With the first rains, the seemingly arid soil of the Karoo bursts into abundant life, its hardy succulents complementing the sweet grasses on which the region's merino and fat-tailed sheep graze. The everpresent windpumps testify to the countless streams flowing between fissures underlying the dry but fertile soil.
Small, isolated but welcoming villages, a distinct Karoo architecture and imposing churches rest in valleys between desolate, flat-topped koppies. Take a short trip from Colesberg, an essential stopover for all travellers and a sheep-farming centre, to Hopetown, the scene of South Africa’s first recorded diamond find.
Return, passing Orania, a self-proclaimed Afrikaner volkstaat, before making your way to Vanderkloof and the Rolfontein Nature Reserve on the shores of the great Vanderkloof Dam.
Indulge in watersports or relax on its secluded banks which stretch 100km to the Doornkloof Nature Reserve on the man-made lake's southern shores. Throughout this wonderful part of the great Karoo, you can visit, hunt or hike on game farms and nature reserves teeming with every species of antelope. And, like the country they live in, the hardy inhabitants of the Karoo make you feel immediately at home in their beloved countryside.