IUCN Category II - National Park


The Camdeboo National Park (English Camdeboo National Park ) is an area in the vicinity of the South African town of Graaff- Reinet in the Eastern Cape Province. It consists of a western and eastern part. Around the historic core of the town of Graaff -Reinet grab the two areas of the Camdeboo National Park around. The adjoining the urban area Nqweba Dam is another part of its territory.


The two parts of the National Park together have a total area of ​​14,500 hectares. In consideration of its relations with the environment, the National Park is located in an unusual position for South Africa. It covers almost the entire area of a medium city with 44 317 inhabitants ( 2001). This results in mutual socio-economic relations. The usual industrial and commercial neighborhoods are in Graaf -Reinet not possible in the usual form.

The main areas of the national park are at an altitude 740-1480 meters at the foot of the Sneeuberg - offs. He is located directly on the Great Escarpment ( Great Escarpment ). The National Park terrain passes north and west of the foothills of the adjacent elevations in the upstream levels. There are several entry points for the visitors. The preferred tourist area is located west of the city. The eastern part is less intensively developed for tourist use. There is in the National Park area routes for the loan and Ranger vehicles as well as hiking trails to the attractive points.

The soil and vegetation conditions in the nearby mountain country are the goal of ecological and geological observations for some time. Here come to serious soil erosion. The problems of soil erosion in the nearby mountains can be observed in Yellowstone National Park. In the basin of the Nqweba dam were registered large amounts of fluvial sediments over the years by the inflows ( Sundays River and two smaller rivers ). His capacity for water is only at about 60 percent. The peculiarity of this pedological and hydrological situation is also expressed in the form that visitors are asked to remain in their vehicles as possible and to leave with heavy rains National Park country, otherwise there is the danger of their temporary isolation.

Research concerned with the development of vegetation in the landing areas of Nqweba Dam. In particular, we observe here the occurrence of invasive tamarisk plants in the wetlands.

The Valley of Desolation is a bizarre rocky valley that forms a special attraction due to its columnar secretions of Karoo dolerites as a natural monument.

Creation of the National Park

The Valley of Desolation nearby was given the status of a national monument in 1935. In September 1974 struck Anton Rupert of the South African Nature Foundation (South African Nature Foundation ) in front of a Karoo Nature Reserve ( Karoo Nature Reserve ) with the Rock Valley in as core area. He started this idea with a campaign among students that drove ideally with the purchase of symbolic share certificates the project. Then, the 2,698 -acre nature reserve Karoo Nature Reserve was opened with an official ceremony on 24 August 1976. By further land purchases of a former golf course was extended in 1993, provided for the development area. On 29 October 2005, the site was awarded the status of National Park. With gradual widening a reunion is planned with the Mountain Zebra National Park.

Settlement history

Since the mid-17th century lived in the region of today's National Parks members of INQUA tribe. They used the country as a migrant shepherd. From the mountains immigrated members of the Khoikhoi.

The first European immigrants settled around 1770 in the Camdeboo plains. With them came Merino sheep, Angora goats and native plants in the area.

Transport infrastructure

The transport infrastructure is favorable, the National Park can be reached via National Road N9 and N10 as well as the regional road R63.