Often referred to as the outback of South Africa, The Karoo is a semi – arid region in the country. It is characterized by vast open spaces with desert flora and fauna thriving across the plains. A bunch of small sheep farming and laidback towns, rocky layers, low rainfall, clear blue skies and either extreme heat or cold constitutes this charmingly arid land. Divided into the Klein Karoo and the Groot Karoo, this expanse spreads across 4 of the country’s 9 provinces and takes up to 40% of the country’s land. The Karoo is that large that you have to explore it slowly, town or area at a time. Otherwise you know what they say “Once you go Karoo, you ever go back.“
With a description so general and so vague, you are almost not enticed to want to visit the Karoo. It all sounds like it is such an uneventful area but that is the actual Karoo life you ought to see. It is the experience that counts, the real rustic country experience of a loving and friendly community and the togetherness of the locals. The Karoo life is such that everyone knows each other, you know your butcher, your storekeeper, your nurse or handyman who fixes anything from you toaster to your tractor. It makes a perfect alternative lifestyle. For those looking to detach from your ever busy life that is profoundly affected by just about anything, the Karoo is your ideal escape. Living the Karoo life is actually liberating.
A Chance to Re-invent Yourself
Stockbrokers become rose growers. Company mavens become cheese-heads. Former coal miners now make forest fairies for a living. Old journos become wine-makers. OK, that’s not much reinvention but it’s something. http://bit.ly/2rFMqrv
Another thing you will enjoy living in the Karoo is its timelessness. The old Cape Dutch and Edwardian buildings will just take your breath. Strolling along the streets of Graaff- Reinet or Nieu – Bethesda is the best thing you can do to relax and take you back in time. Riding ostriches in Oudtshoorn is also great if you need to shake it up a bit. Although change is taking place slowly, the old charm is resistant and is still very prominent in many Karoo towns. The annual gatherings such as the Vleisfees in Calvinia every August continue to hold the sense of community together.
Stay tuned for more exciting blog about the ins and outs of South Africa.