Central Karoo – Mountain Zebra National Park
About the Birding
Mountain Zebra National Park was proclaimed in 1937, to protect the remaining Cape Mountain Zebras. Over the years, the reserve has been expanded to now include 28 400 hectares of untouched Karoo wilderness. Other mammals have been progressively reintroduced including African Buffalo, Black Rhinocerous, Black Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Grey Rhebok, African Cheetah and African Lion – rendering this a ‘Big 5’ reserve. As such, it is rightly regarded as one of the South Africa’s top wildlife viewing destinations.
About the Birding Site
The vast central Karoo is one of South Africa’s most iconic ecosystems, blanketed by semi-desert drought adapted vegetation and characterised by endless plains broken only by isolated conical hills. The region is dotted with picturesque towns and villages, many with a quaint charm and old-fashioned way about them. The largest among these is the picturesque town of Graaf-Rienet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa and the administrative centre for virtually the entire Karoo region.
Other Related Information
Mountain Zebra National Park is sign-posted off the R61 between Graaf Rienet (via N9) and Cradock (via N10). Gate times vary seasonally (Apr-Sept: 07:00-18:00; Oct-Mar: 07:00-18:30), and standard national park conservation fees apply. Wild Cards are accepted for both day visitors and overnight stays.
Notable points of interest include:
Entrance to the main park: -32.1408, 25.5096
Main rest camp: -32.2241, 25.47853
Enclosed picnic site: -32.2601, 25.4541