Karoo Nature Reserve, Easten Cape
The Karoo Nature Reserve - not to be confused with the Karoo National Park in Beaufort West - is 14 km drive from Graaf Reinet. There are over 220 recorded species of birdlife, 336 plants and 43 mammals found with in the Nature Reserve. The endangered Cape Mountain Zebra, Kudu, Buffalo , Black Eagle and the Kori Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the world can all be seen here. All this making it an absolute must for nature lovers during your stay in the Eastern Cape.
Inside the reserve lies the Valley of Desolation . A sheer and narrow road leads into the mountains surrounding the valley. A circular hiking trail starts at the car parks and leads to wonderful views of Graaff-Reinet and of the endless span of the surrounding Karoo.
The valley was formed millions of years ago by weathering erosion. Heat and cold, drought and water caused the rocks to crumble and brought about the bizarre rock formations.
The sheer cliffs are the product of volcanic and erosive forces of nature over 100 million years and they are perilously balanced columns of Dolerite, these columns rise some 120 metres from the valley floor, backed by the vast plains of the Camdeboo. This is the product of volcanic and erosive forces of nature over 100 million years.