When invited to travel, I'll be the first to admit that staying local isn't necessarily my first choice. Having said that, my recent trip to the Karoo completely changed my outlook on domestic trips!The Mountain Passes
One thing that can be said about our amazing country is that we have some phenomenal scenery! From rainforests to dense bushveld and everything in-between, we really do have it all. Some of my personal favourites are the diverse mountain ranges. The three I visited in the Karoo were Outeniqua, Swartberg and Meiringspoort. All of them were unique in their own way and are definitely worth the daunting drive to the top. Whether it's to take a dip in a natural pool or just to take in the view - it's nature at its very best and shouldn't be missed.Great Cuisine
Did you know that The Karoo is the ostrich capital of the world? This neck of the woods is also renowned for its lamb. Other than that, there's nothing else, right? Wrong! The Karoo is home to many hidden gems and something that you will discover when you venture over there is that the locals are extremely proud of their produce and their culinary offerings! Some of the tantalising treats I tasted whilst over there were their organic olives, Guernsey dairy products and let's not forget the amazing wine that comes out of the Western Cape! Another worthwhile dining experience can be had in Prince Albert at the African Relish cooking school. The head-chef here worked under Rueben Riffel, one of South Africa's most well-known chefs!Stargazing
Living the city life, it is rare to be able to look up and appreciate the night sky. When you're in the Karoo, this is a completely different experience altogether. The night skies are one of the most spectacular wonders to be seen in the southern hemisphere. Even if you're not into astronomy, at the end of the night you will be left in awe and with the stars in your eyes!The People
When exploring the hidden gems and going off the beaten track in the Karoo, you'll discover that the people are one of the reasons that this part of our country is so phenomenal. They pride themselves in what they do and it definitely shows! Their hospitality alone is something that would place them on the map. From the craftsmen to the tour guides and the hosts at the guest lodges, they are all out of this world and one of the reasons that I will be going back!
Based on my experience, I can undoubtedly say that my perceived impressions of the Karoo were horribly mistaken. There's so much to see and experience that you simply will be left wanting more. The silence and the natural beauty is what makes this a destination in its own right and shouldn't be bypassed when travelling through the Garden Route.
Have you ever been to The Karoo? If so, share your experience with us!