The Karoo which is South Africa’s semi-desert region consists of two main sub regions – the Great Karoo in north and the Little Karoo in south. The former is spread over an area of about 4,00,000 square kilometers and for the past 250 million years, has been serving as a vast inland basin. The area which was once glaciated, transformed into deltas, lakes, swamps or seas. Today, the deposits of coal which were once formed here, serve as the main source of economy of South Africa. It is also said that the last of the Stone Age people wandered far and wide in two ethnic groups – the Grazers of sheep and cattle, and the other, Bushmen who were hunter-gatherers.
The Great Karoo Desert being the largest ecosystem of South Africa serves as a shelter to a wide variety of living beings, who have adapted themselves to the harsh conditions of these deserts. The plains of Karoo are hot in summer whereas the mountainous regions are often cool throughout the year. Even snow occurs regularly in the peaks during mid-winter. The Little Karoo which is the smaller one is geographically a very fertile valley.
One of the most spectacular wonders of Karoo is the ‘Valley of Desolation’ where the ground dramatically falls away and just like rockets rising from the launching pad, strange dolomite pinnacles arise and these are not seen elsewhere. Similarly is the Nieu Bethesda which is the home to the amazing Owl House which is a typical collection of sculptures and a whole lifetime work of an unknown artist.
For any tourist visiting this place, there are many rare species of animals, birds and reptiles in the Karoo National Park, which include the Black Eagle, five different species of tortoises which are rarely found elsewhere, Quagga which is a zebra sub-species and formerly extinct species, and the Springbok, the massive herds which are the emblem of the Park and present in high numbers, which can truly be a visual treat. The wide diversity of flowers which are seen like colorful blankets during the spring season are sure to make the viewers stunned as seeing them in deserts is totally unbelievable. So, come here and have these moments captured in your cameras.