To the East of Touws River in the Western Cape and stretching to the Northern and the Eastern Cape lies the Karoo which is made up of the Great Karoo in the North, and the Little Karoo in the South.
The Klein Karoo is essentially a long valley bordered on its northern edge by the Swartberg and in the South by the Langeberg and Outeniqua mountains, which separate the region from the coastal strip known as the Garden Route. The valley is dry and arid and was once the home of huge herds of elephant, kudu, buffalo together with rhinos, hippos and lions. All of these have been hunted out and the only fauna left in the area are a few leopards and baboons with a plentiful supply of ostriches in the Oudtshoorn area, which became famous at the turn of the previous century when ostrich- feathered boas became all the rage in Europe.
To the West of Oudtshoorn and in the Swartberg mountains lie the world famous Cango Caves of the Klein Karoo. The caves were first discovered by a Hottentot herdboy while looking for missing cattle. The caves extend underground for over two kilometers and include the Wonder Cave. The main caves may be visited only with a guide and tours set out every two hours. The caves were declared a National Monument in 1938.
A few kilometers to the East of Oudtshoorn lies the charming little village of De Rust, a haven for artists and an area famous for its dessert wines and cheeses. Almost next door to De Rust is the small town of Dysseldorp, established by the London Missionery Society in 1838, the town witnesses a symbolic annual pilgrimage to the local Roman Catholic chapel on Good Friday and visitors from all over the country during the Easter weekend.
The Groot Karoo is a vast and desolate region that sits to the North of the Swartberg. The huge plain was once a vast inland sea of lakes and swamps inhabited by dinosaurs which roamed over the region for 125 million years until their sudden end. Most of the time this desolate land appears dull and uninteresting, but the Groot Karoo can turn green overnight after a sudden rainshower, and the plains can be filled with colour as flowers spring into life.
The town of Beaufort West lies on the N1 highway from Johannesburg to Cape Town and is considered to be the capital of the Groot Karoo. The town has developed over the last few years into a major commercial centre. The whole Groot Karoo region is ideally suited to sheep farming. Beaufort West has become a major holiday destination especially in wintertime, and there are plenty of recreational activities that can be enjoyed in the town. The Karoo National Park is situated just outside and to the northwest of the town. The park is inhabited by several species of buck, and the visitor may also catch sight of baboons, black-eared foxes, jackal and kudu. The lower levels of the park have a typical Karoo vegetation, while the upper slopes are dominated by sour grass.
The Groot Karoo, though appearing sparsely populated by fauna, houses one of the world’s largest collections of fossils and is a mecca for the palaeontologist. The Groot Karoo is unique in that the rock strata contain a virtually unbroken record of fossilized species over a 50 million year period, including the evolution of the first mammals.
The Klein and Groot Karoo regions at first appear as desolate plains, but on closer inspection have proven to be regions that deserve to be visited by young and old alike.
Saxe-Coburg Lodge situated in the pretty village of Prince Albert offers views of the Swartberg Berg mountains. 6 luxury air-cond. en-suite bed rooms & one self-catering cottage offering all mod cons such as DSTV.s & Fridge's,Swimmingpool,
Wagon Wheel Country Lodge is situated 1km North of Beaufort West, off the N1, coming in from Johannesburg. We offer 52 on-suite rooms, all with safe parking at your room, and security.We serve Breakfast and Dinner in our A La Carte Restaurant.
Hotel Oasis in Beaufort West is a Luxary Hotel in the Heart of the Karoo, situated on the N1 between Cape Town and Johannesburg, offering family accommodation at affordable rates.
The KAROPA apartments opened in December 2009 and are famous for their cleanliness and German standard on quality. The apartments are situated in the up market, secure, peaceful and quiet area of Beaufort West. KAROPA is 2km away from the N1...
Experience the serenity and safety of a quiet Klein Karoo fruit farm, 7km from Barrydale on the R62-route. The Appelhuis is a beautifully restored self catering old stone cottage, surrounded by orchards and mountains in the Doornriver Valley.
Our thatched lodge is fitted with modern conveniences and offers you safe off-road parking. Twelve elegantly furnished en suite rooms, with an African ambience, make you really feel at home. The luxurious honeymoon and family suites promise you ...
Welcome to the picturesque Prince Albert. Ta Mala's cottage is situated in Mark street 85 one block from the town centre. The house consists of three self-catering cottages. One night stays and children are welcome.
The Retreat is an old Victorian farmhouse set in 560ha of the Groenfontein Valley Conservancy bordering on the 129.000ha Swartberg Nature Reserve. The house, with furnishings of yellow-wood and Oregon pine, has the lounge and dining room ........
The Vale Karoo Farm lies at the foothills of the majestic Nuveld Mountains in the heart of the Great Karoo. It offers many new holiday and break-a-way opportunities on the farm. The farm is 30 km east of Beaufort West on the N1 route between Cape...
Matoppo Inn has historical Charm and fascinating architectural heritage contribute to the refreshing country atmosphere at Matoppo aan de wagenweg(c. 1834)
The popular B&B accommodation Haus Holzapfel is situated in the up market, peaceful and quiet area in the highest street of Beaufort West. We are 1.1km away from the city centre and the N1 Highway Cape Town - Johannesburg.
The Boulders Lodge is fully air-conditioned, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a sparkling blue pool and Jacuzzi on the deck awaits visitors who are ready to restore peace to body and soul. Little extras such as a little special gift on...
Fonteintjie is situated in in the Bo-Lankloof in the De Vlugt valley. The name Fonteintjie comes from 3 freshwater springs on the farm.
Verberg Inn is halfway between Uniondale and Willowmore. You'll find many good dirt roads in the area, which create wonderful opportunities for mountain and off-road biking. Uniondale town has the largest watermill in the Southern hemisphere.
An up-market 3-star guest house in Beaufort West, catering for business people and families alike