South Africa

Karoo tours & holiday packages

The quietest place in South Africa

Miles upon miles of sweet nothing, quiet days, small towns with friendly locals and the best stargazing in the country.

The Karoo comprises some two-thirds of South Africa's heartland. It's a semi-arid region, dotted with succulents and low bushy scrub and the wide flat plains are sometimes broken by craggy mountain ranges. The area has been compared to the Australian Outback and Arizona in the United States and it's a wonderful region for desert tourism. 

The region is divided into two sections: the magical Great Karoo to the north, a huge expanse of arid semi-desert, and to its south the more-vegetated Little Karoo, which is more accessible and easier to explore. Small, characterful towns connect the vast open flatlands and there are many options for authentic farm stays in beautiful stone cottages on working farms.

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Adel Groenewald says

It's fun to just pick a town at random and drive out for a weekend of peace, quiet and stargazing. I love all the farm houses out here where you get freshly baked farm bread and watch the sheep being milked.

More on Karoo holidays

In the Little Karoo, Oudtshoorn is the anchor town and it is here that the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, a popular annual event celebrating all genre of performing arts, is held. Other towns in the region are Calitzdorp, where travellers can taste the wines of the region, and Ladismith at the foot of the spectacular Klein Swartberg mountain range.

The Great Karoo holds an immense amount of beauty. It's about 400 000 square kilometres in area and is so undeveloped that at night the stars feel within reach. It may be the quietest place in South Africa. Towns to visit are the quaint Aberdeen and Nieu Bethesda. An overnight stay in the Victoria Manor Hotel in Cradock will spoil travellers with old-world charm and a traditional dinner while the Theatrical Hotel outside the mohair town of Steytlerville is a more remote option. In Sutherland, travellers will find the Southern African Large Telescope and it's the place to be for stargazing. In spring, Calvinia is a must-visit as the daisies provide a natural show.

Karoo Map

Karoo's location on Google Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about Karoo

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

What vaccinations should I get?

This is all dependant on the countries that you will be visitng and due to the status of certain vaccinations changing at times, please consult our experts before getting vaccines. go there.

Is it okay to drink the water?

In some parts of Southern Africa it is safe to drink the tap water, however it is highly recommended to stick to bottled water (mostly supplied) during your trip as even drinkable African water is completely different in taste and… go there.

Karoo - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Reviews on our Karoo safaris

Since the beginning, agents and staff of Discover Africa already work in a professional way for me to plan the trip. Their quick responses to my questions help us a lot before departing from our place to the Africa continent. When we were…


from Hong Kong

This was my first safari. I didn’t expect to be so pampered. Everything was first class. We had everything provided for us before even asking. We had a dedicated team at our service. Megan was on call whenever we needed something and she…


from Nigeria

Tanya was an absolute delight to deal with. From the first phone call she was extremely polite, professional and very eager to facilitate my requests regarding our safari. Our 3 nights at the V & A Hotel were fabulous and Motswari Game…


from Australia

Perfectly tailor-made tours that take all your wishes and requests into consideration. All my expectations were beyond fulfilled.

Henrik Wetterstrand

from Sweden

Living afar and trusting in an organisation with whom you have no previous knowledge can lead to feeling of mistrust and wondering whether what we have paid for actually exists. A little more proactive communication would have eased those…

Tony Russell

I just wanted to thank Discover Africa and Karl Svendsen - the safari was great - we saw many more animals than expected including cheetah, leopard, many lions and even a three-day old elephant calf. Additionally, we had our own hippo…

Margaret Dean

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Our African Travel Expert

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