Karoo views and landscapes along the Swaershoek Pass

I don’t know how many times my tourism friends in Cradock and Somerset East have asked me if I have driven over the Swaershoek Pass yet. I just heard about the beautiful Karoo landscape and stunning views but because the route is 76km of dirt road I’ve been a little hesitant. But that changed recently when the N10 road outside Cradock was blocked due to protests and I had to take the alternative between the two mentioned towns in the…

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Blue mountains of the Karoo

There is an Afrikaans folk song made famous by Johannes Kerkorrel that starts off mentioning the blue mountains. "Al lê die berge nog so blou,al lê die berge nog so blou,al lê die berge nog so blou,haar woorde sal ek steeds onthou."Whenever I see the blue silhouette of mountains on the horizon this song always pops up in my head and it was no different while driving through the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland on my way to Graaff-Reinet. This time…

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De Toren on the way to Nieu-Bethesda

If you have ever been to Nieu-Bethesda in the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland, you would have dropped down the winding pass towards the village and noticed the typical Karoo koppie on the other side of the valley below. Did you wonder what it's called? In case you did, it's called De Toren, translated to English as The Tower.

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Walking up Lady’s Slipper

In a way, walking up Lady's Slipper has become for Port Elizabeth like walking up Lion's Head in Cape Town. At one stage only a few people did it, but lately it has become a very popular outing. Not very far distance wise, but a tough cookie as far as terrain. It has been on my "To Do" list for so long and the other day I decided to tackle it with the family in tow. As the trail and…

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The Lady’s Slipper

For years I would drive along the N2 past Lady's Slipper mountain looking at it and wondering where the actual slipper was. At one stage I thought it may be the peak standing out over the mountain, but I just could not see it. That was until I heard that the slipper isn't visible from the N2 at 90 degrees side on, but rather that you have to be on the old road between the Falcon Rock turnoff and the…

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Koffiebus and Teebus on a moody day in the Karoo

The Karoo Heartland has a unique beauty which I have really learned to appreciate more and more as I have gotten older.  If you're a forest or beach person then the Karoo may not be for you, but if big skies and open spaces feed your soul then there is no better place.  One of my favorite Eastern Cape Karoo Heartland landmarks is the Koffiebus and Teebus mountains outside Steynsburg.  Although there are many similar Karoo koppies throughout the whole region,…

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A couple of surprises in the Camdeboo National Park

No visit to Graaff-Reinet will be complete without a visit to the Valley of Desolation yet I wonder how many people actually realise that the Valley of Desolation is located within the Camdeboo National Park, which actually reaches all the way around the town, and that you can also go game viewing in the park.  On our long weekend in Graaff-Reinet we spent our Saturday exploring the town's historical heart on foot and kept the Sunday to explore the Camdeboo National…

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The view from Lady Slipper

We all know Lady Slipper.  When you head west out of Port Elizabeth (or vice versa) on the N2 you drive right past it.  But have you ever been on top of the mountain.  The easiest way up is by following the road up to the towers from the back of the mountain and this is the view awaiting you from just below the Telkom tower at the top.

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A mountain pool dip

A couple of weeks ago I got to finally go on the Waterfall Hike at InniKloof outside Hankey.  Something we've been wanting to do for quite a while now.  It was a day of beautiful views, huffing and puffing over a mountain, nearly loosing a child in the wilderness and finally taking a swim in a refreshing mountain pool under the waterfall in stunning surroundings.  You can read more about our adventure in the post Up(s) and down(s) and into the…

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Drakensberg Amphitheater views

South Africa has two iconic "flat" mountains.  Table Mountain in the west and the Drakensberg's Amphitheater in the east.  It is below the Amphitheater in the Royal Natal National Park that we camped at Mahai during December and like with Table Mountain I just could not get enough of looking up at the Amphitheater.  Well truthfully, not just the Amphitheater but all the mountains around us, but that's what you do when you live in a city by the coast.…

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