The Klein Karoo
Did you know?
The caves extend for miles into the mountains, but only a small section is open to visitors
The Klein, or little, Karoo in the Western Province is a long valley that lies between the Swartberg and Langeberg mountain ranges. It is the domain of succulents, with the most diverse range of these plants in the world, and is also the smaller sibling of the Great Karoo, to its north. This beautiful landscape appears bleak to many at first glance, but its undulating colours and textures soon become visible. Dramatic rock formations and cave paintings add to its unique appeal.
The Klein Karoo in South Africa stretches from De Rust in the east and Barrydale in the west and includes the towns of Calitzdorp, Ladismith and Oudtshoorn, which is famed for its annual arts festival, the Klein Karoo Arts Festival and its rich ostrich farming history. Incredible plants like the dwarf baobab and aloe and carpets of dramatic flowers in spring make this area a nature lovers' haven.
Because of its climate the Klein Karoo is an interesting wine producing area and vineyards that are famed for their variety and high quality of wines can be found along most river banks. One of this enchanting part of South Africa's most amazing natural attractions are the Cango Caves, near Oudtshoorn. This dramatic series of caves were formed by rainwater eroding rock and limestone over 20 million years. The caves and its awesome gigantic stalactites and stalagmites were proclaimed as a natural monument in 1938. Thousands of local and international visitors have toured this spectacular site.
The Klein Karoo offers a wide variety of accommodation and activities and is one of the most unique and beautiful parts of South Africa. The Swartberg Pass in the mountain range of the same name offers spectacular views, as does the Meiringspoort Gorge. The Doringrivier, Gamkaskloof and Aynsberg nature reserves ensure that this unique environment is treasured for generations to come.