Rietbron, Eastern Cape

rietbron

Rietbron has all the charm of a lovely, forgotten waif.

Welcome to one of the quietest villages in the Karoo: Rietbron.

If you’re an adrenalin junkie, a wild adventurist, someone who can’t sit still for a second or a person who needs a thrill a minute to survive, then you should bypass Rietbron.

In fact, it’s quite easy to bypass Rietbron. It lies somewhere on a 150km detour between Beaufort West and Willowmore, crossing the Amos River, the Muiskraal River which eventually feed the Sout River.

But Rietbron does not specialise in flowing rivers or mountain ridges in the distance. Most people think of the Karoo as a flat plate of geography floating in the belly of South Africa. It’s not.

You’ll always see rocky bumps on the horizon. Not, however, from Rietbron. It’s the Very Flat Mind’s Eye Karoo, where the horizon is only occasionally broken by the perky ears of a hee-hawing donkey straying into your field of vision. You have to want to visit Rietbron to get there.

And yet, so many big city types from Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town come here and fall in love with the space, the stillness and the isolation. They buy holiday homes here, which are renovated by a talented and enterprising builder-engineer, and escape to Rietbron whenever they can.

Just more than a century ago, local farmers between Beaufort West and Willowmore built themselves a church and box-like Nagmaal houses here. Which is probably how most of the settlements in the Karoo began.

 

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