Karoo Info Travel Directory

Karoo Info Travel Directory

General Information

Welcome to Karoo Info! Please browse through our user-friendly website to find Accommodation, Activities & Restaurants in the Karoo Region. ​The Karoo Info Travel Directory will guide you through this semi-desert region with two main sub-regions - the Great Karoo in the north and the Little Karoo in the south. The name Karoo originated from the original Khoi word, Karus, meaning dry, barren, thirsty land.

The Karoo is best defined by its vegetation which consists of assorted succulents and low scrub bushes spaced from one foot to several feet apart.  The Karoo Info Travel Directory offers information on the vast, arid plains and mountain ranges that make up most of this beautiful region.  The Karoo dotted with historic, hospitable towns, wildlife, fossils, wine routes and a wide variety of eco and adventure activities. This hot, dry, barren landscape covers much of Southern Africa. Here the main economic activity is wool and meat from the hardy Karoo sheep.

The Great Karoo

The Great Karoo is a vast and desolate region that sits to the North of the Swartberg Mountains. The huge plain was once a vast inland sea of lakes and swamps inhabited by dinosaurs which roamed over the region for 125 million years until their sudden end. Most of the time this desolate landscape can appear rather drab and uninteresting, but the Great Karoo can turn green overnight after a sudden rain shower, and the plains become a rainbow of colour as the flowers spring into life.

The Great Karoo has an area of more than 400,000 square kilometres. From a geological point of view it has been a vast inland basin for most of the past 250 million years. There were great inland deltas, seas, lakes and swamps once upon a time and great volcanic activity took place on a huge scale. Despite this, ancient reptiles and amphibians prospered in the wet forests and their remains have made the Karoo famous amongst palaeontologists.

The Klein Karoo

The Klein Karoo is the smaller of the two Karoo sub-regions. Geographically it is a fertile valley (bounded on the north by the Swartberg Mountain range, and on the south by the Langeberg Mountains and Outeniqua mountains. Although the boundaries of the region are not strictly defined, most people consider the western limit of the Klein Karoo to be in the region of Barrydale and the eastern boundary around Uniondale.

The main town of the region is Oudtshoorn. Other towns in the region include Ladismith, Calitzdorp, De Rust,and well-known mission stations such as Zoar, Amalienstein, Barrydale and Dysselsdorp.

Karoo Activities

Karoo Info Travel Directory provides a look at all Activities in the Karoo! The fossil-rich terrain of the Karoo has some of the most important archaeological sites in the world particularly near Beaufort West and Nelspoort where stone-age sites and Bushmen engravings have been found.

The region also boasts over 9000 plant species. The Karoo National Park is home to the endangered black rhinoceros, quagga and riverine rabbit. Birdlife is prolific and raptors can be seen hovering over the plains in search of prey.

The Karoo has a magic that cannot be described, but has to be experienced. It is a place of quiet repose, of replenishment and of inner peace. It is a place that has inspired poets, artists, authors and photographers throughout the centuries.

The Karoo is an adventure activity mecca - from rugged 4X4 trails, mountain biking down the Swartberg Pass, horse riding and hiking among the Karoo flora or just relaxing under the clear Karoo skies - you will not be disappointed!

The Klein Karoo Wine Route is arguably the most diverse of South Africa’s wine regions. It is the easternmost wine producing region in the country, stretching along the Route 62 from Montagu in the west to the Langkloof in the east.

More than just an excellent range of wines, the Klein Karoo Wine Route offers visitors its unique cuisine, the warmth and hospitality of its people, and the mystique of its landscape. The Klein Karoo Wine Route invites you to toast their variety!  The Route 62 is home to more than sixty-nine wine farms and eleven specialist brandy cellars, making it the longest wine route in the Western Cape, and possibly the world.

Karoo Accommodation

Accommodation in the Karoo ranges from Hotels, Guest Houses, Game Lodges, B&B's, backpackers, camping and caravan sites, self-catering and family friendly establishments.

Karoo Restaurants

Eating and drinking in the Karoo is a culinary experience not to be missed. The Karoo is a large area with many towns! The region offers a variety of traditional and wholesome Karoo dining experiences to suit all tastes and budgets! From the deliciously diverse flavours of South Africa’s indigenous and multi-cultural rainbow cuisine to culinary specialities from all over the world.

Tell us about your experiences in the Great Karoo & Klein Karoo and send us some pictures and a story. We will include this on the website to inspire others to travel and experience the beautiful area.

Businesses in the Karoo

​Please see our Business Directory for more information on businesses in this region.