Spring is a spectacular time to head outdoors. Not only have the worst cold stints already passed, but it is also a great time for birds, sunshine and just plain getting active. René de Klerk tells us how to get the most out of a weekend in Camdeboo National Park…
The Lakeview Tented Camp is one of the only accommodation options in the park if you don’t want to bring along your camping gear. While you will have to make use of a communal kitchen, it is definitely one of the best equipped of all the parks.
If it is late afternoon and you have settled in, this might be the ideal time for a drive around the park’s game area. Search for buffalos, blesboks, Cape mountain zebras and red hartebeests amongst others.
Looking for an easy dinner option? Head to Graaff-Reinet for a bite as the rest camp’s gates only close at 22:00.
Rise with the birds, pack a nice breakfast and head to the Valley of Desolation. You might be able to prevent those nasty late afternoon shadows on your photos and at the same time learn why between 60,000 and 100,000 people visit this spot annually.
On a clear day you can see for miles; even the small towns in the distance against the backdrop of the Great Karoo plains are visible. I love hiking the entire Crag Lizard’s Trail. This trail along the edge of the valley overlooks sheer cliff faces, giving you more impressive views of the formations. Once done, settle your rumbling tummy with a breakfast snack at the viewing deck. Need plans for the rest of the day?
The afternoon gap is easy to fill. Wet your fishing line in the Nqweba Dam or take a paddle. If this is not your cup of tea, head out for some bird or game watching. Upon your return, make time to stop at the viewing deck in the camping area. This a great spot for watching the sunset over the dam.
This is the perfect day for those last-minute cultural heritage sites before heading home. Start with the Andries Pretorius monument near the park’s gate. This former Boer leader died in 1853.
From here, look at some of buildings in town. The beautiful Dutch Reformed Church is always top of my list as this national monument form the central spot of the town.
Also tick the Reinet House Museum and the Drostdy Hotel off your list. Lastly, stop at the Gideon Scheepers memorial on the R63 near the Valley of Desolation.
Written by René de Klerk – SANParks Times Reporter
Pictures: René de Klerk and Petro Kotzé
Content courtesy of SANParks Times: www.sanparkstimes.co.za