The Karoo is a land of rolling mountains, often snow-capped in winter, vast plains that surround where you can almost see the curve of the earth’s surface as they merge with the distant horizon, the distinctively clean-shaped hills or Karoo koppies capped in the hard rock resulting from millions of year’s erosion and dotted here and there, the small towns and villages that service the needs of the scattered communities of the Karoo.
The region is very barren, and the main economic activity is wool and meat from hardy Karoo sheep and goat farming, providing mutton, wool and pelts for local and international markets, especially since livestock can frequently be provided with a regular supply of water from boreholes.
Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life which has all adapted in various ways to survive in these inhospitable conditions.
The Karoo Heartland is famous for its intense climate with low rainfall, arid air, cloudless skies and extremes of heat and cold, the region experiences long hot summer months and moderate winters, so as long as you are geared for the cold weather with a jacket, or loads of sunscreen and a hat in summer, plan to come any time of the year.
Sit with astronomers on a hill outside Sutherland, home of the Southern African Large Telescope, and relish the heavens above.
Enjoy Prince Albert, gateway to the Great Karoo, at Olive Festival time and listen to the happy gurgle of the water furrows as you sit on your stoep (verandah) on a warm summer’s evening.
Go in search of the world-renowned pre-dinosaur fossils in this region - these fossils show that life has existed in this region for more than three billion years.
Get some culture at the Owl House.