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Landscape

Vegetation

The Karoo is one of the most diverse arid areas in the world. Being prone to periods of drought many of the plants are well adapted to this. Thought of as a barren area made up of small shrubs and grasses by most, it has an abundance of interesting plant species, with wonderfully bright flowers. Being on the edge of the Great Escarpment, Karoo Ridge Conservancy has the advantage of falling into 2 different vegetation types, the False Upper Karoo Veld and Karroid Merxmuellera Mountain Veld.

The Great Brak River (a tributary to the Great Fish River) runs through the property and this adds the river thicket element with Acacia trees, wetlands and reedbeds.

 

Geology

Karoo Ridge Conservancy is full of wonderful rocky outcrops, ridges and cliffs. The mountains of the Great Escarpment were formed millions of years ago from the uplift of land with valleys and gorges then forming from the downward cutting of erosion. The Upper Karoo is made up of layers of Sedimentary Rocks which were deposited millions of years ago from glaciers and inland seas. Hot volcanic magma then pushed it’s way up through the sedimentary layers (~ 180 million years ago) cooled and now form the exquisite dolerite/ironstone outcrops we see today.

Climate

Being an arid area the Karoo is a place of extremes. Winter maximum temperatures may go down to 10 C. The cold is dry and crisp and days are usually pleasantly warm with blue skies. Nights are cold with wonderful starlit skies.

Summer maximum temperatures may reach over 35 C. The majority of rain falls in the summer in the form of spectacular thunderstorms.