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Namaqua National Park

Namaqua National Park

On the other side of the bridge there is a short but very steep climb to a lookout point from which there are fine views of the mouth and the camp. The park also aims to educate those who visit while it also serves the purpose of protecting the region to ensure that it stays in the same natural, untouched by man state that it was found in. Karoo National Park is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld Mountains and rolling plains, where many species that originally occurred here now once again occupy their former ranges.

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History[ edit ] The original section of the park was founded in[1] in part due to the efforts of Sydney Skaife[2] in order to provide a sanctuary for the eleven remaining elephants in the area. Expansion[ edit ] The original park has subsequently been expanded to include the Woody Cape Nature Reserve that extends from the Sundays River mouth towards Alexandria and a marine reserve, which includes St. Croix Island and Bird Islandboth breeding habitat for gannets and Namaqua National Park, not to mention Namaqua National Park large variety of other marine life.

Bird Island is home to the world’s largest breeding colony of gannets – aboutbirds – and also hosts the second largest breeding colony of African penguinsthe largest breeding colony being St. Croix island. Several species of rare and endemic plants, particularly succulent shrubs and geophytes are native to the South African region within the AENP.

Many species are under environmental pressure, however, and are facing possible extinction. Lion and spotted hyena have also recently been re-introduced to the area. The largest remaining population of the flightless dung beetle Circellium bacchus is located within the park.

Since the AENP’s original mission was to reintroduce certain mega-herbivores, like the African elephant and black rhinoceros[4] primary ecological efforts were made to preserve mammalian species. This overgrazing and trampling not only destroys much of the plant life, but also forces it to adapt its physiology to stimuli [6] that are not inherent to its evolutionary progress. Some biologists argue that it is not herbivorization [7] alone that is threatening the flora, but a number of other ecological factors including zoochory and nutrient cycling.

Up to 77 species of South African endemic plant species have been listed as “vulnerable to elephant browsing. The park received[10] visitors between 1 April and 31 March up fromin the previous year. The main entrance as well as two looped tourist roads Glacier National Park To Great Falls Mt the park are tarred while the others are graveled.

There is also an additional access road through the southern block of the park feeding off the N2 highway near Namaqua National Park ; it joins up with the existing tourist roads in the park.

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Set in the Garden Route , the trails lead through coastal and forest scenes, as well as various waterfalls, streams and rivers. Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having adapted to survive in these harsh conditions. Lion and spotted hyena have also recently been re-introduced to the area. Many species are under environmental pressure, however, and are facing possible extinction.