As the early European settlers secured land and settled down, grazing lands made way for grain. Zebra hides were popular for making grain bags, and the zebra-like quagga soon disappeared into extinction, closely followed by its cousin the Cape mountain zebra.
Down to a population of 91 in the 1950s, the mountain zebra was luckier than its hapless cousin to survive at all. There are now some 1,200 Cape mountain zebra world-wide, and the Mountain Zebra National Park has one of the largest herds. The undulating hills and tree-dotted valleys of the park harbour a variety of antelope as well.
The Mountain Zebra National Park offers some gorgeous hiking trails on its territory. The Mountain Zebra Hiking Trail gives you three days and two nights among the flora and fauna, but there are also shorter nature trails as well as horse-riding excursions.
Accommodation is in a restored Victorian farmhouse as well as traditional Karoo cottages. And there’s always camping. There is no need to bring in your own provisions – there’s a shop and a restaurant as well as a petrol station.
Other mammals found in the Mountain Zebra National Park include eland, black wildebeest, red hartebeest and gemsbok. Mountain reedbuck and grey rhebok frequent the higher areas, whilst the shy caracal cat occupies the niche of primary predator. Summers are warm, and winter nights are cold with regular rainfalls.