The Earliest inhabitants of the Camdeboo area were early, middle and later Stone Age people. There is evidence of this in the Stone Age industry sites on the south eastern plains of the Camdeboo National Park. Bored stones, percussion-made hand axes, scrapers, blades and grinding stones are some of the artifacts found at the sites.
Late Stone Age dwellers of the region, Khoisan hunters and herders, left rock paintings in the eastern section of the park.
During the mid 1600’s, the Inqua tribe occupied the park area. They grazed their herds of cattle and on the veld from the Camdeboo River near Aberdeen, across the Sundays River to Agter-Bruintjieshoogte near Somerset East.
In 1770, white farmers settled the Camdeboo Plains and Sneeuberg. They introduced merino sheep, angora goats and exotic plants. Years of overgrazing and the actions of exotic plants have caused soil erosion, more woody species and invasive plants.
The park area was proclaimed as the Karoo Nature Reserve in 1979. Until then, it was used was publicly owned and available for town residents to use. Further grazing led to overgrazing and erosion of some areas. The reserve was managed by the World Wide Fund for Nature in South Africa (WWF-SA).
In 2005, WWF-SA donated the 14500 hectare Karoo Nature Reserve to be the showpiece of the Camdeboo National Park. Camdeboo National Park was declared as South Africa’s 22nd National Park under the management of South African National Parks on Sunday 30th October 2005.
Click here to read more information on the Camdeboo National Park.