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Klein Karoo

The Karoo is the heartland of South Africa – and the Klein Karoo is the heart of the heartland.

It’s the large rolling plane just north of the Garden Route that lies between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Swartberg Mountains World Heritage Site.

This is ostrich country – where the great feather barons made their millions in the early 20th Century – and it’s also a wonderful grape growing area, too. Here you’ll find the Cango Caves – Africa’s largest show cage system – as well as excellent game watching and bid watching, wonderful mountain biking, and some of the country’s most scenic mountain passes.

The Klein Karoo includes the towns and villages of Calitzdorp, de Rust, and Oudtshoorn.

We’ve listed just a few of our favourite attractions below. Please contact us to make your bookings – or to discuss an itinerary designed especially for you.

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Calitzdorp

The ‘Port wine capital of South Africa’ is also the fruit basket of the Klein Karoo. Local wine cellars include:

  • Boplaas Wine Cellar - world-class table wines, ports, pot-stilled brandies.
  • De Krans Wine Cellar - whites, reds, fortified wines, port
  • Calitzdorp Wine Cellar - whites, reds, fortified wines, port
  • Withoek Cellar - red wines, fortified wines, port
  • Axe Hill - port
  • Peter Bayly Wines - port
  • TTT Cellars - reds, rosés, ports, dessert wines
  • du'swaroo - shiraz, Ports

Other attractions:

  • Fruit and food!
  • Angling, birding, canoeing, star-gazing
  • Hot springs
  • The Donkey Trail – a ¾ day guided hike across the Swartberg Mountains

de Rust

  • Shop for antiques, bric-a-brac, and traditional delicacies, and enjoy Karoo hospitality at Ant Dora’s Spens, de Rusbank, and Tolbos Trading
  • de Rust is a magnet for artists and crafters: find and buy their work at the Village Art Gallery (behind the Village Trading Post)
  • Get around town with the a Donkey Taxi (although you do need to book with a day in advance...)
  • Enjoy outstanding mountain biking (MTB), hiking, and running (the annual Meiringspoort Half Marathon has become something of a cult event)
  • Wine tasting at Domein Doornkraal – where Swepie le Roux is the winemaker. (Sparkling wine: Tickled Pink. White wine: Chardonnay / Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Kuierwyn. Red wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Kanna Rooi. Fortified wine: Goue Jerepigo and Red Jerepigo. Sherry Port: Pinta, Kaptein, and Cape Tawny.)
  • Wine tasting at Mons Ruber Winery. (Sweet wines and brandy: there’s also an easy 90-minute hiking trail on the estate.)

Oudtshoorn

  • Cango Caves: the biggest show caves in Africa
  • Ostrich farms (Safari, Highgate, & Chandelier – working farms where visitors are welcome)
  • Buffelsdrift Game Lodge – game watching, horse rides, elephant experiences
  • Karusa Vineyards - wine tasting (Mediterranean-style white and red wines,  and Cap Classique sparkling wines made in the traditional French Methode) and micro brewery
  • Birding
  • Horse riding, hiking, and mountain bike (MTB) trails
  • Ballooning
  • The Swartberg Nature Reserve – a World Heritage Site (Swartberg Mountains, Swartberg Pass, Gamkaskloof / Die Hel, and Meiringspoort)
  • KKNK (Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees) annual festival of the arts
  • The CP Nel Museum – for its astonishing collection of musical instruments (amongst other things).