At the southern end of Jansenville is a bridge with an old Karoo house beside it, on the banks of the Sundays River. This is Ark in the Karoo, full of good food and handmade objects from the region.
Ark in the Karoo is part padstal and part restaurant and pizzeria, a very popular gathering place for locals and visitors. Remarkably for this part of the quiet Karoo, it is open on Sundays.
The Ark is also dog-friendly, with a place around the back for them to run around in safety.
And don’t miss the brilliant lemony-curried goat phyllo pastries on the menu or in the freezer, where you will also find lamb bacon, goat sausage, goat burger patties, goat salami and Russian sausages. Also, this is where you can buy a whole milktart or mutton chops or wors or venison or a leg of lamb in the freezer, at excellent prices.
In the shop, you also find fresh pannini, homemade biscuits and rusks, preserves made with quinces and green figs, citron marmalade, prickly pear syrup and plenty more. There are also pickled onions, garlic sauce, and a devilish hot Jansenville chilli sauce.
Part-owner Elna van den Bergh is the wife of an Angora goat farmer, so mohair objects are in good supply. Look out for the beautiful saddle made entirely from mohair and goat leather.
There is even a good bookshop in the padstal, with new and second-hand offerings.
Some items on the menu:
- Phyllo parcels of curry mutton
- Karoo lamb meatballs
- Gourmet sandwiches on pannini with kudu steak and caramelised onion
- Wood-fired pizzas that vary from simple Margaritas to meatier versions including ham and salami, feta, peppadews and olives
- Puddings include flapjacks with syrup and cream, banana and apple loaf, waffles with ice cream
- Milkshakes come in various flavours including black cherry, coffee or caramel.
Ark in the Karoo is open from Monday to Saturday 7.30 to 5pm and Sundays 8 till 5pm.