along the Fossil Trail. It is a really short well contained 300m walk alongside the information center. It is a really quick loop through the veld, with fossils and explanations about them as you walk along…
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    There is lots to see and learn…
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    Fossil remains of plants…
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    And animals…
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    And this curious fellow…
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    Just the cutest…
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    A Guided Tracking Trail At Grantham

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    A walk through the park, with rangers to show us what to look out for when tracking and also to protect us from potentially dangerous situations. In a Game Park with lions you have to take every precaution.
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    A fascinating walk through the veld…
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    We learnt so much about scat…
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    And a lot about creatures in the area,
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    We stopped to explore old ruins, and a family burial ground from days gone by…
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    Potlekkertjie Loop


    Our next adventure was to go for a game drive on the Potlekkertjie Loop and over the Klipspringer Pass. This is a circular drive through the park, that is totally doable for ordinary cars and does not require a 4X4 at all, though it is bumpy all the way.
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    One afternoon we drove the loop clockwise, and the next morning we did a dawn drive. Don’t be misled by the distance, you will crawl along at a snails pace, not wanting to miss anything… and stopping to watch the wildlife, so many birds and the buck on the way. Expect this to take a long time and pack snacks for the duration. We had a spectacular sighting on the dawn drive… you will have to scroll down to see it!!!
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    We weren’t the only ones on the road…
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    So many different varieties of buck… but I think the Gemsbok is my favourite…
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    There is a fabulous picnic spot where you can stop and stretch your legs…
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    We immediately planned to have breakfast here the following day. Driving along, we spotted some scat in the road… and we all knew what it was, from our tracking hike… but we couldn’t believe it!!!
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    Part of the loop drive is the Klipspringer Pass…

    The Klipspringer Pass


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    And then we got to the lookout point…

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    Views for miles…
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    And we got to see a pair of Verraux’s Eagles for the first time…
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    We also stopped to take a look at this lunar looking surface,
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    These dug out bowls are actually an erosion/rehabilitation project… they are dug out in the ground and filled with plant debris from around the park. They provide small piles of nutrition and protection for the soil beneath them and hopefully a start for new plant growth. We did see quite a few buck treating them as a buffet station in the early morning.
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    Interesting things, like this old leopard trap, to discover along the way…

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    And then this… not the clearest picture… but a dream come true… we have been wanting to see these animals for years and years…
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    We stopped to watch them for ages…
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    Interpretive Center


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    The Interpretive Center is an information center close to the Reception Area. It is packed with interesting snippets, in fact so much information, that one visit wasn’t nearly enough.
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    And the only shade for miles around…
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    And a wild bee hive.
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    Our group was welcomed by rangers and guides…
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    Masses of information about local history, wildlife, plantlife and geology.
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    An entire center packed with information…
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    Walls lined with informative posters…
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    This one intrigued us, because we spotted these modern day nomads and chatted with them.
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    Gallery


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    Click on the image below to take a look at all our photographs from our tour…

    Karoo Tour 2018

    We went on this tour with the Cape Town Rangers, if you want to know more about their work then look out for Treehouse Family on facebook.

    Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tags: Visit Cape Town

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ChrisH // Nov 7, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Oh, Wow… It looks like you all had a blast!

  • 2 se7en // Nov 7, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Hay ChrisH, It is unbelievably beautiful there… why have we always dashed through it? Sometimes you have to stop and take a break before you realise how incredible a place really is… Sending love to you all!!!

  • 3 Erin // Nov 7, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Incredible! A time you’ll never forget!

  • 4 se7en // Nov 9, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Hi there, that is the truth… a vast and very different land… lots of memories were made!!!

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