The Karoo Heartland - Eastern Cape
The Klein Karoo will steal your heart. The name' Karoo' originates from the Khoi word Karus - which means barren, dry and thirsty land. It is divided into two regions, the Great Karoo in the north and the Klein Karoo in the south. It is here that the largest diversity of succulents is to be found. It is more than that.
Often referred to as the ‘dry heart’ of South Africa, the Karoo Heartland is but a portion of the Karoo. The Karoo, regarded as something of a desolate, barren backwater best driven through at breakneck speed, is a huge semi desert encompassing close to 150 000 square miles that manages to sit astride all three Cape provinces. The Karoo Heartland’s rugged and intense beauty is dominated by vast, flat plains, rocky mountains, and the biggest assortment of succulents in the world.
This beautiful area, subject to red dust, thorny acacias, stunted vegetation, aloes, windmills, sheep and ostriches, boasts some of the quaintest towns in the country, as well as together with the dramatic valley of Desolation, the Owl House and the Camdeboo National Park. Today the Karoo Heartland has been repackaged as an enviro-region that charms with its unusual and unpretentious characters, eccentricities and diversity of activities.
The Karoo and especially Calitzdorp has become a distinctly hip and a happening place to visit.
Some of the best star-gazing and sunsets in the country are available in this incredible vastness.
The Karoo Heartland has been sequestered by a group of artists, hoteliers, restaurateurs and other creative souls seeking a lifestyle other than that offered by the country’s cities. The boom of consequent galleries, guesthouses, restaurants and a resurging ostrich business have turned the Karoo into a place well worth visiting.