On the Southwestern Cape of South Africa, you will find one of the most unique and interesting arid regions in the world; Central Karoo. The word Karoo is derived from the Hottentot language and means 'dry thirst land.' Today, the region is considered a veritable scientific wonder. A large number of archaeological sites are situated in the region, many of which have been quite important. In Nelsport and Beaufort West, Bushman petroglyths and stone-age sites have been discovered. The undiscovered world of Karoo offers quaint villages, historic settlements and bountiful wildlife, so be sure to bring along your camera and binoculars. Visitors will find a number of accommodation options, reasonably priced to meet the budget and taste of all visitors.
Situated conveniently between Johannesburg and Cape Town, visitors will find Beaufort West. The Bushmen, or Xam, which once lived here have left excellent examples of rock engravings that are definitely worth exploring. In addition, you will find a wealth of fascinating architecture in the historic center of town. Be sure to stop by the Town Hall, as it is the oldest in the entire country; dating back to 1837.
Any time of year is the perfect time to visit Prince Albert. In November visitors can enjoy the Harvest Festival while the Olive Food and Wine Festival come down during April. In October, the German Oktoberfest is held in honor of the consort to Queen Victoria, HRH Prince Albert. All of the festivals held throughout the year in Prince Albert pay tribute to the produce and foods of the local region including olives, figs, nectarines, apricots and peaches as well as wines are grown locally. Crafters, musicians, storytellers and artisans are frequently on-site to display their wares and entertain. Attend a cabaret, shop for something special or dance the night away. The choice is yours, as there is plenty to see and do in this special place.
Of course, you do not have to wait for a festival to enjoy the unique interest and charm of Prince Albert. Take an early morning stroll through the Saturday market for the chance to taste homemade, prize-winning cheese and locally grown produce. For a close-up tour of the town, hire a bike and enjoy a relaxing tour of the town. The later afternoons and evenings are the perfect time to sit back, relax and soak up local culture as you enjoy a slice of cake and cup of coffee at one of the charming cafes.
Between Cape Town and Beauford West, you will find Laingsburg; one of the most interesting areas in Central Karoo in terms of geology. The entire area was almost completely destroyed in 1981 by a flood. Almost one hundred years to the day after the town was originally founded; the Buffels River rushed through town and took with it a large majority of the settlement. Today, traces of this massive force of the flood remain. Come and enjoy a relaxing vacation in one of the farm holiday venues or enjoy some adventure on one of the rugged 4x4 routes.
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