The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Camdeboo National Park

Afrikaans name: Kamdeboo Nasionale Park

Valley of Desolation

Valley of Desolation, Camdeboo National Park

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Eastern Cape

On the 30th October 2005 the South African National Parks board proclaimed their 22nd National Park and named it Camdeboo National Park. The park virtually surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet.

The park protects an area of 194 square kilometres which includes the Karoo National Park.

The rugged landscape supports a variety of mammals including Springbok, Black Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Blesbok, Kudu, Cape Mountain Zebra and Cape Buffalo.

Over the years a list of arund 250 species of birds have been recorded in Camdeboo National Park. Here is a bird checklist.

The most popular attraction in the park is the view points over the Valley of Desolation. Over 100,000 people a year visit the site and are rewarded with amazing panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. There is a short road network in the reserve as well as some trails of various lengths. There are two 4x4 trails.

There are two camps in the park. The Lakeview Tented Camp has four furnished tents. The Nqweba Camp Site caters for 15 caravans or tents. One can also make use of the accommodation available in Graaff-Reinet.

Share your experiences at Camdeboo National Park

Camdeboo National Park

Above - Looking back from the Valley of Desolation lookout point to the Toposcope Lookout Point

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Toposcope lookout point, Camdeboo National Park

Above - Toposcope lookout point

Stunning scenery

Above - Stunning scenery

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Checklist of some of the birds to be seen at Camdeboo National Park

Common Ostrich

Helmeted Guineafowl

Maccoa Duck

Egyptian Goose

South African Shelduck

Spur-winged Goose

African Black Duck

Yellow-billed Duck

Cape Shoveler

Red-billed Teal

Lesser Honeyguide

Cardinal Woodpecker

African Hoopoe

Malachite Kingfisher

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

European Bee-eater

Speckled Mousebird

Red-faced Mousebird

Diderick Cuckoo

African Palm-Swift

Spotted Eagle-Owl

Speckled Pigeon

Laughing Dove

Cape Turtle-Dove

Red-eyed Dove

Southern Black Korhaan

Blue Crane

Common Moorhen

Red-knobbed Coot

Spotted Thick-knee

Pied Avocet

Three-banded Plover

Blacksmith Lapwing

Crowned Lapwing

Whiskered Tern

Black-shouldered Kite

African Fish-Eagle

African Harrier-Hawk

Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk

African Goshawk

Steppe Buzzard

Jackal Buzzard

Martial Eagle


Lanner Falcon

Little Grebe

African Darter

Reed Cormorant

White-breasted Cormorant

Little Egret

Grey Heron

Black-headed Heron

Cattle Egret


Greater Flamingo

Hadeda Ibis

African Sacred Ibis

African Spoonbill

Black Stork

White Stork

Fork-tailed Drongo

Southern Boubou


Pied Crow

White-necked Raven

Red-backed Shrike

Common Fiscal

Brown-throated Martin

Barn Swallow

White-throated Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

Sombre Greenbul

Long-billed Crombec

Cape White-eye

Levaillant's Cisticola

Olive Thrush

Fiscal Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

White-browed Scrub-Robin

African Stonechat

Ant-eating Chat

Red-winged Starling

Cape Glossy Starling

Pied Starling

Wattled Starling

Amethyst Sunbird

Southern Masked-Weaver

Red-billed Quelea

Southern Red Bishop

Common Waxbill

Pin-tailed Whydah

House Sparrow

Cape Sparrow

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow

Cape Wagtail

Cape Longclaw

African Pipit

Yellow-fronted Canary

Golden-breasted Bunting

References and further reading

Wild Issue 49 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 58

Wild Issue 46 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 26

Wild Issue 35 - Author: - Published: 2016 - Page: 29

Wild Issue 37 - Author: - Published: 2016 - Page: 10

Wild Issue 35 - Author: - Published: 2016 - Page: 10

Wild Issue 22 - Author: - Published: 2013 - Page: 12

Wild Issue 21 - Author: - Published: 2012 - Page: 24

Wild Issue 19 - Author: - Published: 2012 - Page: 10

The Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa - Author: P. Briggs - Published: 2020 - Page: 262

go! - Issue 153 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 112

Stuarts Field Guide to National Parks & Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd ed - Author: Chris & Mathilde Stuart - Published: 2018 - Page: 155

Getaway - Vol 31 No 03 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 106

go! - Issue 135 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 36

Country Life - Issue 279 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 53

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 609 - Author: - Published: 2012 - Page: 60

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 631 - Author: - Published: 2014 - Page: 33

Atlas of National Parks and Reserves of South Africa - Author: Marielle Renssen - Published: 2006 - Page: 52

A - Z of South African National Parks - Author: South African National Parks - Published: 0 - Page: 16


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