It covers an area of 194sq km and almost surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet. There are plenty of animals including springbok, buffaloes, Cape mountain zebras and kudus, plus over 200 bird species, but the real draws are the spectacular geological formations and great views overlooking Graaff-Reinet and the plains. The Valley of Desolation is the park’s most popular sight. It’s a hauntingly beautiful valley with an outstanding view – the rugged, piled dolerite columns are set against the backdrop of the endless Karoo plains. Graaff-Reinet is also visible, nestled in a bend of the Sundays River. The valley can be reached by car on a steep but sealed road, and there’s a 1.5km circuit walk. It’s the sort of place that makes you wish you were an eagle and in fact people do paraglide from here. The best times to come are at sunrise or sunset.