Karoo National Park
Surely dusk and dawn are of the most beautiful things to witness in the Karoo. The colours which illuminate the beauty of the Karoo have to be experienced by any traveler who is visiting South Africa with the hope of leaving with a true experience of the country's natural splendor.
This dry and rugged region is one characterised by the relentless hardships it casts upon its inhabitants. This arid ecosystem is the largest ecosystem in the country and hosts a remarkably diverse selection of wildlife, both flora and fauna. Any creature capable of surviving the Karoo, from small succulents to little reptiles, can do so only thanks to their special adaption to the somewhat brutal environment.
The Karoo National Park is given shape by the contrast between the Nuweveld Mountains and wide open rolling plains. Although much of the region's wildlife has dwindled, this park has taken care to re-establish the original species within their traditional home.
Due to the specific nature of the Karoo environment, the ecosystem is marked as one full of endemic life. This means that there are species with unique characteristics, found only in the Karoo. Black rhino, Cape mountain zebra and buffalo have all been reintroduced to the park. The park is also proud to boast over the fact that it hosts more than twenty pairs of breeding black eagles.
The park offers great 4x4 routes which give adventurous visitors a chance to experience the Karoo from behind the wheel. For those with a free spirit who find themselves driving through the park, it is highly recommended to take in the scenery from atop of the Klipspringer Mountain Pass. While the scenery of the Karoo National Park is worthy in itself of attracting mush tourist interest, the spectacular wildlife on show offers a complement to the landscape of such a level as to make this National Park one of the must see tourist destinations in South Africa.
Five of the major draw cards to the Karoo National Park include the black eagle mentioned above, the five different species of tortoises which roam the park, the springbok that enjoy the park in high numbers and the Cape Mountain zebra which faced looming extinction early in the twentieth century. While the springbok is almost synonymous with the park, and finds symbolic representation on the emblem of the park, it is the quagga which is most peculiar to this park. Efforts to re-breed the quagga, regarded as family of the zebra have been showing more and more promise.