Overview – Karoo NP
Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.
Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.
Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.
Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.
The Great Karoo, the largest ecosystem in South Africa, doesn’t appear to be anything more than vast nothingness to people driving between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Most of the wildlife that once roamed here has been eradicated, but Karoo National Park is a relatively small area where the habitat is protected, and you can stop to appreciate this subtle environment.
Pros & Cons
- Rugged, unforgiving landscape
- Excellent birding including Karoo specials
- Very rich reptilian fauna
- Fossil trail depicting geology and paleontology of the Great Karoo
- Night drives and guided walks available
- Scenic drive for all vehicles and dedicated 4x4 tracks available
- Little visited destination between Johannesburg and Cape Town
- Self-catering accommodation and restaurant
- Not many typical safari animals present
- Far away from South Africa's main tourist attractions
- Very hot conditions and harsh environment
- No upmarket accommodations available
Karoo NP Safari Reviews
Karoo National Park is primarily a wilderness destination. Although it is home to a variety of wildlife, many typical safari animals are absent. Two of the Big Five have been re-introduced: lion and black rhino, but they are only occasionally seen. Large herbivores to look out for are red hartebeest, black wildebeest, eland, two zebra species, kudu and springbok. Klipspringers are regularly seen on the pass of the same name.
Karoo National Park is dominated by the Nuweveld Mountains and rolling plains. The scenery looks harsh in the midday sun but, towards late afternoon, the subtleties of the landscape reveal themselves when the shadows add detail and the pastel colors soften the empty environment.
Weather & Climate
Drought often exacerbates the dry winter (May to September) at Karoo NP. This can be accompanied by bitterly cold conditions at night, with temperatures never really heating up that much in the daytime. The summer (October to April) doesn’t see that much rain either. It mainly arrives in the form of occasional showers and storms. These months are also characterized by hot days, with the average daytime temperature hanging around 31°C/88°F.
Best Time to Visit
Karroo National Park can be visited throughout the year. Animals can be seen anytime. The summer months (October to April) are hot during the day but lovely in the early morning or late afternoon. Winter (May to September) might be a more attractive option, assuming you don’t mind warding off the cold when the sun goes down.
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Karoo NP Safari Reviews
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
Sea of fossils
Another park better known for its scenery than its wildlife, Karoo National Park lies in the semi-arid Western Cape interior. The area once lay below a large inland sea, and it is renowned for its wealth of fossils dating back over 50...
Latest User Review
tranquil surrounding,excellent service and a lovely chalet
We know more or less all the park in SA but had not been to KNP. So off we went , took a leisurely drive from Stellenbosch to the KNP and stayed for 5 days in a well equipped chalet . Knowing more or less all other SA park.s ,we ob...