When we meet someone who has been to South Africa or is planning a trip there we always ask the same question: where did you go? And we, more often than not, oooh and aaah over classic must-sees like Cape Town, the Garden Route and The Kruger National Park. But what, I say, about the Karoo?
There’s no place quite like it. It is spectacular in its sparseness- but then again I’ve always had a thing for dry areas. Of course the Garden Route is a must see for various reasons, and people are naturally drawn to beautiful coastlines, but the massive part of our country that is the Karoo is in a league of its own.
My most recent trip through there has got me seriously thinking about suggesting it to future visitors of our majestic country. I’m from the North West province so a journey through this area is necessary if you’re en-route to Cape Town. And if you do find yourself there, go one step further and take the road less travelled. Get off the highway and experience some (actually) really good tarred roads connecting Karoo towns- doing this you can truly appreciate the open, beautiful spaces in South Africa.
The long straight roads will lead you to enchanting towns, somewhat stuck in the past with their Victorian architecture. Telling stories of days gone by when the area was filled with Boers trekking through the interior, fighting bloody battles against the Brits and locals in the Anglo-Boer War.
In the Karoo, much like other parts of the country, you will be awed by a spectacular array of cloud formations. I love them for the depth they give to photographs and can find myself looking at them for ages. What is it about South Africa and clouds? Nothing beats them.
I’m not a morning person, but on the odd occasion, when I’m forced to be up to see the sun rise, I realise that dawn is an incredibly beautiful time of day and one that I should really make more of an effort to see. Unfortunately sleep is very important to me. There are plenty of child-raising years to come where I will be up around that time.