Midwinter in the Karoo and there are snows about.
For visitors it’s a time for gumboots, thick gloves, industrial-strength coats, woollen socks and beanies.
As you drive out into the cotton wool countryside, the sun emerges and the light sparkles. There are heavy snowdrifts on bossies, fence posts, prickly pear fields, windpumps and acacia trees. The incredible hills that surround you look like icing sugar outcrops.
It’s mid-year, but it all feels very, very Christmassy. And here’s a secret: you’re now in the most romantic winter spot in South Africa.
Snowtime in the Eastern Cape Karoo can be lots of fun, if you heed the route warnings, stay on the main roads and travel with basic winter gear like candles, snacks, water, a flask of something hot and a couple of those fluffy knee-blankets.
There’s always the chance you’ll be snowed in at your guest farm, which means you have an ironclad excuse not to report back to the office on Monday. So just chuck another log on the fire, fill the glass with red wine and, ahem, chill.
If ever you’re snowbound in Nieu Bethesda, you should immediately check in at The Karoo Lamb or the Ibis Lounge and ask what’s for dinner. Karoo snow business works for everyone.
An excerpt from Road Tripper Eastern Cape Karoo by Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit, due for release in October 2016.