Land users in the spectacularly wild and open landscape of the Karoo have chosen to earn a living in a harsh and capricious environment. The unpredictability of the weather, together with the unusual vegetation of the region, makes livestock farming and other enterprises more challenging in the Karoo than other parts of South Africa.
However, the more we know about how this extraordinary ecosystem works the better we can adapt our management to avoid drought disasters and veld degradation and maintain animal productivity without loss of species diversity and natural resources.
Karoo Veld provides general management approaches for a wide geographical area, encompassing the vygie veld of Namaqualand in the west, through the mixed veld types of the Great Karoo to the grassier veld types of Cradock and Faurensmith in the east. It has been compiled to assist the practical and ambitious land user to apply ecologically friendly veld management and to evaluate the effects of grazing and restoration on the veld. This guide will also be useful to prospective land users who need to estimate the potential and suitability of land for a planned enterprise before making the investment, or who are curious about the Karoo and its plants and animals. Useful information on palatability of common Karoo plants, invasive alien weeds, Large Stock Unit equivalents for small stock and game is provided, as is a brief picture reference guide to the more common Karoo plants.