The Karoo is one of South Africa's most scenic areas, a semi-arid region with wide open spaces, endless stars and the odd quirky town. It is the perfect destination for those wishing to get away from it all and embrace nature. If that is you, accommodation in the Karoo is definitely worth considering.
The Karoo is an expansive area with a number of Nature Reserves. Reserves such as Anysberg or the Karoo National Park are home to rare endangered species such as the riverine hare and black rhinoceros. The area is also home to 9000 plant species and boasts the largest variety of succulent plants in the world.
Dotted across the Karoo wilderness are small towns, each with a unique personality. Oudtshoorn is considered the capital of the Klein (Little) Karoo, the Southern section of the Karoo. Nearby attractions include the Cango Caves, numerous ostrich farms and other outdoor pursuits.
Matjiesfontein is an old rest point for those travelling on Rhodes' 'road to the North' railway line. It is an iconic Karoo town with its beautiful old buildings and strange air of the past which continues to linger.
Thirty-five kilometres from Oudtshoorn lies De Rust, a quaint, engrossing little town. It lies at the foot of the Meiringspoort Pass, a windy, 25 km scenic road connecting the Klein Karoo in the South to the Groot (Great) Karoo in the North.
Among the towns worth visiting in the Groot Karoo are Prince Albert, Niue Bethesda and Graaf-Reinet. Graaf-Reinet and Prince Albert are both historic towns with numerous protected buildings owing to their iconic architecture. Prince Albert also happens to be a foodie haven, with an assortment of olive producers, wine estates and dairy farms producing cheese and milk in the area.
Niue Bethesda's star attraction is the Owl House, the home of an eccentric artist who transformed her home into a work of art using old glass bottles. Today the garden is strewn with cement and glass sculptures while parts of the home's walls have also been decorated with glass. It is a strange but intriguing place.
Route 62 is a scenic tourist road which starts in the Cape and extends to parts of the Karoo. It passes through many of the Karoo towns and various Karoo accommodation regions. A well-known attraction on the route is Ronnie's Sex Shop, a rural pub decorated with rugby shirts and bank notes from visitors' countries.
Themes that thread themselves throughout Karoo accommodation and the Karoo itself are fresh air, starry skies, relaxed inhabitants and open spaces. If you need to regain some sanity and escape the rat race for a while, book accommodation in the Karoo. Nothing will be better for your soul!
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