The Hantam Karoo and Upper Karoo regions of the Northern Cape are bounded on three sides by the provincial boundaries and the Orange River. 250 million years ago the Hantam Karoo was a vast inland sea surrounded by primeval forest, lush vegetation and huge mammals. After the breakup of Gondwanaland the region slowly turned into the arid semi-desert we find today. The whole region is renowned for its completely unpolluted skies and the magnificent view of the heavens at night, making it the perfect setting for South Africa's Astronomical Observatory. The area is a region of wide-open plains dotted with rugged mountains and koppies. Wild life and beautiful flora abound, and there are a number of recognized 4x4 trails dotted about throughout the region. The Upper Karoo is more barren than the Hantam Karoo, but both areas explode into brilliant colour with the onset of the summer rains. The Tankwa Karoo National Park, to the west of Sutherland, is the driest place in South Africa.
In the East of the Hantam Karoo and Upper Karoo region the visitor will find numerous deserted towns which had originally sprung up at the time of the diamond rush in and around Kimberly. Diamonds have long since petered out, though there can still be found a handful of persistent miners who spend their time sifting through gravel in the hope of finding that elusive stone. I remember once taking a wrong turn and ending up in a tiny village where the miners were on their stoeps on a late Friday afternoon sipping beer. It was just as if I had stepped back in time by eighty or more years.
Just outside the town of Carnarvon at Stuurmansfontein can be seen some fine examples of corbelled houses. The first corbelled buildings were erected in the early 1800s and served as homes for the early pioneers. They are similar to buildings known to have existed in France, Italy and Portugal and are built with flat stones cemented together with a mixture of straw and mud.
The principal town of the Upper Karoo is De Aar, which has become the central distribution point for the succulent Karoo meat, unique in flavour and quality. The town is an important rail junction for Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Namibia. De Aar is famed for its generous hospitality.
A few kilometers to the East of De Aar is a fine example of a Karoo dorp from the past - this is Hanover. This small Karoo town was established in 1854 on a farm belonging to a man called Gous and named after one of his ancestors. When the first houses were built they were compelled to be built directly on the edge of the main road with their gardens at the rear. Owners had to pay a shilling a year tax for the priviledge of having a stoep at the front of the house encroaching the road - this tax is still imposed to this day.
The Hantam Karoo and Upper Karoo town of Victoria West gets its name from Queen Victoria and little has changed since it was first established in 1843. The town is wedged between two mountains and the Ongers River. The town is on the watershed between the West and East coasts of South Africa. To the South of the town is the small Victoria West Nature Reserve, home to a large collection of the riverine rabbit, only found in the central Karoo.
The Karoo is a region of South Africa that should not be missed by the visitor. It is mostly inhabited by sheep and widely scattered acacia trees and shrubs. In the Kalahari Desert can still be found scattered groups of San (bushmen) who have chosen to remain in the desert, unchanged by modern technology.
Aandrus B&B in Richmond was established in the mid nineteen fifties and except for a short period of time, it has been owned by members of the same family. The motel type accommodation consists of 11 rooms with en suite facilities.
Die Pophuis Hoekie" is an owner managed cluster of 7 air condioned, restored Karoo cottages and one en suite unit- all enwalled and brightly lit up at night, with ample safe parking and plenty of space to stretch your legs after a long
Van Zylsvlei B&B is situated 6km from Colesberg on the Philippolis road (R717). We offer peaceful, safe and quiet accommodation for the weary traveler. You'll be greeted with warm and friendly Karoo hospitality, with a cosy farm ..
There are six natural springs on the farm, hence the name Desert Dew. Modderfontein farm is situated in the Victoria-West area, 35km from Three Sisters on the N1. The farm is the highest point between Cape Town and Johannesburg...
Two of the three units can sleep a family of six and the third a family of three. All the units are equipped with fans and heaters. The first farmhouse of clay-bricks and stone was built in 1943 and is now converted with style and comfort into ...
The Jupiter, B&B Guesthouse &restaurant in Sutherland is a business that was established to offer great stays, opportunity to meet people both local and other tourists, enjoy local cuisine and above all enjoy the freedom of relative crime free living
Elandsrus Country Lodge is situated in the Three Sisters area - a well known landmark for all traveling on the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Situated in the middle between Beaufort West, Richmond and Victoria West makes us the perfect stop..
Afrikaroo is situated on the farm Van Tonderskraal which is an operational sheep and goat farm. Each unit at Afrikaroo has a microwave oven, two plate stove, bar fridge, kettle and fan/heater. Although the cabins are self catering we offer braai...
Accommodation consists of single, double and family rooms and is provided in an enlarged farm house, the main part which dates back to 1889. Eighteen of the twenty-three rooms are en suite and with fireplaces. The farms own produce, especially ...
La Provence, situated next to the N1 near Colesberg is the perfect resting place between Johannesburg and Cape Town. With 8 tastefully decorated room's 4 of which are cottages have Satellite television, air-conditioning, coffee/tea facilities.
Colesview Guest House is a bed and breakfast situated in Colesberg, halfway to everywhere.Our "rooms with a view" can accommodate 21 people in 6 stylishly decorated bedrooms,all with TV's and private bathrooms.Pool & undercover lock-up
De Oude Scholen is a beautiful guest house situated in the Karoo town of Victoria West. This building was build during 1891 and was the first public school in Victoria West.
Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Colesberg - the perfect halfway stop between all major centres. Ask for rooms with TV, aircon,heaters, fans. Access to kitchenettes with coffee/tea facilities. Restaurant across road, secure parking for your vehicle
Ideal for families wanting to share some time together or just getting to know each other again over a bottle of red wine, shared around a large kitchen table with the warmth of an old wood stove. The main house offers 3 bedrooms, two bathroom...
110 km tarred road from the N1 turn-off at Matjiesfontein will bring you here and arriving here, GALILEO COTTAGE will be the place that you'll want to stay. Whereas GALILEO proclaimed the earth moves around the sun, we at GALILEO claim that with us..
Frans Carel Te Water built his beautiful Karoo house in 1886 soon after the corner stone of the Dutch Reformed Church was laid in 1880. Today it is know as Lord Carnarvon Guest House.