Gigantic dolerite pillars of up to 120 meters above the ground are one of the famous features of the Camdeboo National Park. In fact, an estimated 100 000 people experience the splendour of it every year when visiting the famous Valley of Desolation.
This 19 400-hectare national park is unique as it surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet in South Africa with the Nqweba Dam as a central feature. This of course contributes to the number of activities available during your visit to the park. Fishing, boating, canoeing, and windsurfing amongst others are allowed. The water also attracts a number of bird species and wildlife.
There are limited accommodation options available within the park and numerous activities for those looking to enjoy the outdoors.
The park is approximately 268km from Port Elizabeth where an international airport is located.
There is no restaurant or shop in the park, but Graaff-Reinet is right there with plenty of restaurants, shops as well as other amenities. Those staying in the park can go out until a certain time at night before the gates close. The park also boasts with an Environmental Education Centre for school groups.
You will not sit inside your tent during the day when it is hot, so summer months should not be a problem. Winter can however become extremely cold, so those that prefer warmth should rather book a guest house in town during the winter months.
Yes, the rest camp is fenced, so the Buffalo will not get into the camp. They can run around in the camp area without fear. Just keep them close when you visit the Valley of Desolation as there are sheer drops.
No, unfortunately there is not a swimming pool in the park. Swimming is prohibited in the Nqweba Dam
There are numerous smaller wildlife and antelope species in the park, but apart from Buffalo, no big game. Gemsbok, Black Wildebeest, and Springbok are just some of the species found within the boundaries of the park. Kudu occurs in the mountainous areas and is often found in the region of the Valley of Desolation. The shy Buffalo are not often seen as they prefer hiding in the thickets.
The tally for birds spotted in the park has reached nearly 250 different species. Some of the most common ones are the Namaqua Dove, Diederik Cuckoo, Brownhooded Kingfisher, Neddicky, and the Cardinal Woodpecker.
The park receives most of its rainfall in the summer and is located in a semi-desert area. Winters get extremely cold and snow is not impossible in the high-lying areas, and summers can be scorching hot. Average morning temperatures in the winter months (Juny/July being the coldest) are around 4 degrees Celsius. Summer averages reach 29 degrees Celsius.
The area’s average rainfall is approximately 336mm. There is no presence of malaria mosquitoes.
There are no guided game drives available in the park, but self-driving is allowed on approximately 19km of gravel roads in the park.
A number of hiking trails, ranging from 1.5km to 14km, are the ideal way to explore the beauty of the area on foot while families can look forward to spending some relaxing, quality time, at one of the many picnic spots in the park.
The Valley of Desolation is of course not to be missed, while the Nqweba Dam is great for watersport.
The Koedoeskloof 4x4 Trail and Driekoppe 4x4 Trail offer off-road enthusiasts another opportunity to explore the vast Karoo landscapes.
There are four rustic, fully furnished tented camps available within the park, as well as camping facilities. The tents are furnished with two single beds and a small bar fridge. Communal kitchen and open air bathroom facilities are available. The communal kitchen is extremely well equipped and every tent has its own locker with pots and pans as well as crockery and cutlery.
There are numerous accommodation options available outside the park.