The Mountain Zebra National Park is one of the smaller national parks in South Africa, but has a special, intimate atmosphere.
It is home to the very rare and endangered mountain zebra. A few decades ago fewer than 20 individuals of this zebra species existed, but since then their numbers have recovered and as of 2021 there are around 1000 of them in the Mountain Zebra National Park.
There is not much vegetation because the MZNP is close to the semi-desert Karoo.
Flora and faunaEdit
Summer temperatures can reach into the upper 30°C and occasionally exceed 40°C. Sometimes snow can fall on the higher parts of the park during winter.
By car, 14 km north-west of Cradock on the way to Middelburg.
From October to April the park gates are opened at 7AM and closed at 7PM, from May to September the hours are 7AM to 6PM.
Valid until 31 October 2017:
- South African citizens and residents (with ID): R44 per adult, R22 per child per day
- SADC nationals (with passport): R88 per adult, R44 per child per day
- Foreigners: R176 per adult, R88 per child per day
- Children under 2 years have free entry.
You may use your own car to drive around and spot some animals.
There are also very nice hiking trails, which will allow you to experience wildlife and nature from very close. The trails start at the camp. Ask at the reception to get a small map and some advice on the trails. There is no danger when walking the trails, as there are no dangerous animals like lion in the park, but it is not uncommon to see fighting baboons or relaxing kudus and zebras in the distance during a walk.
The main attraction of the Mountain Zebra NP are the mountain zebras. But there are also other interesting animals, like the many antelopes that live in the park.
At the camp (way up to the pool) is a big colony of rock dassies. They hide between the stones and elsewhere. They can become very naughty, but are normally shy. You will surely spot more and more, if you stop for a second and stand still.
All activities start from the main rest camp. (Prices valid until 31 October 2017.)
- Morning or evening drive: R212.20 per adult, R106.05 per child
- Sunset drive: R282.80 per adult, R140.40 per child
- San cave paintings: R202.00 per adult, R101.00 per child
- Morning walk: R303.00 per person
- Salpeterkop hike: R358.55 per person
- Cheetah tracking: R363.60 per person
- Short walking trails (no fees, but do sign in at the reception first):
- Imbila trail (1 km, 20 min)
- Black Eagle trail (3 km, 2 hr)
- Idwala hiking trail (10 km, 6hr) passes the famous Big Rock.
- There are also 2 4x4 trails in the park (no fees)
There is a restaurant in the camp, which offers some interesting meals, like Springbok Carpaccio.
For evenings after a long day, a braai (South African word for barbeque) is recommended. All chalets have braai facilities and meat and wood can be bought in the camp's shop.
Do not forget to drink enough, especially in the summer months of December and January. Take enough water on a game drive, unless you want to spoil your wildlife experience, because you are thirsty and have to return to the camp.
Water and other drinks (also alcohol) can be bought in the camp's shop.
There is a small camp in the park and a camping site and chalets allow visitors to stay overnight. (Prices valid until 31 October 2017.)
- Camping with power point: R275-330 (2 persons, maximum 6 persons, additional rate per adult R88, per child R44)
- Family Cottage: R1075-1235 (2 persons, maximum 4 persons, additional rate per adult R260, per child R130)
- Doornhoek Guest House R3100-3750 (4 persons, maximum 6 persons, additional rate per adult R580, per child R290). The guest house is on a former farm, away from the main camp.
- Mountain Cottage: R885-1000 (2 persons, maximum 10 persons, additional rate per adult R190, per child R95)
- Good place to start for a day-tour to Graaff-Reinet, one of the oldest towns in South Africa, with some wonderful Victorian houses and a beautiful old town centre.
- Go to the Addo Elephant National Park or Port Elizabeth from here.
- Drive towards Bloemfontein in the north.