Karoo

 

This is harsh, dry country, whose most precious asset – water – lies deep below the thirsty surface of the earth. The ever-present wind pumps testify to the countless streams flowing the dolerite fissures. Small, isolated but ever welcoming villages with fascinating, widely differing histories, a distinct Karoo architecture rest in valleys between desolate, flat koppies. It is a place of immense spaces, wide-angle horizons, craggy mountain ranges, conical hills, an ancient inland seabed, and a sky so big that at night it feels like you can touch the stars. The Great Karoo stands proudly with other desert tourism regions like the Australian Outback and Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, and makes for a memorable road-trip. It seems you could travel for months in and about the towns of the Great Karoo and have a different experience in each one. Spanning nearly 400 000km2 in the geographic midriff of South Africa, the Great Karoo must be one of the quietest places on Earth.

INDIAN TO ATLANTIC through the KAROO:

The West Coast, where the Atlantic Ocean washes its shores, a mecca unfolds to satisfy the whims of nature’s children. It offers a tranquil, remote charm of sheltered bays, long stretches of white dunes, picturesque fishing villages, ever-travelling waders and sea birds, whales in season, wild flower reserves. In spring, visitors flock to see the breath taking display of wild flowers. Another strong feature of this area is the tasty and traditional seafood dishes.

To the east of this coastal region one finds a belt of sandstone mountains, adorned with fascinating rock formations, the Cederberg mountains. The region is named after the rare ceder tree.  This is home to the unique Rooibos tea, a “fynbos” biome and floral kingdom, Bushmen paintings, private nature reserves, prolific bird life and a world heritage site for conservation. From the Cederberg Wilderness Area, Gifberg and Bokkeveld Ranges on the Indian Coast we travel this sea of endless plains through the Swartberg and Outeniqwa Mountains to the Atlantic Coast and world famous Garden Route.

In between lies this land of beauty waiting to be discovered. A magic carpet ride, a taste of freedom, a new adventure describes the Karoo region that lies In between.

Highlight includes:

  • Cederberg Mountains with Fynbos, private reserves, Bushmen painting
  •  Flowers in season, prolific bird lif
  • Tankwa Karoo National Park
  •  Arid Karoo region
  • Sutherland - The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is the largest single optical telescope in the Southern hemisphere and among the largest in the world.
  • The towns of Clanwilliam, Matjiesfontein, Ladysmith, Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn, Montagu.

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