Karoo Heartland Road Trip Part IV

sheep, karoo heartland
Roadside attractions en route through the Karoo Heartland.

Text & Pix by Chris Marais


Wow. It’s Saturday, and we’re in the final leg of our Karoo Heartland road trip. It’s high summer. It’s the Karoo. We need to find ourselves a pool.

Luckily, at our next overnight stop, the Karroo Theatrical Hotel just outside Steytlerville, there is such a cooling commodity.

And tonight, ta-daah, you will be presented with The Steytlerville Follies. Yes indeed. Don’t say we’re a bunch of backward yokels down here in the Karoo. We even have our very own burlesque show!

karroo theatrical hotel, steytlerville
The Karroo Theatrical Hotel – poolside oasis on a summer’s day.

Wild fly-fishing

After saying goodbye to Mark Hinds and Jacques Rabie (or Freddie Ferrari and Dame Leyla Lamborghini, if you prefer), we go north-east for some leisurely Sunday fly-fishing with Alan Hobson of the Angler & Antelope Guest House in Somerset East.

That night it’s a little raucous in Nigel’s Bar (named after Alan’s father) because we all caught monster trout in the Karoo (see? We’ve got it all!) and we are celebrating with a lot of single-malt whisky.

Which always makes a fishy story come out well.

fishing, karoo
Wild fly-fishing in the Karoo with Alan Hobson.

Cavers Country House

The next morning we face the final stage of our 10-day journey and it has been a pleasure travelling with you guys.

After visiting the Walter Battiss Museum in Somerset East, we head to Bedford village, the final settlement on this Heartland trip and check into Cavers Country Guest House on an historic old farm nearby.

We’re going a little four-star fancy tonight, staying over in a mansion and enjoying a candle-lit dinner that features fine country fare.

What? It’s hot so you want to eat outside? Fine, they’ll set up a braai for us at the poolside.

cavers country house, bedford
Cavers Country House, Bedford – your last night on this Karoo Heartland Road Trip.

Of Geese & Country Lanes

Bedford village is all about great gardens. Cavers itself has one of the best-known gardens in South Africa. If you want to know anything about a Heritage Rose, head for Bedford post-haste.

And so now we’re on the N10 going south to Port Elizabeth, where I’ll drop you off at the airport and say adios.

But I know you’ll be back. I saw you making the bookings…

bedford, eastern cape
The charm of back-street Bedford.


3 thoughts on “Karoo Heartland Road Trip Part IV

  1. Daryl Balfour says:

    Sounds great, “Stoffel vannie Karoo” – is this a self-drive where people tag along behind you in their own car, or are you including transport (in the dusty Karoo Space bakkie?) Cost?

    • Chris Marais says:

      Hi Theo – Our friend Darryl had his tongue in his cheek when he made the comment about us staging organised tours through the Karoo Heartland. The four-part series covers a self-drive route. You can do it anytime you want. Chances are you’ll bump into a Karoo Space bakkie along the way. That’s just Jules and I, gathering more Karoo stories for this website and our books. I hope you come down here one day and visit some of the places we outlined in the series. Regards, Chris Marais.

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