Activities / Attractions / Eastern Cape / Wildlife Encounters

Explore Mountain Zebra National Park

Updated Thursday, 17 January 2019

The Mountain Zebra National Park is a haven for some of the most awesome wildlife of the country, having protected the Mountain Zebra from near-extinction since its establishment in 1937. Today, there are hundreds of Mountain Zebra residing in safety in this park.

The entire area boasts the rustic beauty so typical of the Eastern Cape – valleys, hills and rocky outcrops with plenty of green Karoo vegetation and scrubby landscapes. It is within this untouched beauty that the Mountain Zebra National Park is nestled, home to a variety of fauna and flora.

This national park is located near Cradock and is free of the threat of malaria, making it a prime option for families with young children and the elderly. It is less than 300 kilometres from Port Elizabeth in Nelson Mandela Bay, making it accessible and ideal as a weekend getaway. Still, there is so much to see and do here that visitors are urged to stay a little longer and get a real taste of the wild side of the Eastern Cape.

In addition to the Mountain Zebra, other species at the park include the black rhino, caracal, black wildebeest, red wildebeest, gemsbok, Cape buffalo, cheetah, blue crane and Denham’s bustard. The Mountain Zebra National Park has an area of over 28 000 hectares. This area is best explored on guided game drives, which allow visitors to learn about the countryside with the help of an experienced, qualified guide.  Of course, visitors are also welcome to conduct their own game drive independent of a professional conductor.

There are a number of 4 x 4 trails available for those with suitable vehicles and looking for an adrenalin rush. There are a number of different trails of varying length and difficulty.

Nature trails and hikes are an ideal way to spend time with family and friends while discovering the beauty of the Eastern Cape on foot. Get up close to the flora, touch the crags and smell the fresh, clean air.

The San Rock Art tour will open up the mysteries of another world, when indigenous folk once inhabited the caves and sheltered areas of this vast landscape, living off the land. These ones told their stories in the form of paintings on the walls of the caves and on rocks, providing a fascinating peek into their lives and customs.

The facilities at the Mountain Zebra National Park include:

  • Picnic sites with barbecue facilities.
  • A curio shop that also stocks some basic convenience items.
  • A fully licensed restaurant.
  • A swimming pool for day visitors.
  • Ablutions.
  • Conference facilities for up to 30 people.
  • Wedding facilities for up to 50 people.
  • Petrol and diesel facilities at the rest camp.

Keen bird-watchers will love spending time gazing through binoculars, spotting the secretary bird, woodpecker, eastern long-billed lark, mountain wheatear, orange-breasted rockjumper, large-billed lark, and more.

Summers are hot, while winters are cold, particularly at night. In fact, winter snowfall is common in the high-lying areas. Be sure to pack a variety of clothing items to ensure that you are comfortable and protected from the cold and from the harsh summer sun.

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