I find it strange that so few sites extolling the virtues of staying in the Karoo National Park mention the 1.15km Rest Camp Trail.

Granted, this isn’t very long and is in essence a shortcut through the veld from the camping area towards the bird hide, chalets and the restaurant. Much more is made of the nearby 400m long Fossil Trail which depicts the geology and palaeontology of the Great Karoo. As short as that is, it is both fascinating and well worth spending some time on.  Back to the Rest Camp Trail though: like most things, you will get from it what you put into it. Treat it as a shortcut instead of walking along the road and you will see very little; walk along the sandy – and at times rather stony – path slowly and you might be taken aback by what you see. Very close to the camping area is a clearly demarcated graveyard.

Apparently Pokkie Benadè was a tracker who worked for the South African National Parks. I imagine Stolzhoek Farm is one of several farms that make up the land now encompassed by the Karoo National Park. It is worth stopping every now and then to enjoy the view and to have a close look at the immediate environment. It was during one such stop that we saw this kudu looking at us warily from where she had been browsing on some low bushes not all that far from the path.

There is a magical element about sharing the outdoors with such a regal animal. Then there is the delight of coming across a fresh spoor on the path.

Several plants are clearly identified along the path – a useful way of developing an understanding of what we can see while travelling through the rest of the park. This Asparagus capensis (wild asparagus), for example, is common all over the park.

Easily accessible from either this trail, or from the road, is an example of a long disused Hyena trap – a remnant from early stock farmers, who used these primitive stone structures to lure and kill what they considered to be ‘problem animals’ in order to protect their flocks.

Looking up, I saw this pair of South African Shelducks flying past – possibly on their way to the small dam at the bird hide.

Paying closer attention to the rocks we were walking over, I found this fine example of weathering.

This trail would offer a variety of things to see depending on what time of the day you walk along it.



  1. Lots to see on such a short trail. Lovely picture of the shelducks. I would posit that humans are the biggest problem animals that have ever existed. What a destructive species we are! But, that park illustrates how we can change our destructive ways.


  2. Thanks for drawing attention to this trail – I will make a point of walking it when we next visit the Park – one of my favourites for a short stopover on the way to the southern Cape


    • Although we have spent longer there before, this time we too used it for a two-night stopover on our way to the Cape. It was enough to remind me why one needs to spend more time there 🙂


  3. thank you for this interesting tour of the trail



  4. The Shell Ducks are handsome birds and you made a good flight picture. Interesting how the graves aren’t marked except by the piled stones.


  5. I totally agree about taking your time. I see so many people walking past interesting things. Even in museums and Stately Homes in the UK. They rarely pause to look at anything in detail.
    But I so often see them taking selfies with an interesting object behind them. ‘This is ME in front of the Eiffel Tower.’
    ‘This is me in front of The Pieta in St Peter’s’. ‘This is me …’.
    Narcissistic? They would have had themselves front of stage in all these wonderful photos. It makes me so mad.


    • This reminds me of an overseas tourist visiting the Zimbabwe ruins many, many years – before the days of cell phones with their built-in cameras. I had spent almost a day there looking at the configuration of the walls and the general layout of the ruins and was stunned when she, with a local guide in tow, stopped at the conical tower only long enough to hand her camera to the guide and instruct him to photograph her in front of it and then she continued on her way. She had hardly broken her stride. I couldn’t help wondering what on earth she would remember from that visit!


  6. A nice variety of critters on the trail – that is an intense look at you by the kudu. The hyena trap sign was unusual to see – someone at Council Point Park told me coyotes had been spotted in the Park again. It’s not that dense, even with all the trees leafed out for them to hide.


      • I like how wildlife decide what is “their” territory, not matter their size. I had a scary situation last week. I often have Red-winged Blackbirds swoop down to the path for peanuts – sometimes they follow me and I’ll toss some onto the path. Last week a RW-Blackbird swooped down and hovered over my head, so I said “I put down some peanuts – what is wrong with you?” Then it dive-bombed me and I had to shoo it away. I worried it was rabid – unusual behavior, though they are very territorial. Another walker came along and pointed to the ground where a fledgling RW-Blackbird was dead on the path. The walker said the male/parent did the same thing to him. We figure that the bird did not want us near its offspring, even in death. It was very touching, yet a little scary. RW-Blackbirds build nests in the reeds at the shoreline of creeks/marshes, so it did not fall from a nest in a tree. I don’t know if another bird (hawk) snatched it or hurt it, dropped it. It was sad to witness this.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.