This morning we drove on the N1 from Cape Town, leaving the town we pass through the townships and then, suddenly, we find ourselves immersed in nature.

The panoramas are spectacular, the road winds through some very photogenic bushes, that later give way to large spaces.

After less than five hours we arrive at the Karoo National Park, the entrance is right on the N1l, about 6km from the town of Beaufort West; we enter the gate and, first, we head to the rest camp and check in.

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Tonight we will not sleep in the campsite but we decided to take a cottage; they are very nice, the structure is typically Dutch and inside they are very spacious; there is also a fully equipped kitchen.

We do not dump anymore, we ask the ranger some advice on where to go to visit the park, outside the reception there is also a map where the ranger, every morning at 7.00am, marks where lions, hyenas and other animals are; in this way you can try to go and look for them.

It is already 2:30pm and by 6:30pm we have to go back to the gate of the rest camp; so we decide to go along the path leading to the Klipspringer's pass.

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The park is in a semi-desert area and is very varied from a landscape point of view. It houses several basaltic or dolerite reliefs, due to a volcanic eruption that occurred 180 million years ago and that covered a land sandy and muddy; during the geological eras, due to the weather, hollows and small canyons have been created, giving the whole area spectacular landscapes.

The road is steep and climbs along a series of rising curves, the track is dirt but in very good condition; every curve opens up in a spectacular scenery and here and there we observe baboons, gemsboks, greater kudus and elands and various bird species.

Once over the pass, the road begins to descend gently on larger valleys; we decide to stop at the Doornhoek picnic area, in fact it is already 3:30pm and we have not eaten yet.

The area is in a fence that serves as a protection from the felines, we look around before we get out of the car and then we sit at a wooden table and have a snack in this wonderful place; we are alone and immersed in the silence of nature, today we have not yet met a car.

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After a quick lunch we go back to our car and resume our exploration of the park; we continue to descend, meeting several herds of mountain zebras, elands and greater kudus.

When we get to the valley in front of us we have a spectacular view, on our left the rock formations from which we have just come down, all around opens a very scenic desert plain.

Here we observe several animals including ostriches and other species of birds, we see in the distance even some raptors; there are as usual herbivore herds that look at us curious, we feel that there are really few cars passing by here.

Here a semicircular path, the Potlekkertjie Loop, runs along the base of the basaltic reliefs, the vegetation in this area has changed a lot compared to the one we found while on the pass.

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The Karoo National Park is also very interesting from the point of view of its flora; it hosts some succulent plants, typical of arid and semi-arid areas, that can hardly be seen in other places.

The park has many other routes, even with more challenging tracks, but we would have to stop for a few additional days to explore them; we will leave tomorrow morning instead and we have to continue our journey to Johannesburg.

We will definitely return and spend a bit more time at this park that few people know and visit; it is a big mistake not to take it in greater consideration.

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We go back to the rest camp and park near our cottage, paying attention to the turtles that move around freely.

Our cottage has a patio that has a spectacular view of the mountains and sunset; we enjoy one of the last African sunsets of this wonderful trip, while having a drink.