December 9, 2015 by DAVE JACK
I remember when I first heard about the Karoo as a youngster it was tales of a monotonous stretch of tarmac of absolutely nothing going on for about 5 hours between Johannesburg and Cape Town that was incredibly boring and good only for testing your car to see how fast you could go.
As the years went by and I started travelling more and particularly as I started travelling more on my Harley Davidson I got to know the Karoo and the better I got to know it, the more I fell in love with the Karoo.
It’s vast and it’s very difficult to describe and I was trying to figure how best to do this when I came across what can only be described as a “gem” of a getaway in the Oudtshoorn area of the Karoo and following them on Twitter I was blown away by the photographs they posted, not only of their guestfarm De Zeekoe Guest Farm, which is a working farm, but of the area around Oudtshoorn so I asked Paula Potgieter, the owner of De Zeekoe if I might use some of their photos to add to some of my own, to try to explain to people who don’t know the Karoo – at least this part of it – and as I said there is so much of it, a little of what it’s about.
So what I have done is used the old adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” and kept the words to a minimum.
Enjoy – and thanks again to Paula Potgieter from De Zeekoe Guest Farm. Incidentally, the website address of De Zeekoe is www.dezeekoe.co.za. I haven’t been there yet but it is certainly on my bucket list when the stress of Jozi gets too much.
When you have explored the area around Oudtshoorn, move the Graaf Reinet area. So much more to see there. You hear stories about Route 66 in the USA. Bring it on any time you like! We have the Karoo!
Looking out from De Zeekoe Guest Farm
Guess this could be called “gentleman farming”
Tranquility at its best.
Oudtshoorn – the “Ostrich Capital”
Oudtshoorn through the mist from Robinson Pass that links Mossel Bay to “the Ostrich Capital”. Another spectacularly scenic route. Note the proteas in the foreground.
Cango Caves outside Oudtshoorn – simply spectacular
The Swartberg Pass
Proteas on the Swartberg Pass
Meiringspoort – one never tires of this beauty! Just 40km from Oudtshoorn.
Another view of Meiringspoort
There’s also the Huisrivier Pass between Calitzdorp and Ladismith on Route 62. Spectacular in a different sort of way but then that’s the Karoo!
The area around Oudtshoorn is a birdwatchers paradise with over 160 different species to be found. The Fish Eagle is just one of them.
The meerkat thrives in this area and De Zeekoe Guest Farm even arranges “safaris” to go out and study these fascinating little creatures in their natural habitat.
And of course the Oudtshoorn area well known for it’s ostrich farming.
It’s off the beaten track where you find the true beauty of the Karoo and the peace and quiet that goes with it.
“Take me home Country Road to the place I belong” (apologies to John Denver)
Another perfect day comes to an end!
And you have to go some to beat a Karoo sunset.
These are just a few photos of what the Karoo is all about. It would take much more space than I have available to show you what the Karoo is all about.
If you are on Twitter, follow @Dezeekoe for some amazing photos of the area around Oudtshoorn and @Karoo_stories for equally stunning photos from the Graaf Reinet area.
Above all though, if you have never been there, do yourself a favour and discover it as I have done and I’ll be surprised if, like me, you don’t fall in love with the Karoo. The peace and quiet of it where you can virtually hear the silence.
It’s so good for the soul.