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.
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...
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.
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...
Van Zijl Guest Houses are beautifully restored traditional sandstone buildings typical of the architecture and stone masonry of Nieuwoudtville. All guest houses save for The Greendoor, are equipped for self-catering.
With 15 rooms and 2 self catering units, the Hotel can accommodate up to 50 people. All rooms are en-suite and are equipped with wall heaters and electric blankets for those "chilly" winter evenings. We have 1 Family room which can host a minimum ...
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 ..
When entering the Calvinia Hotel, visitors are still welcomed with true warm country hospitality. The Hotel offers 25 rooms all with en-suite showers & bathrooms, a Splash Pool to cool off in the summer heat, Conference facilities for up to 80 pax...
Crane Cottage is situated in the beautiful town of Colesberg. It is within walking distance from various restaurants, pubs and shops.
Leeuwfontein Guest Farmhouse is situated in the heart of the Great Karoo, surrounded by hills and 'klip koppies' and only 10 km from the charming karoo town - Victoria West.
The luxury suites, with private sitting-rooms, are equipped, among others, with a plasma screen TV, M-Net/DStv, fireplaces, heaters, under floor heating and coffee facilities. In each bedroom there are electric blankets, down duvets and woollen ...
David and Denise welcome you into their cosy, turn of the century home on over 2000 m2 dotted with fruit trees and grapevines. There is a double room en suite and a twin room and family suite with private bathroom.
Ebenezer Guest house is situated in Colesberg your half way stop between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Guest House has 10 rooms with an en-suite bathroom, TV, coffee/tea and linen (towels, etc). The Guest House has a swimming pool and "braai" ...
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.
Enjoy true Karoo hospitality in the centre of South Africa. The Horse and Mill is a perfect stop-over between Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Durban. It is situated in the centre of Colesberg, in a quiet one-way street parallel to the