Things to Do and See at Camdeboo National Park : SANParks September 8th, 2017
Things to do and see when at Camdeboo National Park
This premier attraction has tourists visiting from all over the world to experience a spectacular natural structure of piled dolerite columns towering over a deep rocky cleft. A tarred road leads to a parking area at the top of the mountain. Here visitors will find the Toposcope – a circular plaque mounted horizontally on an elevated area, which indicates the direction and distances to notable landscape features. A panoramic view over Graaff-Reinet, which is set within a horseshoe bend of the Sundays River, provides a memorable photo opportunity.
Further up the mountain lies a short walk called the Crag Lizard Trail. A scenic stroll along the top of the mountain leads to various lookout points.
Completed in 1924 and previously known as Van Ryneveld Pass Irrigation Dam, the Nqweba Dam covers over 1 000ha of the Park when full and is mainly fed by the Sundays River. The Dam attracts a wide variety of water birds such as Black-necked Grebe, flamingo (both species) and Maccoa Duck, and is a vital source of water for the Park’s wildlife.
Fishing is limited to the Angling Zone and permits can be purchased at the Park Office. Watersports such as boating, canoeing and windsurfing are allowed on the Dam and controlled at the slipway of the Graaff-Reinet Boat Club.
Around 19km of gravel roadway provides visitors with plenty of opportunity to view a wide range of indigenous species in their natural habitats. The roadway meanders through the Park with the occasional detour towards the water’s edge where visitors can see a multitude of bird and wildlife. You may be lucky enough to spot a herd of buffalo making their way slowly through the trees in the early morning mist.
The bird hide is nestled amongst reeds and overlooks the floodplains surrounding the Dam. Although the distance from the water may fluctuate, the hide provides opportunities for watching both birds and game animals without any disturbance and in a truly beautiful setting.
Walks and Hikes
There are several day trails in and around Camdeboo National Park. Walks can be enjoyed at no extra cost but conservation fees do apply.
Gideon Scheepers’ Trail | 2km
This circular walk starts at the Gideon Scheepers’ monument which can be found along the R63 to Murraysburg. The trail is easy and provides views across the Dam and town.
Eerstefontein Day Walk | 5km | 11km | 14km
The route starts and ends at the Spandaukop gate and offers three alternative distances.
This is a grade 2 to 3 trail which leads to the top of the mountain providing outstanding views of the landscape. There are some picnic facilities where the trail ends. The route back follows along the same roadway.
A grade 2 trail within the rugged area of the eastern section of the Park with dense kloofs and open areas. The route ends at the Waaihoek picnic site which can also be booked as an exclusive campsite.
Camdeboo National Park has three picnic areas with braai and ablution facilities:
- Impunzi - in the game viewing area
- Ribbokberg - on the way to the Valley of Desolation
- Piekniekbos - on the western shore of the Nqweba Dam
This article and more can be found in Camdeboo National Park's Official Guide book