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Karoo National Park Hot

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Karoo National Park by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick.jpg

The entrance to the Karoo National Park is situated 6km south of Beaufort West on the N1. This is an extremely picturesque park is dominated by the Nuweveld Mountains that tower above the wide-open arid plains, valleys and gorges. This great change in altitudes in the park allows for a diversity of habitats that falls within the Nama Karoo Biome and which in turn allows for a wide diversity of endemic wildlife.

Lion, Brown Hyena and Cape Mountain Zebra have been re-introduced onto the reserve and other species such as Red Hartebeest, Black Wildebeest, Eland, Gemsbok and Kudu are regularly seen. In terms of birdlife the magnificent Verraux’s Eagle dominate the skies and there are at least 20 breeding pairs that are protected by the park. Birding offers excellent opportunities for arid species and there is also good representation of succulent plants and reptiles within the park. An excellent fossil trail can be found close to the visitor accommodation.

Kudu bull by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

1 of 7: Kudu bull browzing in the acacia thickets. 

Rufous-Eared Warbler by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

2 of 7: Rufous-eared Warbler.

Rock Monitor lizard at Karoo National Park by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

3 of 7: Rock Monitor Lizard.

Historical hyena trap by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

4 of 7: Historical Hyena Trap that can be viewed close to the fossil trail.

Larklike Bunting by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

5 of 7: Larklike Bunting.

Cape Mountain Zebra and Ostrich by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

6 of 7: Cape Mountain Zebra stallion.

Cape Robin-Chat by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

7 of 7: Immature Cape Robin-Chat.


Best Time to Photograph
Dawn, early morning, late afternoon and dusk are when the birds and animals are most active. Landscape photography is best undertaken in the late afternoons when the low angle of the sun creates deep shadows and accentuates the landscape formations together with golden light.
Type of Photography
  • Birding
  • Wildlife General
  • Landscape
Best Time of Year
  • Throughout the year
  • Late Summer
Photographic Tips
For bird photography, the best area for this is around the visitor accommodation and in particular the campsite where a wide variety of bird species have become used to the presence of humans and allow close approaches. The Lammertjiesleegte route on the open plains offers the best opportunities for photographing the plains game.
Recommended Gear
Long telephoto lenses are a must for photographing the birds and animals in this area. Walking through the campsite while hand holding your camera that is set to a high ISO and allows fast shutter speeds provides good results. Wide-angle lenses and mid-range zoom lenses with a tripod are required for landscape photography


Site Highlights
The Fossil Trail
Hyena Trap
Lammertjiesleegte Loop
Klipspringer Pass


Season and Weather
This is a harsh and usually arid country with high summer temperatures and cool winters. Rainfall generally falls within the summer months.
Other Activities
  • Birding
  • Game Viewing
  • Fossil Trail


Closest Town


Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: http://www.peterchadwick.co.zaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.