Karoo National 21-22nd September

Karoo National 21-22nd September

Monday, 21st

Whereas at Mountain Zebra there was a heavy dew (or ice) most nights, here at Karoo National there is no dew at all – every morning. I suppose the air is just drier.

I am out of my starting blocks at 6.15am and quickly up the Pass to catch the rising sun.

Gemsbok against the rising sun.
Eland on the edge of the plateau – looking down into the valley through which I will pass.
Gemsbok really are beautiful animals

Today has high cloud prolonging the good photographic light so, on a whim, I decide to press on and complete the 45km loop back to camp. Not a good idea. I begin by taking the descent right under the soaring Nuweveld cliffs.

The track under the Nuweveld Mountains

Down in the valley there is some thick bush along the watercourse and surprisingly, a black rhino trots off into a thicket. I didn’t know that they have them here.

The road follows the stream through this bowl like valley before exiting through a poort which you can see in the distance.

Once through the poort the land reverts to typical, bare Karoo flat lands – devoid of anything. I quickly make my way back to camp.

At midday I shoot into town for some groceries and to fill with fuel in preparation for our trip to Cape Town. Mercifully the protesters seem to have taken the day off. Far to the south I can make out a thick bank of cloud covering the Swartberg Mountain range.

Tuesday, 22nd

Again we are up the pass onto our high plateau at sunrise. Today is clear and bright. I have been trying my best to track down the Ground Woodpeckers but it looks as though I will leave empty handed. I include a photo of one taken on our last visit here.

Ground Woodpecker (My Library)

Back in camp we begin packing up in preparation for our trip tomorrow to Cape Town. But we still manage to go out this evening at 4.30pm and see some pleasant sights.

A rather portly Mountain Zebra enjoying a dust bath.
Karoo Long-billed Lark

And that dear folks marks the end of the first stage of our Cape trip. Mountain Zebra and Karoo National have been outstanding and we have thoroughly enjoyed them. We will be in Cape Town with family for ten days and will thereafter resume our travels up the coast – Bontebok National, Storms River, Addo and then family calls before getting back to Jo’burg at the end of October. We look forward very much to our Kruger Park visit from 4th November – 15th December. Bye for now.