Africa South Africa Travel Guides

Karoo National Park

Karoo National Park

Traveling to Karoo National Park

Karoo National Park is located off of the N1 near Beaufort West. It is easy to find Karoo National Park as the signage is good and there is nothing else near there! It is about a 4.5 hour drive from Cape Town.

Karoo National Park Camping & Accommodation

There is only one main campsite located in Karoo National Park which makes booking a little difficult. Going in the off season guarantees that you will get a spot. The kitchen area used by the campers was immaculate. Everything was stocked, clean, and made meal preparation easy. The ablutions were also pristine and more than adequate. We went in August and though it was cold at night, it was almost empty which was great for exploring! This was probably one of the reasons the facilities were so well kept. There are also chalets/huts/cabins available to be rented out that have beds and more amenities. So if this a stopover for you driving between Johannesburg and Cape Town- I would recommend this option!

Karoo National Park Activities

There are a limited amount of activities in the park. This is not a Kruger National Park situation where the park is dripping with tourists which lead to a lot of ranger lead activities. Although there are some ranger lead game drives, they are much more expensive than other parks and require a group of 4 people or more. This park is definitely what you make it and to make it worth your time, I strongly encourage you to go with a 4×4 vehicle. There are several self drive loops that make you feel that you are truly in the bush despite the N1 being nearby.

There are also guided walks that you can take in addition to some small hikes around the visitor’s centre.  The Fossil Trail is advertised and it is full of amazing information! Sometimes it is easy to forget what a geographically and geologically diverse region South Africa is, but this is a great reminder. There are a few pictures below but this is a short, fun activity for anyone who enjoys science!

Game Viewing in Karoo National Park

Again, Karoo National Park is not filled to the brim with animals like Kruger, lions like Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park, or elephants like in Addo Elephant National Park– but there are great animal sightings to be had! There are black rhinos in the park, which we were lucky enough to see! Max and I heard the lions at night, but the avoided us in the daylight (they probably knew we were still shaken up by our lion experience). We were able to spot klipspringers along Klipspringer Pass and their agility was awe inspiring. Because of the self drive options leading you to the middle of the park/bush, many of our encounters were just us and the animals.

Overall Thoughts on Karoo National Park

This was actually one of our favourite trips to any national park in South Africa. It felt wild yet had the amenities that made camping comfortable. It had animals, but not enough to bring hoards of tourists. It was a drive from Cape Town, but definitely doable in one day. This was a quiet, peaceful place that holds a special place to us. If you are looking for a park that is off the beaten path- I thoroughly recommend Karoo National Park!

Chalets and scenery.

Chalets and scenery.

Happy and peaceful in the Karoo.

Happy and peaceful in the Karoo.

We were happy to see a black rhino, but it was not happy to see us!

We were happy to see a black rhino, but it was not happy to see us!

A beautiful black rhino in Karoo National Park.

A beautiful black rhino in Karoo National Park.

Moody weather and a great background.

Moody weather and a great background.

Max continues to work on his Twitching skills.

Max continues to work on his Twitching skills.

Rusks and coffee are essential on any South African camping trip!

Rusks and coffee are essential on any South African camping trip!

Breakfast is the best camping meal.

Breakfast is the best camping meal.

A perfect klipspringer!

A perfect klipspringer!

The Fossil Trail at Karoo National Park

The Fossil Trail at Karoo National Park

The Fossil Trail has amazing views!

The Fossil Trail has amazing views!

The Sadlers love Science.

The Sadlers love Science.

The Sadlers love Science.

The Sadlers love Science.

Campfires are the absolute best.

Campfires are the absolute best.

Campfires are the absolute best.

Campfires are the absolute best.

Our Land Rovers last ride.

Our Land Rovers last ride.

Our Land Rovers last ride.

Our Land Rovers last ride.

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