A Karoo road trip is one of the best ways to travel the vast expanse that is the Karoo.
“Its particular rare mix of rugged mountains, vast open spaces, idiosyncratic little towns, star-studded skies devoid of light pollution, sheep farms, and back of beyond windmills make it road trip country like nowhere else in the world.”
There are many ways to do a Karoo road trip:
Route 62, the world’s longest wine route that winds through the Klein Karoo. The upper Karoo sparsely populated plains southwest of Kimberley.
No matter what Karoo road trip you choose, here are a series of great places to stop.
Kimberley, the surprisingly interesting town and site of South Africa’s Big Hole, Kimberley might have begun as a diamond rush town but today its wide streets are lined with Victorian mansions, museums, galleries, gardens, battlefields and ghost routes aplenty.
Victoria West, its name might hale from the Victorian era. The only thing Victorian about the town today is its charming architecture. It survived both the effects of a disastrous flood in 1871 and the deluge of wagons en route between Cape Town and the diamond rush town of Hopetown, during the late 1880s. Today it’s a typical Karoo dorpie with plenty of accommodation and good antique shops.
This area of little rainfall, blue and cloudless skies, and extreme temperatures may have acted as a barrier to the interior from Cape Town for early settlers. Today it has come out of isolation to become a major tourist attraction – its immense spaces, incredible mountains, idiosyncratic towns and promise of escape the reason for its popularity.