A NEW adventure travel route has opened in the Karoo. Developed by non-profit organisation Open Africa, the Karoo Highlands Route aims to boost ecotourism in an area that depends largely on sheep farming.
The route links the scattered communities of Sutherland – where the telescope is – Fraserburg, Williston, Carnarvon, Loxton, Calvinia, Victoria West and Beaufort West. Good towns, all, although Beaufort West straddles a truck route and loses a few charm points accordingly.
The attractions on the ways include beehive shaped corbelled houses built by early sheep farming pioneers, Khoi and San rock art in the hills, cycling and hiking trails in magnificent country, and some of the prettiest and most interesting towns in the country.
One of the beneficiares of the project is the critically endangered riverine rabbit (Bunolagus monticularis), one of the rarest mammals in the world and only found in the Great Karoo – where probably fewer than 200 individuals survive.
For more information see www.openafrica.org.