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Klein Karoo

The part of South Africa which is described as 'Karoo' occupies a large part of the land. The Karoo is divided into two eco-regions: the Succulent Karoo in the west that runs partly along the Atlantic coast and the Nama-Karoo which forms part of the inland. The Nama Karoo is divided into the Great Karoo in the north and the Klein Karoo in the south in the Western Cape Province. The Klein Karoo or Little Karoo is geographically a long valley, which is bordered at the north by the Swartberg Mountains and at the south by the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains. The exact boundaries of the area are nowhere defined but most people go out of the area around Barrydale as the western boundary and Uniondale as a border in the east. The Karoo is a semi-desert where there is little rain, so the ground is very fertile and with just a little rain you get beautiful flowers there. There is particularly low vegetation such as Fynbos, succulents, aloes, proteas and beautiful dwarf baobabs.

The 'capital' of the Klein Karoo is Oudtshoorn and is known for the Cango Caves, ostrich farms and the Swartberg Pass. Other places in the area are Ladismith, Calitzdorp and De Rust. The railway line between Cape Town and Johannesburg runs through this area and leads, among other things along the historic village of Matjiesfontein.

Although this region is drier than most other wine producing regions, there are fine wines but also port, brandy and muscatel produced. The Klein Karoo Wine Route is one of the most diverse wine regions in South Africa and runs along the familiar and beautiful Route 62 with Montagu in the west and Langkloof in the east.

Those traveling in this area can visit the Anysberg Nature Reserve. The 44 515-hectare nature reserve is located between Ladismith, Laingsburg, Touwsrivier and Montagu approximately 4 hours' drive from Cape Town. You will find the typical Klein Karoo field, Fynbos vegetation, succulents and on some upper parts beautiful proteas. Hikers and mountain bikers can enjoy themselves in this area and birdwatchers can keep their eyes open to as many of the 180 bird species that live here. A two-day riding tour will be through the area and there are places to find rock drawings of the Bushmen. In the mountains live leopards, jackals and caracal, but these shy animals are rarely seen. The reserve currently include; ibex, divers, gemsbok, hartebeest, turtles, snakes and lizards.

Your holiday begins at South Africa Specialist.