Forming the inland south-west of South Africa, the Karoo is a (not very precisely delineated) region of semi-desert in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape provinces.
It is a vast expanse of endless skies filled with stars and horizons that are always just tantalisingly out of reach. This is perfect road-tripping country.
The Groot or Great Karoo covers a vast 400 000 square kilometres in the north, the largest portion of the Karoo. The Klein Karoo (meaning Little Karoo) is a smaller sliver in the south bordering the Garden Route in the Western Cape.
No two landscapes in the different areas of the region are the same. Nevertheless, the vegetation of the Karoo at large is low scrub and succulents. The arid air, cloudless skies and extremes of hot and cold can be observed in varying degrees throughout the region.
The Central Karoo makes up the largest area of the Western Cape and is its best-kept secret, some say. Explorers will be rewarded with inky black skies at night, perfect for stargazing. There’s also ancient rock art and over 750km of unique, semi-arid (in regions, positively prehistoric) desert plains in the Karoo National Park. This is a region designed with the explorer in mind and is an oasis for the soul.
What to do in the Karoo
Depending on which part of the Karoo you’re visiting, you’ll find a number of adventure activities, wineries along Route 62 and historical sites to explore.
Where to stay in the Karoo
Where to eat in the Karoo