DescriptionValley of Desolation – a geological phenomenon that is situated in the Camdeboo National Park
Approximately 3 hours spent exploring the Valley of Desolation. The tour starts with an introduction to the Fauna & Flora of the Graaff-Reinet region. Game may be spotted on the drive up to the Valley of Desolation such as Kudu, Blesbuck, Spingbuck & Mountain Rhebuck. At the toposcope a brief overview of the surrounding mountains are given, as well as information on the way of life of the people of Graaff-Reinet. At the Valley of Desolation a circular walk is done offering a great view of the dolerite pillars & Camdeboo plains. Sundowners available upon request
Game Viewing in the Camdeboo National Park
There are 43 species of mammals, 336 species of plants and over 225 recorded species of bird life to be found in this Karoo region. Early morning or late afternoon is the best time for game viewing in the Camdeboo National Park. One of the Big Five on offer is the Cape Buffalo.
A two-hour trip through Graaff-Reinet's Xhosa township - Umasizakhe. Walk around with your local guide and visit a family where you enjoy tea and roosterbrood - a small bread baked on an open fire. You pass the house where Robert Managaliso Sobukwe, the founder of the Pan African Congress, grew up. The people of Umasizake have undertaken to broaden the tour by exhibiting and demonstrating the Xhosa culture and having handmade goods for sale.
Guided Nature Walks
Gideon Scheepers Trail - The trail starts from the Gideon Scheepers Memorial roughly 3km outside of Graaff-Reinet on the Murraysberg Road. The trail zigzag’s up the foot of the mountain & levels out to give one a great view of Ncqueba Dam & the surrounding area. Numerous antelope can be encountered along the route, such as Kudu & Hartebeest.
The Eerstefontein Day Walk
Duration: 6 Hours max (3 options available, varying in difficulty)
This ‘pan-handle’ shaped trail starts and ends on the fringe of town.
The first option is to walk to Eerstefontein (at the base of the ‘pan-handle’) and back, a distance of about five kilometres, passing through Spandaunek at 935m. Following the route hikers experience a wide change in vegetation types and birds that are representative of the Karoo.
The second option extends your walk to Agterstefontein and hikers who move quietly are assured of numerous wildlife sightings, including Kudu, Cape mountain zebra, mountain rheebuck, springbok, baboons and perhaps a bat-eared fox among many other species.
Hikers who decide to do the entire full day route (a total distance of 16 km from start to end) continue with the trail climbing to the top of Akkediskrans along a twisting pathway between large dolerite boulders with many mountain plum, cabbage and shepards trees. From this point it is a fairly level walk along a doleritic terrace until dropping downhill into Wildebeeskom.
From here the trail follows an old game path along the alluvial sediments of a flat-bottomed watershed which originates at Spandaunek – the base of the ‘pan-handle’.