With the first rains, the seemingly arid soil of the Karoo bursts into abundant life, its hardy succulents complementing the sweet grasses on which the region’s merino and fat-tailed sheep graze. The everpresent windpumps testify to the countless streams flowing between fissures underlying the dry but fertile soil.

Small, isolated but welcoming villages, a distinct Karoo architecture and imposing churches rest in valleys between desolate, flat-topped koppies. Take a short trip from Colesberg, an essential stopover for all travellers and a sheep-farming centre, to Hopetown, the scene of South Africa’s first recorded diamond find.

Return, passing Orania, a self-proclaimed Afrikaner volkstaat, before making your way to Vanderkloof and the Rolfontein Nature Reserve on the shores of the great Vanderkloof Dam.

Indulge in watersports or relax on its secluded banks which stretch 100km to the Doornkloof Nature Reserve on the man-made lake’s southern shores. Throughout this wonderful part of the great Karoo, you can visit, hunt or hike on game farms and nature reserves teeming with every species of antelope. And, like the country they live in, the hardy inhabitants of the Karoo make you feel immediately at home in their beloved countryside.

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The seemingly arid Karoo region quickly transforms itself with the first
summer rains into waving fields of grasses with picturesque scenes of
grazing sheep and spinning wind pumps. Visitors are enticed by its
distinctive Karoo architecture, impressive churches and desolate valleys
between flat-topped koppies (hills). This region offers visitors the traditional
warm hospitality of its people combined with superb hunting, hiking and
game watching. This region features two routes.
Experience the Karoo region of the Northern Cape!

Town information

Karoo Region
Northern Cape Tourism Authority +27(0)53 492 0311
Emthanjeni Tourism Information: +27 (0) 53 632 9100
Mokala National Park: +27 (0) 53 204 8000
Tankwa Karoo National Park: : +27 (0) 27 341 1927
Karoo Highlands Route: +27 (0) 84 709 0218
Karoo Oasis Route: +27 (0) 82 567 9211
Rolfontein Nature Reserve: +27 (0) 53 664 0900
Doornkloof Nature Reserve: +27 (0) 51 753 3006
Email: [email protected]


De Aar

is the third largest town in the Northern Cape and is centrally located on the main railway line between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Namibia.


The Garden of Remembrance

visit the famous war activist and author’s Contact: +27 (0)83 300 7554.

Olive Schreiner’s House and Restaurant

The monuments commemorate the crucial role these domestic animals played in the history of the region.

Date Palm Avenue

Found at the entrance to Die Eiland Resort it is one of the longest palm avenues in the Southern Hemisphere – 1. 4km long.

Other historical sites include St Paul’s Church, Town Hall and Standard Bank.
Visit local artists and crafters such as Sam Mooi, Fundiswa Banto, Town Hall and Ruth Issel. Contact: Emthanjeni Tourism Office.


a is a quaint and eccentric small town that needs to be seen and experienced at least once in a lifetime.


Calvinia Museum

is housed in an old synagogue dating back to 1920 and documents the story of Calvinia. Contact: +27 (0)27 341 8500.

Akkerendam Nature Reserve

features a variety of hiking trails, game viewing, bird watching, including the rare Cinnamon-breasted Warbler) and the rare sterboom (star tree). Contact: +27 (0)27 341 8131.

Calvinia Post Box

at 6meters tall is the largest post box in the world.
Each letter posted from here receives a unique hand stamped flower as
a decoration

Tankwa Karoo National Park

is situated between Ceres, Calvinia and
Sutherland. Hiking, birdwatching and stargazing.


is one of the oldest towns within the Northern Cape. It started off as a mission station in 1847 which evolved into Carnarvon in 1874.


Carnarvon Museum

originally served as a community hall for the Dutch Reformed Church it is now the town museum.
Contact: +27 (0)53 382 3012.

Historic Houses and Town Walk

Apart from the typical Karoo houses there are many fine examples of late Victorian and Edwardian era homes and buildings in Carnarvon. Contact: +27 (0)82 780 4209.

The Square Kilometre Array

near Carnarvon (SKA) – Carnarvon is now the centre of world-wide attention as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), will be the world’s largest radio telescope with one million square metres of collecting area. Contact: +27 (0)61 525 3425.


is a traveler’s oasis on the N1 national highway between
Johannesburg and Cape Town.


Town walking tour

visit the old horse-driven mill pub, the Anglican Church, the Kemper Museum and much more. Contact Colesberg Tourism Office +27 (0)51 753 0678

Anglo Boer War

enthusiasts can visit the Grenadier Guard Rock, Memorial Hill and the military cemetery where more than 400 men from 20 regiments are buried.
Contact: Colesberg Tourism Office +27 (0)51 753 0678.

Doornkloof Nature Reserve

is located on the southern eastern banks of the Vanderkloof Dam and offers game viewing, hiking and MTB trails, fishing, camping and overnight chalets. Contact: +27 (0)51 753 3006


was founded in 1851 and named after a Scottish cleric and immigrant, Rev Colin Fraser, and a in church elder, Meyburg.


Old Parsonage Museum

Built in 1856 it houses unique collections and an exhibition of fossils. Contact: +27 (0)23 571 1265.

Town Walking Route

will take you past the many Victorian era houses in the A map can be purchased at the local museum in Fraserburg.

Dinosaur Walk

On the farm Gansfontein your walk will take you past the distinct footprints of a Bradysaurus that passed this way approximately 190-million years ago. Other markings include water ripples, worm trails, and signs of fish marks.
Contact: +27 (0)61 058 5594.


claims to be the country’s most central place. It is equidistant from Cape Town and Johannesburg, centrally positioned between Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Upington on the N1.


Visit Olive Schreiner’s house. +27 (0) 83 300 7554.
View the Cenotaph Memorial commemorating WW2.
The Town walking tour will take you past interesting historical buildings such as Camdeboo House, the Dutch Reformed Church, the Police Station and the Library in Darling Street. Contact: Emthanjeni Tourism.
Stock up on gifts at the Bear Lady, Joane Mallet’s Shop, uNpopi Dolls and Angora Crafts & Restaurant and Mrs Nellies’ eclectic collection of agricultural implements from yesteryear.


is famed for the discovery of two of South Africa’s largest diamond- the Eureka Diamond and Star of Africa between 1867 and 1869


Hopetown Concentration Camp Cemetery

Voted as one of the best Anglo War memorial sites the memorial site and museum is situated on the farm Doornbult. Contact: Mrs Rina Wiid +27 (0)53 203 8105.

Anglo Boer War

historical and archaeological sites such as Orange River Station, British Military Camps, and a well-preserved Block House can be found in close proximity of the farm.
Contact: Mrs Rina Wiid +27(0) 53 203 8105.


is a small Karoo town, famous for its warm hospitality, snowy winters, starlit nights, dramatic landscapes and the world’s best stargazing.



Sutherland Planetarium offers unique sun gazing and digital tours of the universe. Contact: +27 (0) 76 9098635.

Walking town tour

your walk will take you past amongst others the home of the prominent writing family, van Wyk Louws and the Groote Kerk dating back to 1870’s..

Sterland Farm

just outside town there are fossil and botanical tours during the day and stargazing tours at night.
Contact: +27 (0)23 571 1481.

The South African Astronomical Observatory (SALT)

is the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. Contact for day and night star gazing tours and tours of the facilities.
Contact: +27 (0)23 571 2436.


This route features the small Karoo towns of Nieuwoudtville, Calvinia, Williston, Sutherland, Fraserburg, Carnarvon, Loxton and Victoria West – the heart of the Great Karoo. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Karoo with its wide-open plains and the many unique experiences on offer. Great Karoo cuisine and hospitality makes this a must do region.
Contact Details: +27 (0)84 709 0218.


Karoo architecture and Corbelled houses.

Anglo-Boer War


The Williston Mall in Williston

a quaint place to shop, eat and the world’s greatest pink milkshakes Contact: +27 (0)72 018 7288.

Niewoudstville Waterfall

contact: +27 (0)27 218 1336 and Hantam Botanical Garden contact: +27 (0)27 218 1200.

Victoria West’s Apollo Art Deco Theatre


The route traverse through the towns of Warrenton, Kimberley, Hopetown, Britstown along the N12 and De Aar Hanover and Richmond along the N6. It is the perfect stopover for travellers between Johannesburg and Cape Town and Johannesburg and Eastern Cape. Contact: +27(0)82 567 9211.


Explore the rich mining history of Kimberley, the Big Hole, Vintage Tram and the Historical Walk.
Enjoy fly-fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, trail running, game drives and world class birding at any one of the world class National parks or game reserves. Mokala National Park +27 (0)53 204 8000, Wintershoek Safaris +27 (0)82 464 6732, Gkhui Gkhui River Lodge +27 (0)53 831 1994, Karoo Gariep Game reserve +27 (0) 825679211.
Khoisan Rock Engravings

For viewing on Nooitgedacth and Brandfontein farms contact, Ian +27 (0)82 553 0586.


a perfect overnight stop-over at the Transkaroo Country Lodge for typical Karoo slow food and hospitality. Contact: +27 (0)53 672 0027.

Rolfontein Nature Reserve

is situated in Vanderkloof town and offers picnicking, hiking trails, fishing and an overnight tented camp. Contact: +27 (0)53 664 0900.

The Vanderkloof Dam

is the second largest dam in South Africa and offer great water activities such as angling, sailing, skiing and windsurfing. Contact: +27 (0)82 921 5245.



Established on the farm Processfontein in 1895, the town was named after Mr...

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Established in 1843 and named after Queen Victoria of England. Victoria West marks...

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