The Karoo Explorer

Discover the charisma of the Karoo, a land of grandeur, sweeping skies and wide horizons… of space, silence and champagne air.

The tour will introduce the travellers to the Karoo, a place like no other, offering a diversity of scenery – fauna, flora, history and cultures.

Graaff Reinet, known as the “gem of the Karoo” is the Eastern Cape’s oldest town and is a heritage nerve centre boasting with over 200 monuments – more than any other town in South Africa. The history of this town is filled with stories of fierce conflicts between Boer commandos and English troops that sparked what was later to become the South African War (Anglo-Boer War) of 1899-1902. It was here that Reverend Van der Kemp of the London Missionary Society established his first mission station in South Africa. A mere stone throw from the centre of town is the eerie Valley of Desolation – a breathtaking fossil assemblage of dolerite pillars formed millions of years ago. The town of Nieu Bethesda, situated in the Sneeuberg Mountain Valley just outside Graaff Reinet, has transformed itself from a rural village into a vibrant cultural and artistic community. It is home to, amongst other, Helen Martin’s Owl House which attracts thousands of visitors every year. It has also become a popular destination for palaeontologists, amateur and professional alike, as Karoo fossils represents a period of over 50 million years and reveal much of the story of the land since it emerged from the Ice Age. It is not uncommon to accidentally discover a fossilised fern or prehistoric foot print while strolling along the dry river bed opposite the Owl House. Lying on the banks of the Great Fish River, on the site of what was intended as a Boer fort to contain the Xhosa who competed for grazing grounds for their cattle in this part of the Cape, is the historical town of Cradock – a serene but typical Karoo farming town. It is also the birth place of Olive Schreiner, an English literature author and human rights activist. Olive was said to have written the novel “The Story of an African Farm” whilst working as a governess on farms throughout the district. The Mountain Zebra National Park is located just outside Cradock. The proclamation of the 28 412 hectare park in 1937 saved the Cape Mountain Zebra from certain extinction. Today it is home to 300 mountain Zebra. Other animals, include amongst others, the cheetah, Cape buffalo, black rhino, eland, mountain reedbuck and gemsbok.

  • Graaff-Reinet
  • Valley of Desolation
  • Nieu Bethesda
  • Owl House
  • Ganora Guest Farm
  • Kitching Fossil Museum
  • Cradock
  • Mountain Zebra National Park
  • Olive Schreiner Museum

It is a three day, 2 night excursion.


R5 200 per person sharing
R6 500 per person (Single)

The price includes 2 nights’ accommodation (bed and breakfast basis), dinner on first night, transport, qualified guide, all entrance fees and bottled water. The price does not include lunch and any beverages. What to bring: Warm jackets in winter, hat, sun screen and sunglasses in summer, walking shoes

Terms & conditions apply

Enquiry / Booking Form

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