South Africa is known as a popular destination on many travelers’ lists of places they dream to travel to. The reasons are clear as not only is the beautiful climate a drawing card but that it has so much to offer. From crystal clear beaches with long stretches of white sands, majestic mountain ranges, Wildlife in abundance, safari trips to get you up close and personal with wildlife, to the amazing landscapes of both lush forests, desert plains; the famous Robben Island and other beautiful places.The Karoo, however, is one part of South Africa you should not miss. The landscapes are incredibly fascinating and there is much to do if you are eager to get in touch with your roots and with nature. There is also great luxury accommodation in the Karoo - as if you needed any more reason to go!
The landscapes of the Karoo are breathtaking
The landscapes of the Karoo are breathtakingly beautiful and ever changing from season to season. The Karoo is a semi-desert that offers peace and tranquility with its clear skies during the day, fresh clean air and a dark sky at night with sparkling bright stars in abundance. The Karoo is broken up into different regions: Klein Karoo, Koup, Hantam and Roggeveld, Western Upper and Lower Karoo, Eastern Upper and Camdeboo with each having its own uniqueness to offer. The Karoo is very dry and even the hint of rain brings with it a promise of life. There is nothing like the smell of just a few raindrops on the dry ground, it is a smell you never forget. Even after a small shower a few days later you will see the new buds of tiny wildflowers or greenery as grass or plants start to grow in appreciation for the rain. The Karoo takes you away from the hustle and bustle of city life, it’s beauty and quietness lodges itself deep into your soul.
Enjoy authentic wildlife experiences
The Karoo, although barren, is filled with life and is surprisingly a great place to enjoy authentic wildlife safaris. Going on a wildlife safari is always a highlight for visitors exploring the continent. This is largely due to the fact that Africa is one of the few places on earth where wildlife roam free in protected concessions which extend far and wide, and which have been left untouched by man. Africa offers the most incredible wildlife experiences; with South Africa being one of the favourites, especially since the parks are not too far out from the main cities. Seeing the animals in their natural habitat is something anyone will appreciate no matter the age; it’s an experience that moves you like none other.
Explore the Karoo’s fascinating arts and culture scene
If you are looking for a museum with a difference, The Saddle Horse Museum in Richmond is a real ‘find’. There are only two other museums in the world like it. The name ‘The Saddle Horse’ comes from the earliest Trekboers, who spent hours in their saddles and were known throughout the world as being the best horsemen around. The museum is really proud of its cart named the ‘Nachtmaal Wa.’
Prince Albert Art Gallery
The Prince Albert Art Gallery is located in the town of Prince Albert in Seven Arches. The art gallery is in a Victorian building and is opposite the Fransie Pienaar Museum which means you can explore history and art in an afternoon in this lovely town. The gallery exhibits both international and local artists.
Explore some of the world’s most fascinating sites
All the towns in the Karoo are filled with fascinating locations. Oudtshoorn, which is the gateway to Central and Klein Karoo and about 430 km from Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, is home to the famous Cango Caves. These are caves that have formed over thousands of years, and which extend deep beneath the earth’s surface. You can either do a general tour, or one which takes you through some of the deepest channels within the cave.
Learn more about early life on earth at the fossil sites
South Africa’s richest fossil sites are found in the Karoo, which is why many of the sites have well known scientists coming from all over the world to explore them further, in the hope of discovering more about early life on earth. There have been a number of dinosaur fossils found in the Karoo, which are now displayed in the museums.