Moving to the Platteland

4.00 out of 5
(7 customer reviews)


The ins and outs of semigration to Small Town South Africa.

All About Life in the Country


Ever wondered what it’s like to move from the city to a South African dorp?

In their years of travelling through Small Town SA, Karoo-based photojournalists Julienne du Toit and Chris Marais have encountered all kinds of new arrivals to the platteland. They include animators, sculptors, cartoonists, movie set designers, geeks, hotel owners, chefs, stock market analysts, writers, editors, photographers, nurses and teachers, tattoo artists and moonshiners.

Julienne and Chris are also part of this ever-growing group of former city-based semigrants now based in the countryside. Moving to the Platteland records some of what they experienced when they left Johannesburg and moved to Cradock in 2007. But even more valuable are the recorded insights, observations and advice from dozens of other people who have also made the leap from the city to the fresh air, open spaces and relative peace of the South African platteland.

How did they do it? What made them do it? Where do their children go to school? How did they get their restaurants, guesthouses and businesses going? How did they find their niche, their creative sweet spot, their perfect little dorpie?

The answers to these and many more questions about life in the country are tackled in Moving to the Platteland. This illustrated book offers you a decade of insights, warts-and-all experiences and advice on the practical and the social aspects of thriving in a small South African town.

* Price includes registered post. If you’d prefer to have it couriered, the price is R280. Enquiries to


4.00 out of 5

7 reviews for Moving to the Platteland

  1. 4 out of 5


    I received the book yesterday thank you. I absolutely love it! I sat up last night and read the whole thing. I just couldn’t put it down!

  2. 4 out of 5


    Thanks so much, the book arrived this week and we are avidly devouring it! It’s fabulous and exactly what we need as my husband and I prepare for a new life next year in Stanford (and possibly a restaurant)!

  3. 4 out of 5


    Got the book and absolutely love it.
    Know some of the people being quoted too and familiar with many of the places referred to as a result of us riding many miles through and in and around the Karoo on our sidecars.
    Excellent choice of cover for the book.

  4. 4 out of 5


    Congratulations on a well written and absorbing book. You have got the balance perfect, between case studies of those that have made the successful transition to the platteland and good practical advice to those who are contemplating the move.

    I also enjoyed Chris’ photographs. What made it more interesting is the fact that I know many of the characters that you featured. It is a great read.

  5. 4 out of 5


    I am thoroughly enjoying dipping into it – it is going to be on the coffee table for a while yet.

  6. 4 out of 5


    Have now finished reading (and digesting) your very generous book.
    You share details that have been hard-fought accumulated, over many miles and much time.
    And so saving those of us that will listen, a lot of time and money. A lot!

    We South Africans are lucky to still have options. And while my husband Ian and I contemplate our future options, expect to have numerous sunbeams hit your heads, as someone says “thank you J and C for showing us a better path and the hidden dongas”.
    (Donga: hole you fall into when your sight is impaired by rose-tinted glasses)

    Your show-and-tell format is also excellent: small bite-sized reading portions, with perfect pictures,a flowing writing style and a professionally produced result. Congratulations!

  7. 4 out of 5


    Moving to the Platteland – Life in Small Town South Africa by Julienne du Toit and Chris Marais conjures the zeitgeist of abandoning the big cities for bucolic bliss in the Karoo and country surrounds.

    Everyone’s doing it, or at least thinking of doing it, which makes this book so prescient!

    Both authors are well established and an absolute joy to read!
    Don’t even think of making the Big Move without a copy!

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