Everywhere you turn – Mountain Zebra National Park
Everywhere you turn … mountains, some bathed in early morning sunshine and shadow, others peaks highlighted by the setting sun, nearly all dusted by Karoo clouds and all weaved together by golden grasslands. Welcome to Mountain Zebra National Park.
I spent five days exploring Mountain Zebra National Park and could have spent five more. Small and intimate in size, big in views and game. Curious Springbok herds walking right up to the car, cautious Black Wildebeest charging off in the opposite direction and of course Mountain Zebra idling while they graze and stare.
Mountain Zebra National Park is about twenty kilometres from Cradock in the Eastern Cape, set up initially to save the Mountain Zebra species, it has become home to Rhino, Cheetahs, Lion and all manner of wildlife. I saw Eland, mad Wildebeest, chilled Hartebeest and nervous Blesbok.
I watched the big and the small, graze together, from the crazy Ground Squirrel to Ostrich as herds of animals wandered in the arena of mountains that surround the park.
There are plenty of drives in Mountain Zebra park, some cover the valleys (Unjane Loop), other the plains (Rooiplaat Loop) and some weave through the steep Mountains (Kranskop Loop). Many are joined by steep link roads, allowing you to create a new journey every time you go out.
There are 4×4 tracks that take you to the extremes of the park which are relatively easy to drive that offer new perspectives, highlight wide open spaces and sending you often what feels like straight up to the cool blue karoo skies that frame this place.
On my penultimate morning, i ran into a traffic jam on the link road as nearly everyone, park rangers included, took the chance to spy two of the three newly introduced Lions as they lazed, yawned and sauntered across the road to find a sun patch amongst the Acacia Trees.
For ages i have wanted to visit Mountain Zebra National Park and when i finally did, i didn’t want to leave. But you can be certain if i am vaguely in the hood, i will be dropping by this Mountain haven that seems to be the final stop before heaven.
See the landscape gallery here
See the wildlife gallery here