"Powerful feelings affect the
mind of the traveller in the Karoo. He ponders the self-sufficiency of
nature, the insignificance of Man, the mystery of the universe as he
moves across the brown desert in shimmering waves of heat... The Karoo has a
breathtaking beauty. A peculiar characteristic of this great inland
plateau is that the scenery possesses a primeval solitude and silence... It has the primitive simplicity of a country just come from the hands of
James Byrne, scholar -1897
he Great Karoo is an enchanting vast inland high
plateau basin located in central South Africa. This expansive landscape
captures the imagination through its stunning sunrises and sunsets,
star-filled nights, abundant wildlife, and charming people. The sheer
size of the vistas quiets the human spirit and fills it with peace and
For comparison, the overall size of the Karoo is about the size of
California with an annual rainfall similar to Montana. It is a
semi-desert that is rich with a plethora of flora and fauna. There are
more than 9,000 different species of plant and animal life - more than
all of Great Briton!
This huge unique geological feature was formed by glaciers. When the ice
receded it left lakes and swamps that later teemed with reptiles and
amphibians in wet forests as indicated by fossil evidence. There was
also volcanic activity on a large scale forming enormous coal deposits
that are a backbone of South Africa's economy.
When Western people arrived in the Karoo in the 1800's they found native
peoples variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or
Khwe. These people were traditionally hunter-gatherers, part of the
Khoisan group. But the Karoo was also filled with stunning herds of many
kinds of antelope. At times, migratory springbok herds stretched from
horizon to horizon. As more settlers arrived gradually sheep became the
staple livestock of the Karoo. Even today Karoo Lamb is known far and
wide and is considered the best lamb in the world.
The Karoo is a land of wonders with geological diversity, fossils,
petroglyphs, native culture, Anglo-Boer War historical sites, colonial
towns, immense farms, and tremendous wildlife resources. The antelope
still abound in the Karoo providing the traveling hunter and local South
Africans with matchless shooting opportunities and delicious meat.
Experience the adventure at Jules of the Karoo!