IUCN Category II - National Park

Part of the Karoo National Park

The Karoo National Park is located in the semi-desert landscape of the Great Karoo near the town of Beaufort West in the town of Beaufort West, Central Karoo district, province ( Western Cape ) in South Africa.


Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the semi-desert of the Karoo is home to a variety of living things that had to adapt to the extreme living conditions in order to survive here. The average rainfall is only 260 mm per year, the maximum daily temperatures regularly exceed 40 ° C, this usually comes in the surrounding mountains in sub-zero temperatures in the winter snow. The Karoo National Park is dominated by the Nuweveld Mountains and a gently rolling savanna landscape in which many long time have already become vanished species at home again today.

Within the geological relationships of the National Park is located in the main Karoo Basin.


During the late 1950s, the resident farmer and bird friend William Quinton campaigned for the establishment of a nature reserve near Beaufort West. It was not until the 1970s, to the South African National Park Authority the establishment of a national park proposed, which should serve to protect the Nama Karoo Biome. The town of Beaufort West gave then 7,209 ha community-owned land to the National Park Service. This area formed the core of the 1979 proclaimed Karoo National Park. The South African Nature Foundation ( SANF ) bought over the years, additional adjacent areas until the current park size has been reached.


The National Park recorded a wide variety of endemic species. Several species such as black rhino, buffalo and Cape Mountain Zebra were settled here again. About 20 pairs of Kaffir eagle will find protection for nesting. Small reptiles and a large number of plants enrich the appearance.

  • Black Eagle: With around 20 breeding pairs, the park is one of the regions of Africa, recorded the highest population of this species.
  • Turtles: five different species occur here. Thus, the Karoo National Park is the area with the highest species density comparable to the world.
  • Quagga: The park maintains a program of the extinct quagga Dedomestikation on the basis of Burchell 's zebra ( Both the quagga and the Burchell 's zebra are considered subspecies of the plains zebra ).
  • Cape Mountain Zebra: Even at the end of the 20th century the species was threatened with extinction.
  • Springbok: the emblem of the park. The animals live in large herds and remember the huge, mile-long herds that once crossed the Karoo at the annual migrations.
  • In 2010, lions were settled from the Addo National Park, which have become well acclimated in the Karoo National Park and eat here especially of gemsbok. The area around the camp was fenced to ensure safety for visitors to.