Camdeboo National Park
Formed hundreds of millions of years ago, the Karoo of South Africa is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Camdeboo National Park provides the visitor with insights into the unique landscape and ecosystem of the Karoo, not to mention awesome scenic beauty.
A unique feature of the 14 500-hectare park is its location, practically surrounding the town of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.
The greater portion of the park is situated between 740 and 1480 metres above sea level on the foothills of the Sneeuberg range, while a small section of the low lying-plains is included. The Nqweba Dam lies within the park and covers about 1000 hectares when full. At some places, dolerites form jointed pillars - the best examples of which are found in the Valley of Desolation where erosion of the softer sedimentary beds has left dolerite pillars which rise to heights of 90 - 120 metres.
Visitors may learn more about the reserve through information displays at parking areas or viewpoints. The Valley of Desolation, sometimes referred to as the 'Cathedral of the Mountains' provides for many visitors an experience ranging from 'spiritual contact' to one of profound awareness of the environment.
Presently, approximately 19 km of gravel roadways provide visitors with the opportunity to view the entire range of indigenous species in their preferred habitats.
Impunzi picnic area has four sites suitable for family outings. Each site is provided with a 'braai' stand, picnic table and refuse drum. Water is available and the picnic area is provided with a 'long drop' toilet.
Camdeboo Environmental Education Centre
The centre and staff offer programmes to any formal group to promote awareness of and sensitivity towards the natural environment. Courses are tailored to meet visitors' needs up to a maximum of 40 people and may extend from one to four days. A nominal tariff is payable.
Gannalapa is an outdoor recreation facility development for use by the local community as well as tour groups who wish to hold a social function around picnic or 'braai' activities. It includes a bar, kitchen, toilets, braai circle with seating and picnic tables.
Trails and walks
The Crag Lizard Trail (45 minutes) starts at the Valley parking area and extends for about 1.5 km via the Valley viewpoints. It is marked with the Crag Lizard logo.
The Eerstefontein Day Walk starts and ends at the Spandaukop gate. There are three route options of 5; 11 and 14 km with good rest spots at Eerstefontein and Agtersfontein.
The Driekoppe Trail is an overnight trail in the mountains of the Eastern section of the park. The Waaihoek Trail Hut may be booked for up to two consecutive nights and accommodates 10 people.
Camdeboo National Park encircles the town of Graaff-Reinet, which has a variety of accommodation options
How to get there
When entering Graaff-Reinet, you will enter on College Road. College Road becomes Church Street. The Old Dutch Reformed Church is dead centre of this road and vehicles can only turn left around the church and will come to a stop street. Turn left at the stop street into Caledon Street and proceed down the street. At the four-way stop, turn right into the road towards Murraysburg. Keep going onto the road to the Valley of Desolation.
The entrance to the park is 8km from Graaff-Reinet on the Murraysburg road.
Tel: (049) 892 3453
Fax (049) 892 4252
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