Some of us believe there is no finer physical journey in the world than a Karoo road trip.
You might beg to differ, and offer up routes like the Silk Road, Route 66 in the USA, Australia’s Great Ocean Road or even long stretches of back-of-beyond Namibia.
But if you currently find yourself travelling in South Africa, or if you live here and feel like a real escape to pure space and open skies, then a Karoo road trip beckons.
Here are 12 traveller’s tips for your next adventure in South Africa’s Heartland:
- Become a biltong fundi. We specialise in kudu biltong, beef biltong, ostrich biltong and springbok biltong. We present it dry, moist or wet, depending on how you like it. Stop at the little butcheries along the way, make comparisons, go on a biltong-tasting expedition. Biltong is great road food;
- Keep lots of water in the car. Eating biltong is thirsty work, you could get hung up photographing a windpump or a distant bokkie – so keep water levels topped up;
- We grow excellent walnuts and pecan nuts – and they go down very well with your water and your biltong. What’s more, you won’t feel bloated at the end of a day’s driving;
- Never pass a padstal by. Unless you’ve ventured in, you’ll forever wonder exactly what they’re selling. And if the shop owner is friendly, you’ll end up spending some time there and gaining a few local insights. And, of course, topping up on biltong, water and nut.
- Head off to your local petro-port and buy a good old road map. Sometimes a GPS can’t handle the terrain out here;
- Go off the beaten track from time to time. Unlike the rest of Africa, life in the Karoo doesn’t revolve around the N1 highway;
- The Karoo has a select grouping of excellent hotels, from Matjiesfontein to Graaff-Reinet, Cradock to Steytlerville, Calvinia to Gariep. Speak to Karoo Central for more details;
- The standards of our self-caters and guest houses are rising every day, and the prices are still way below what you pay in the city;
- We really pride ourselves on our collection of farm stays, where you and the kids can chill out for days on end;
- We have some serious chefs in the Karoo who have adopted the local cuisine and given it their own spin. Look out for the best restaurants;
- Drive slow, don’t drive at night and keep an eye out for sleepy truckers or wandering kudus on the road. And please avoid our meerkats and tortoises – we love and cherish every one of them.
- For best planning, visit our Ebookstore and get the 3-for-2 offer: Karoo Keepsakes I, II and 101 Karoo Towns HERE.