Days 1 - 2
Extending across 400 000 square kilometres of the country, the Karoo is South Africa’s largest ecosystem and its semi-arid scrublands shelter a surprisingly rich diversity of plant, bird and animal life. Composed of the Great and Little Karoo, this vast semi-desert region may seem harsh and unforgiving to some, but to others, it’s a sanctuary of peace and silence with its own unique, compelling beauty. The Karoo’s landscape is characterised by rugged mountains hiding ancient caves, as well as undulating plains peppered with indigenous succulents and grazing ostrich and sheep. Highlights of the area are the fossil trail in the Karoo National Park and the annual Olive Festival in the small town of Prince Albert.
Days 2 - 3
Serving as the gateway to the arid wilderness of the Great Karoo, the little South African heritage town of Prince Albert is surrounded by an oasis of magnificent mountains, fresh sparkling water, lush gardens, vineyards, and fruit orchards. This Karoo gem is home to beautifully preserved Cape Dutch and Victorian buildings. It is a popular place in which to relax in the sun and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the town or appreciate the spectacularly clear and star-filled night sky to the rare sound of silence. Visitors can discover ancient fossils, visit a working moonshine distillery at the Fransie Pienaar Museum, enjoy a historical walking tour through the town, and drive along the edge of the harrowing 19th-century Swartberg Pass for dramatic mountain views. Other popular activities include hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, and botanical excursions.