Mountain Zebra National Park

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South Africa >> Port Elizabeth >> Attractions >> Mountain Zebra National Park

Mountain Zebra National Park

History

No prizes for guessing which animal is the highlight of this Park. The Cape Mountain Zebra, the smallest of the living zebra species, at one time inhabited most of the Cape area in South Africa. Burgeoning human populations resulted in indiscriminate killing of the zebra and by 1922, only about 400 animals were left in the region. To stop the species from sliding over the edge and into oblivion, the Mountain Zebra National Park was established in 1937 amidst the acacia- rich veldt of the Eastern Cape. Today, as a result of careful conservation, 200 or more zebras inhabit the Park. The zebra population of the Park has in fact reached such a comfortable position that some animals have been transferred to other nature reserves.

Within the Mountain Zebra National Park, most zebra are to be seen in the Bankberg mountains, along with other highland species such as grey rhebok and reedbuck In the low-lying regions of the park, prominent species include antelope, eland, springbok, African wildcat, black-footed cat, bat eared wolf and over 200 species of birds including the black eagle, booted eagle, pale-winged starling and blue crane. The scenery in the Park is unmatched with its surrounding mountains, grassy plateaus and many exotic flowering shrubs.

Best time to visit

Mountain Zebra National Park, thanks to its location in the mountains, faces extremes of climate. Winters are cold and snowy, while summers are warm, even hot at times. Rainfall is less than 400mm a year, and some of the higher reaches receive precipitation in the form of snow. Summer - between October and April - is generally the best time to visit the Park.

Trivia

A number of hiking trails meander through the park, and a walk along one of these- accompanied by an experienced guide, of course- is the perfect way to see the Park’s wildlife.

Timing

The gates to the Park are open from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm between October and April, and from 7.30 am to 6 pm the rest of the year. Entry passes- R12 per adult and R6 per child- can be purchased at the gate of the Park.


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