On the Road
Travelling on a Sunday in this part of the world means that nothing is open. Ceres, Prince Albert's Hamlet, Worcester, Beaufort West, all out breakfasting or gone to church. Some spectacular mountain moments, but nothing that holds our attention or makes us want to linger.
Karoo National Park
We didn't plan to visit the Karoo National Park, but as we were travelling right passed it, we couldn't resist. It feels quite different to other wildlife parks we've stayed at. Traditional Cape-styled chalets sit perfectly at home in the semi desert landscape that straddles both the Upper and Lower Karoo. It's stunning in a big, lonely, empty kind of way and to be honest, it's mostly empty of animals too. We spotted a few ostriches, red hartebeest, distant zebras and the occasional kudu, a black backed jackal and a tortoise, but not much else on our long, dusty drive. At sunset, when it had cooled, we followed a nature walk between the campground and the restaurant complex, immersing ourselves in Karoo-ness and trying not to get lost.
Overnighted at: Karoo National Park
Located: Near Beaufort West.
How we found it: Signposted on the road.
Road Access: A mix of both tar-sealed and gravel roads, mostly our little car coped with the latter.
Amenities: The usual national park facilities, good ablutions, camp kitchen, braais, restaurant, gift shop.
Cost: NZD62.80 / ZAR6,280 for two adults (inc conservation fees)
There weren't many other campers and we had almost too much choice when we came to pitch our tent. After three attempts we finally settled on a site away from yelling families that appeared to offer the most protection from the wind. A little mouse and some guinea fowl kept us company, while the Cape Karoo architecture of the ablutions added a sense of place to comfortable functionality.
Soundtrack: The wind whining through the vegetation and buffeting our tent.
Highlight: Unexpectedly finding ourselves in a national game park we didn't even know existed.
Lowlight: The wind.