South Africa – Eastern Cape
Historical Walking Tour
Take a guided walk through the streets of the 4th oldest town in South Africa, the architectural “Gem of the Karoo”, with Cape Dutch, Victorian and quaint Karoo-style homes. Learn about its rich historical and cultural past and visit landmarks and national monuments including Reinet House, the old Drostdy, Stretch’s Court, the Dutch Reformed Church and the Graaff-Reinet Club where bullet holes in the bar-counter reveal a fascinating past.
Camdeboo National Park
Travel by open Land Rover and see incredible open landscapes, with 225 bird species, 34 reptile species and 43 mammal species including kudu, blesbok, black wildebeest, oryx, cape mountain zebra, buffalo, red hartebeest, springbok and eland. 6 Mammal types not found in Kruger Park!
Valley of Desolation
Experience the hauntingly beautiful “Cathedral of the Mountains” in the Camdeboo National Park with spectacular 120m high cliffs and columns of ancient eroded volcanic rock that stand sentinel over the endless, parched and silent Karoo plains. Panoramic views over Graaff-Reinet and the spectacular Plains of Camdeboo are afforded. On a good day the Cockscomb Mountain is visible on the distant horizon 150km away. An optional hike along the cliffs overlooking the valley is also possible.
Mountain Zebra National Park
Take a drive over the Sneeuberg Mountains to this 28 000-ha park established to conserve the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra. From the mountain tops one is afforded panoramic vistas of the “Karoo Highlands”. Plains game abound and the reintroduction over the last years of Cape Buffalo, Black Rhino and Cheetah make this park well worth a visit.
Bushman Rock Art & Gondwanaland Fossils
In the Sneeuberg Mountains lies a sheltered oasis, a well-watered hollow hidden high up on the inhospitable plateau where man has lived, and hunted, and survived for thousands of years. Take a guided tour to the paintings in a nearby rock-shelter, see hundreds of Bushman artefacts and learn about the vanished Bushman & Khoikhoi cultures. This area is also part of what is known to palaeontologists as the Karoo Basin of the former Gondwanaland; “the richest reptile fossil depository on the planet.” Take an informative guided tour of the fossil museum where hundreds of these fossils are to be seen.
Scenic Flights & Charters
Take a scenic flight in a Cessna 210 and view from above the dramatic Karoo landscape, the Camdeboo National Park & Nqweba Dam, the town of Graaff-Reinet nestled in the horseshoe of the Sunday’s River and the majestic Sneeuberg Mountains and the Valley of Desolation. Charters also available.
Nieu Bethesda and Owl House Tour
Take a scenic drive to this picturesque and secluded village in the Sneeuberg Mountains. Visit the Owl House; Helen Martins’ fantasy world of glass and concrete and see the talents of emerging township artists at the Bethesda Arts Centre. Learn about the ancient fossils of Gondwanaland and visit a Bushman rock art site on an optional excursion to a nearby farm.