Plants & Animals
The vegetation is remarkably diverse, featuring renosterveld, mountain fynbos, Karoo-veld, spekboom veld, and numerous geophyte species. Some species will be in bloom virtually throughout the year. Most plants flower in spring, but early autumn is the time that many protea species flower, attracting large numbers of sugarbirds and sunbirds.
Many of the interesting plants on the higher Swartberg peaks, including the rare Protea venusta, are in flower during mid-summer (December - February).
The succulent Karoo boasts a shy range of browsing antelope and the majority of animals are nocturnal, as is the case in arid and hot desert-like regions.
At night, aardwolf, jackal, bat-eared foxes, owls, porcupines, hares, civets and genets claim back the veld.
During the day, however, tortoises and other reptiles will be visible, alongside some meerkat and the odd klipspringer or grysbok.
Other mammals likely to be seen include kudu, baboon, dassie and springbok (on the flatter areas at Gamkapoort).
Leopard and caracal also occur in the area, but are seldom seen.
Private and public nature and game reserves abound, catering for every budget. So there's no excuse: get out and explore nature in the Klein Karoo!
Being a vastly different and unique biome, the visitor should as a rule not expect the Bushveld or Lowveld savanna "Big Five" or large herds of gregarious game.
The Klein Karoo is an excellent area to see many of Southern Africa's endemic bird species. The semi-arid lowland areas around Oudtshoorn can throw up endemics like Southern Black Korhaan, Cape Peninsula Tit and Rufous-eared Warbler, as well as a host of larks. Raptors are abundant, and range from common species like Pale Chanting Goshawk, Rock Kestrel and Jackal Buzzard to more unusual types such as Lanner Falcon and Black Harrier.
More than 130 bird species have been recorded here, notably black, fish and martial eagle, Cape sugarbird and pied kingfisher.