Camdeboo Sterilization Initiative
Rapport Ryers Graaff-Reinet
where space, nature and heritage combine to offer
a Karoo tourism experience like no other place
TOWNS & ROUTES OF THE CAMDEBOO
The word Camdeboo, derived from the Khoi word meaning ‘green pool’ or ‘green hippo pool’ from the Khoi Cam-/Kam- ‘green’ and -debo(o) ‘pool, hippo pool’, has become synonymous with a sense of magical mystery. It was first popularised in Eve Palmer’s book “The Plains of Camdeboo”, published in 1966 and stretches from the south of the Sneeuberg to as far as Pearston and Murraysburg.
Surrounded by the Camdeboo National Park, Graaff-Reinet, the heart of the “Great Karoo” – Place of Thirst – is a boundless and mysterious area covered by vast livestock and game farms, where broad plains roll away to distant koppies and multilayered mountains that seem to touch the indigo sky. Listen to the silence, breathe in the aged earth and the Karoo bossies (which conjure up the taste of Karoo lamb!), and gaze at a startlingly clear horizon that seems drawn at the other end of the earth. Our clear night skies are studded with countless stars and huge bright planets; even other galaxies are visible with the naked eye, offering some of the best star gazing in the world. Fossils of some of the earliest forms of one-celled life have been discovered here, indicating that life has existed in this region for three billion years. The richness of pre-dinosaur fossils in this region is world-renowned.
We invite you to experience the magic of this area, discover eccentric little hamlets, sprawling farmsteads, the historical town of Graaff-Reinet and the nearby villages of Aberdeen and Nieu Bethesda, populated by warm and welcoming people that love to share their stories and legends.
GRAAFF - REINET
Established in 1786, Graaff-Reinet is the country’s fourth oldest magisterial district and has been named the “Gem of the Karoo”. The town is recognized as the home of magnificent examples of Cape Dutch, Victorian and Karoo architecture, and has over 220 heritage sites (more than any other town in South Africa!). The past is preserved in five extraordinary museums which hold collections of photographic memorabilia, firearms, artworks and fossils, tracing the story of the Karoo - and the town - from pre-history right up to the present day. This lovely town is the only one in South Africa that is virtually surrounded by a nature reserve, Camdeboo National Park, and is situated on the banks of the Sundays River. The lush gardens, parks and tree-lined avenues are in sharp contrast to the semi-arid vastness of the surrounding Great Karoo. Visit Graaff-Reinet for a true Karoo experience.
Situated in the scenic plains of Camdeboo, Aberdeen was founded in 1856 and has been declared an architectural conservation town. The town is a veritable repository of architectural styles including Victorian, Georgian, Karoo, German, Gothic Revival, Russian, Art Nouveau and Flemish Revival. This town offers the authentic Karoo lifestyle experience.
It will feel as though you have time travelled to the past when visiting the beautiful village of Nieu Bethesda nestled at the foot of the magnificent Compassberg, only a 30 minute drive from Graaff-Reinet. The town was first established as a mission station in 1875. It is renowned for its sacred Bushman rock art sites, fossils and the Owl House, which is a museum dedicated to the eccentric artist Helen Martins. This quaint village has no fuel stations, banks, ATM’s or credit card facilities, so fill up your tank and wallet beforehand.
7 TOURISM ROUTES TO EXPLORE….
Explore the gems of the Camdeboo area through our 7 Tourism Routes:
Heritage, Oral History, Palaeontology, Eco-Tourism, Kids Activities, Artists and Culinary….
Featured Listings (Click for More Info)
No 4 Rothman Street B&B
No 4 is situated in a well-lit, quiet street in a safe suburb of Graaff- Reinet. It is within easy walking distance of the shops and restaurants, and has secure off-street parking. There are five double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms available.
Karoopark Guest House
Accommodation at Karoopark Guest House is available in the Colonial-style manor house that was built at the end of the 19th century or in the tranquil garden setting. Today as a guesthouse, bed-and-breakfast accommodation and self-catering cottages are available with private entrances.
Middle Street Manor B&B
Situated in lovely quiet area, each room has its own patio with table and chairs overlooking well-maintained garden.Plenty of safe, secure off-street parking is available.
Traditional Karoo food all the way!
Based in the historic Parsonage Street in the “Gem of the Karoo” – town of Graaff Reinet. No 1 on TripAdvisor for December 2013!
Thyme & Again
Centrally situated Wheelchair accessable accommodation with true Karoo hospitality. 3 rooms have roll in showers. All rooms are airconditioned and heated with a small kitchenette on suite bathrooms, TV and hot blankets in winter. We offer braai and swimming pool facilities in the garden and have secure off street parking. We are in walking distance to the centre of town and very good restaurants.
Abbotsbury Guest House
Abbotsbury lies in small, perfectly-formed valley and a lush, well-tended garden. Half way between Johannesburg and the Garden Route Abbotsbury offers a restful stay, with great food, game viewing and birding.
Heather and Barry Vorster have only one problem with their accommodation, our guests enjoy the "home from home feeling" in each of our units that they feel so at home they don't want to leave.
Where excellence is our manner`
Karoo Bushman Paintings, Fossils and "The Owl House" all near this Award Winning
establishment with hosts who go the extra mile - a real karoo experience !
An award winning establishment where "excellence is our manner". Rustpunt is a 3 star graded and AA Highly Recommended luxury self-catering cottage mentioned as the "winner" in the Accommodation Awards Guide "South Africa's Best 2011" and mentioned with an award as Highly Commended in "South Africa's Best" Guide 2010, 2009 and 2008 and mentioned with an extra mile Award as “People Who Go The Extra Mile”.
The cottage is situated at a very beautiful spot with a large private veranda and stunning mountain views, forest and garden views, just 2 minutes walk to the famous Owl House and the centre of the village. Annemiek, your host, will welcome you to this tranquil and beautiful valley, good for the heart and soul.
Start your holiday to stay over for 2 nights to explore this interested little village with his Owl House and artists and art galleries.
Accommodation: Self catering cottage, fully equipped kitchen with coffee and tea facilities, 1 bedroom with king size bed, including heaters, electric blankets, fan and a large private veranda with braai, can accommodate 2 adults. Bathroom with shower and bath amenities.
The B&B consists of 1 luxury spacious double en-suite bedroom in the main house just near the cottage with fridge, coffee and tea making facilities. The room has a private entrance and private veranda. (Breakfast only from 15 Oct. till 1 May)
Activities: Two minute walk to the popular and interesting museum The Owl House, Kitching Fossil Centre and guided fossil tours, donkey cart rides with Jacob, Brewery, Art Centre, Cemetery, Old Water Mill. Excursions to Bushman paintings at Ganora Farm , game viewing in the surroundings.
Directions: Coming from Colesberg N1 to Middelburg on N9 in direction Graaff Reinet take the second turn off (tarred road) to Nieu Bethesda (Owl Route) about 20 km from the first turn off.
Coming from Graaff Reinet in direction of Middelburg on N9 take the first turn off to Nieu Bethesda (Owl Route). When you arrive in Nieu Bethesda follow the signs to the Owl House. In front of the Owl House is a road that goes over the river, drive to the end of this road (don't take the first turn off to the left marked "brewery"). At the end of the road is a T junction (Agatha Str.) turn right, on the corner you will see a yellow house, this is Rustpunt.
Fully-equipped air-conditioned one bedroomed unit, located in a quiet and secure area of the town.
Within walking distance to restaurants, shops, museums and other attractions. Ideal family accommodation.
Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Bakery and Deli.
TripAdvisor Certificate Award of Excellence July 2013.
Buitenverwagten Guest House
This Karoo Victorian-style home, in the shade of Jacaranda trees, was built in 1840 by a transport carrier and is now a national monument. Buiten Verwagten has a reputation of providing luxurious modern comfort.
Aa Qtansisi Guest House
This old Karoo home, circa 1856, has been created into a small boutique-type accommodation centrally situated in Graaff-Reinet, the jewel of the Karoo. Our guesthouse, named Aa'Qtansisi, is derived from the authentic original Khoisan language, meaning "We welcome You".
Noel-Jean Criel has resumed his daily Organ Recitals at the Nuwe Kerk.
South Riot Rally takes place at the Urquhart Caravan Park.
A New Multi-instrumental folk-duo THE BOTTOMLESS COFFEE BAND will be performing at THE JOHN RUPERT...
Contact Church Office 049 8922458
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