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The Karoo


The Karoo is formed of thee parts - the Great Karoo is the larger, more northerly sub-region of the Karoo, bordering the Little Karoo in the south and the Upper Karoo in the north.

The Great Karoo's semi-arid highlands are characterised by dramatic mountain scenery contrasting with flat savannah plains which were once the home to huge herds of game.

Also known as the Klein Karoo, the Little Karoo is the long valley stretching across the Western Cape bordered by the Swartberg and Langeberg Mountains. The undulating semi-arid landscape is home to dramatic rock formations and a rich bio-diversity of fauna and flora.


One of the oldest Dutch settler towns in South Africa, founded in 1786, Graaff-Reinet is now home to more historic monuments than any other town in the country. The architecture bears all the hallmarks of a former capital of Dutch and later British territory. The Dutch Reformed Church, the Reinet House museum and all of the buildings on Stretch’s Court still have recognisable 19th century features. A very enjoyable stop in its own right, three hours’ drive from Port Elizabeth, Graaff-Reinet also combines well with a visit to the surrounding countryside of the Great Karoo, especially the Camdeboo National Park and sheer cliffs of the Valley of Desolation.


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The Karoo, South Africa
Just south of the Sneeuberg Mountain range, close to Graaff-Reinet, you’ll find the Samara Reserve. The 70,000 hectares nestles on the plains of the Camdeboo, which was once the scene of the great Springbok migration documented by David Livingstone.

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The Karoo, South Africa
Only a three and a half hour drive from Cape Town, Sanbona is one of South Africa’s largest private wildlife reserves and covers 54,000 hectares. Sanbona is also home to the only free-roaming pride of white lions in the world and the highly endangered Riverine rabbit. It also has seven recorded sites of San rock art dating back more than 3,500 years.

Accommodation options in The Karoo

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