Karoo Memories. Code (OV06) A 7 day tour.

 

6 Nights, 7 Days

Karoo Memories

(This tour can depart from either Port Elizabeth or Cape Town)

 

 

Day 1

Port Elizabeth to a Karoo National Park

A warm welcome at the airport or your place of residence in Port Elizabeth.

Depart for a National Park in the Great Karoo. This is a spectacular game reserve with high mountains and vast plains filled with a wide variety of game, while the apex predator here is the Cheetah, the fastest of all land animals.

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We book into our accommodation after viewing some of the game on our way in.  Alan tours will prepare the evening meal over the coals of a wood fire after which we turn in for the night and a comfortable rest.

 

Day 2

National Park

Good morning South Africa!

Leisurely morning wake up for coffee, tea and rusks and depart on an early morning game drive in our tour vehicle, viewing a wide variety of African plains and other game on this vast landscape, including herds of Springbok, Black Wildebeest, Blesbok, Mountain Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Eland, Ostrich, Ground squirrels, Meerkats, Cape Buffalo, Black Rhino, Brown Hyaena and the apex predator, the sleek Cheetah.

 

 

m_91..jpgThere is a varied and wonderful bird and reptile life that makes these plains and valleys their home in this spectacular park.

Returning to our accommodation we take a well-earned breakfast at the main camp.

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In the afternoon there is the chance to travel a short distance to a typical Karoo town where we stop for lunch while viewing the attractive, Eastern Cape architecture, museums and other places of interest.

Alan Tours prepares the evening meal over an open wood fire while you relax over a welcome sun downer quietly listening to the sounds of the day as it prepares for the night while Alan tours puts the final touches to the evening braai, around the glowing embers of the evening fire, under a vast diamond encrusted Karoo sky, before finally turning to your comfortable bed rooms and a refreshing nights rest.

 

Day 3

National Park to Nieu Bethesda

After breakfast we check out and depart for Graaff Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa.m_123.jpg

The town was founded by the VOC Dutch East India Company in 1786, being named after the then governor of Cape Colony Cornelis Jacob van de Graeff and his wife whose maiden name was “Reynet".

This very attractive and well-maintained town lays 750 metres above sea level and is built on the banks of the Sunday’s river. There are many attractions to be seen in the town with some beautiful Cape Dutch architecture and the Dutch Reformed mother church on the square is a beautiful example of the Gothic style used to great effect at the time.

The church is the symbol of the town; constructed in 1886 and consecrated in 1887 the church is modelled on England’s Salisbury Cathedral.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If there is sufficient time we visit the Valley of Desolation, a geological phenomenon.

The vertical cliffs and columns of dolerite rock that teeter precariously 120 metres above the valley floor below are a breath taking sight.

 

After lunch in Graaff Reinet we continue to Nieu Bethesda in the foothills of the majestic Sneeuberg Range in the middle of the Karoo Heartland. 


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Nieu Bethesda was made famous by the eccentric Helen Martins and her helper Koos Malgas in the 50's she created the strange and wonderful Owl House and Camel yard now a museum and contains over 300 concrete and glass sculptures.

Passing through Nieu Bethesda we continue to our accommodation to meet our hosts, check in and depart on a guided tour of one of the shelters and hear about the Bushmen their rock art, culture and beliefs.

 

m_277.jpgWe view Bushman paintings, listen to a story of the Anglo Boer War of 1899 to 1902 and experience a medicinal plant walk where we learn more about the rich history of the area and a hearty home cooked meal before making our way to bed for another restful night in quite of the Karoo landscape.                      

 

Day 4

Nieu Bethesda to a Karoo National Park

Wake up at your leisure for coffee and tea before a delicious South African breakfast. 

After breakfast we depart on a guided tour of the farm museum with its fossil collection and artefacts before we head for the hills on a guided tour of the fossil bed. After returning we check out and depart via Murraysburg to the tranquillity of a National Park. The reserve is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld Mountains and rolling plains, where many species that originally occurred here now occupy their former ranges.

 

The Park has a wide variety of endemic wildlife. Many species have been relocated to their former ranges - such as Lion, black rhino and buffalo, as well as Cape mountain zebra. Over 20 breeding pairs of black eagle find sanctuary within the park.

 

Day 5

Karoo National Park to Carnarvon

Early wake up for tea, coffee and rusks and depart on a morning game drive in the Park, keeping an eye out for some of the magnificent Black Eagles that inhabit these rocky crags, Lions possibly on an early morning kill, Buffalo and the elusive Black Rhino in the park.m_321.jpg

Returning  back in time for breakfast and check out before leaving this reserve for the small village of Carnarvon and our overnight accommodation on a remote guest farm in unique, antique Corbelled houses.

The early pioneers, the Voortrekkers from the only materials available to them in this harsh, arid environment, millions of flat rocks, constructed these round shaped, Corbelled houses using the rocks from foundation to roof, 6 metres above the floors. Here we experience the silent solitude of the Karoo at its best.

We have an early dinner on the farm before going to bed in this peaceful landscape.

 

Day 6

Carnarvon to Sutherland

Early wake up for coffee and tea in this awe-inspiring environment.

After a short walk to appreciate the silence of this huge area and to look for the myriad of different life forms that make this place so unique, we have breakfast, check out and depart for Sutherland one of the coldest places in South Africa and home to the largest single optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

m_594.jpgBased on the design of the Hobby-Eberly telescope in Texas U.S.A., it consists of a primary, hexagonal mirror 11 metres wide made up of 91 individual hexagonal mirrors each one metre wide with a weight of 100kg.

Arriving in Sutherland in time to check into our accommodation, have a good lunch at one of the local restaurants before and departing on a guided tour of the Observatory some distance outside the village.

Returning to the village we have time to enjoy more of the local cuisine for dinner before joining local astronomer for some fascinating stargazing.

Returning to our accommodation for another peaceful sleep in the coldest place in South Africa, the village of Sutherland.

 

 

 

 

Day 7

Sutherland  to Cape Town

Leisurely wake up before breakfast, after which we check out and depart on the last days journey through some of the driest parts of South Africa known as ‘Die Moordernaars Karoo’ (Murders Karoo) where bandits and murders sought refuge for crimes committed in Cape Town.

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We start our decent from the high plateau towards the coast, descending through some desolate areas before reaching the fertile valley and a landscape transformed by fruit orchards and other crops.

Dropping further through the spectacular Bain’s Kloof pass as we continue on the last stretch before reaching our destination, the spectacular Cape Town,  the tavern of the seas and the end of your collection of Karoo memories tour.

 

m_516.jpgTour includes:

 

  • 7 day guided tour and excursions
  • 6 night accommodation
  • Entrance/Conservations fees
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • bottled water in tour vehicle

Not included:

  • bar bills
  • personal shopping
  • gratuities
  • Accommodation in Cape Town 

 

Rate per person sharing: R 35 000.00

Minimum two persons

Rate valid till 31 October 2018

  

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