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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Karoo Route : Camdeboo National Park and the Valley of Desolation

The Valley of Desolation was declared a national monument of geological and scenic significance and is the premier tourist attraction with the Camdeboo National Park.

After checking in to our tented camp and exploring our surroundings, we heard from one of the fellow campers that the valley of Desolation was a must-do spot to visit.  We were very excited and decided to head for this lovely place the following day.
Armed with baby carrier, some serious training and a good attitude we headed for the top of this hill.  And even though our distination was specatular, the 300m walk to the edge, and see these magnificent rock formations, was a little bit of a let down to have been able to get there so easy.  We were expecting a walk of at least 30 min and a build-up of a shiny brow.  After reaching the top, there was a path guided by arrows to follow the more 'difficult' route back done, which took us about 45 minutes to complete and get back to our car.
Thats it, done and dusted.  A quick squiz at the Valley of Desolation and then head back to the car - all in under 1 hour?  The next time we visit we would like to know how to get to the bottom of these rocks and explore them and their magnitude from below.
The Valley of Desolation is sometimes referred to as the 'Cathedral of the Mountains'.  It provides visitors with an experience ranging from spiritual contact to one of profound awareness of the surrounding magestic beauty.

Black winged Stilts

Juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawk

Mountain Zeebra at the Nqweba Dam
Birding enthusiasts can delight in spotting at least 225 bird species in the park.

Typical Karoo Landscape

The work Karoo is a Khoi-khoi word that means 'great thirst land'.

What is the Karoo without a Windmill ?

Graaff-Reinet in the back ground.

From the Toposcope one can enjoy the unique view of the historic town of Graaff-Reinet, set like a jewel within the horseshoe bend of the Sundays River.
Alex and our son posing ontop of the Toposcope with the Camdeboo National Park in the back ground.

Experience the viewpoints at the Valley which provide a breathtaking view of piled dolerite columns against the backdrop of the Great Karoo plains and a timeless sense of wonder at a landscape said to be the product of the erosive and volcanic forces of nature over a period of over 200 million years.
"Magnificent dolerite pillars rise up to highs of 90-120m providing visitors with awesome panoramic views and an unforgetable experience."  by SANPARKS.

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