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.
River Destiny Lodge is situated along the banks of the Orange River. Popular 20 luxury en-suite bedrooms or self-catering chalets with spectacular view. Camping, Conference & Recreation facilities. We also have camping sites & permanent tent
Sunset Chalets offers the perfect stop-and-go accommodation in Colesberg in the Karoo, Northern Cape. Colesberg is a very popular stop-over due to its close proximity to the N1 highway, which is the primary route between Cape Town and Johannesburg. We off
Die Pophuis Hoekie provides authentic self catering cottages in Victoria West in the Karoo, Northern Cape. Our self catering accommodation consists of 7 owner-managed, air conditioned, restored Karoo cottages and 3 en suite units - fully walled and bright
Gariep Gardens Guest House is situated in the Gariep Dam holiday village and is approximately half way between CT and Johannesburg and only a 5 minute drive from the N1 Highway. It is the ideal place to break your journey and enjoy the most beautiful
Be Blessed Self Catering offers flatlet accommodation in Richmond in the Karoo, Northern Cape. Richmond is a town situated next to the N1 approximately halfway between Cape Town and Gauteng making it a perfect stopover. Accommodation comprises of 5 fully-
Horse and Mill Guesthouse provides guests with bed and breakfast in Colesberg in the Karoo, Northern Cape. Enjoy true Karoo hospitality in the centre of South Africa. The Horse and Mill is a perfect stop-over between Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesbur
The Whitehouse Inn caters for travellers who enjoy warm hospitality, hot summers and snowy winters. This historic building has been converted to offer travellers a variety of accommodation. We boast a fully licensed bar on the premises...
Angela's Guest Lodge is ideally suited for the weary traveler wanting to break their long and tiresome journey or alternatively for the guest who wants to spend some extra days enjoying all that the Karoo and Gariep Dam area has to offer...
The Barracks offers bed and breakfast accommodation in Colesberg in the Karoo in the Northern Cape. The Barracks (so named as the property was used as barracks during the Anglo-Boer War) was built in 1851 and substantially renovated in 2004. This original
Gamamadi Guest Farm offers self catering accommodation near Three Sisters in the Karoo, Northern Cape. Three Sisters, while a small dot on the map is a significant location for many travelling on the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape Town and a popular sto
Honeylocust Guesthouse provides accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in Colesberg in Karoo in the Northern Cape. Honeylocust is a modern, luxury guesthouse in the historic town of Colesberg. Perfectly situated just off the N1 highway, it's the ideal
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 ...
Die Kleipot Guesthouse is located in the heart of Colesberg, a small Karoo town in the Northern Cape. We provide an authentic "Karoo bed and breakfast experience" for the business traveller on their way to Cape Town or Johannesburg, or the casual tourist
Calvinia Hotel offers an oasis in the Karoo town of Calvinia in the Northern Cape. 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
Rose Cottage at Gariep Dam is a self catering complex that is situated half-way between Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is an ideal pit-stop for the weary guest simply wanting to break their journey...
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
Kuilfontein Stable Cottages offers "Karoo-farm-style" bed and breakfast in Colesberg in the Northern Cape. Situated just off the N1 highway outside Colesberg, this Karoo oasis offers both bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation options. The Kuil
Elsa's @ 27 provides bed and breakfast accommodation in Britstown in the Northern Cape. This traditional Britstown home was built in the 1950s and has been renovated into three stylishly furnished en-suite bedrooms (sleeps: 3,4 and 5), each offering its o
amino Guest Farm provides authentic working farm accommodation near Hanover in the Northern Cape. Stay on a room-only basis with the option of breakfast and dinner to suit your needs. Ramino Guest Farm is the perfect stop over between Cape Town and Johann
ankwa Lodge offers bed and breakfast accommodation in Calvinia in the Northern Cape. Calvinia is a small Karoo town with a big heart. When entering the Tankwa Lodge, visitors are still welcomed with true warm country hospitality. The bed and breakfast lod