After the gorgeous Drakensbergen we drove along the border of Lesotho towards Bloemfontein. It was after 67 nights that we finally slept in a proper bed again! We didn’t do much more than relaxing on this king size bed while browsing on the internet a bit. The news on the radio said that there was a heat wave in the Northern Cape. With our planned visit to the Karoo things were gonna get interesting (and hot)…
Why would you go to Kimberley?
Before we were going to shake things up in the Karoo we stopped in Kimberley. Every single person that we told we were going to Kimberley was surprised. “What are you going to do in Kimberley?!” was the sentence we got used to. Well we wanted to go ‘the Big Hole’! When we left Bloemfontein it was nothing but dry plains with some goats trying to find some grass.
About two hours later we arrived in a bloody hot Kimberley. It was in 1866 when a small diamond was found in the nearby river. This led to a rush of people coming towards Kimberley to try and find diamonds. The small hilltop soon disappeared and over the years a huge mine was formed. It’s also the place where the impressive ‘De Beers’ diamond company was founded and where they still have their headquarters. Currently it’s literally just a big hole which has been flooded. It’s one of these things that you have to see once in your life but now we knew what all those people meant when they asked us why we would go to Kimberley…
Spending a night near a padstal
We left the most uninspired guide at the Big Hole and drove straight into the Karoo. The biggest part of the Karoo is situated in the Northern Cape and it’s a semi desert and is almost treeless. The emptiness is truly wonderful. Our camp that night was along the highway near a padstal, a small shop here they sell local produce. Stargazing was simply amazing due to the absence of artificial light in the area. Even though it was 42 degrees during the day and 26 at night we still enjoyed every single minute of it.
We were surprised that there was such a cool coffee shop in this little village called Britstown. With enough caffeine in our bodies we made our way to Karoo National Park. This must have been one of the driest parks that we’ve visited. While the images on their website showed a way better campsite they did have two swimming pools which was a bonus with this kind of weather. It sounds a bit weird when visiting a game park but we merely enjoyed the pool and the animals that came to ‘see us’. Oryx, hartebeests, tortoises, zebras: we’ve seen them all. Yet again it was nature at its best.
Our final destination on our Karoo road trip was Oudtshoorn. Multiple ostrich farms can be found in that area but since we visited them before we enjoyed culinary Oudtshoorn. Beans about Coffee served delicious coffee on the porch. Jemima’s is another highlight in terms of restaurants to visit in this Old Cape Dutch style town. A proper filet steak or an Ostrich filet are their speciality. Tanned and with a filled stomach we ended our lovely little road trip.