Drive Southern Africa, by MapStudio

Drive Southern Africa (MapStudio). ISBN 9781770260085 / ISBN 978-1-77026-008-5

Drive Southern Africa (MapStudio). ISBN 9781770260085 / ISBN 978-1-77026-008-5

Drive Southern Africa (MapStudio). Example Zambia, Zambezi, Zimbabwe. ISBN 9781770260085

Drive Southern Africa (MapStudio). Example Zambia, Zambezi, Zimbabwe. ISBN 9781770260085

MapStudio's Drive Southern Africa covers routes in South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Peter Joyce  MapStudio  

WORCESTER TO HEX RIVER VALLEY

If getting there fast is not your game and you've time to take the slow-train route to Worcester, forego the Huguenot Tunnel (which has lopped 11km / 7 miles off the original road) and take rather the Du Toitskloof Pass road. It slowly winds its way through the stony contorted folds of the Du Toits mountains towering so high above you, you have to crane your neck to see where they tear at the skyline. On the other side, a section of the Breede River's long, fertile valley ambles past Worcester, making this town a major table grape and (bulk) wine-producing zone. The only place of interest worth stopping for is the Kleinplasie Living Open Air Museum which, through its replicas of frontier huts and hill-mountains In this park. You could bump Into a solitary black rhino, otherwise there are plenty of antelope and gazelle, mountain zebra, bat-eared fox and soaring raptors such as the black eagle. When you continue on your journey, and Beaufort West is behind you, look out for the Three Sisters, the most famous and most distinctive of the Great Karoo's sheer-sided conical hills. They have also given their name to a tiny settlement nearby, where the N12 peels off the Nl and heads up north. Tel: 023 415 2828; Email: mayvoreenj@sanparks.org; Website: www.sanparks.org; See Touring Map: page 36.

THE LITTLE KAROO

Together the vast, arid, Little and Great Karoo swallow up almost one-third of South Africa's total area. The classic Karoo landscape is made up of dry biscuit-coloured flatland Interrupted by dome-shaped rocky outcrops called kopjes, often capped with an erosion-resistant lid of dolerite. Eons ago volcanic action created the doleritic protrusions which, overtime, were whipped and weathered by floods into today's 'rondavel' shapes. Populations in this land are sparse. In place of the San and Khoikhoi who used to roam here are resilient farmers and their woolly sheep. Tel: 023 449 1000; Email: manager@skdm.co.za; Website: www.centralkaroo.co.za.

KAROO NATIONAL PARK

Skip Beaufort West and try this out instead! Just a few kilometres out of Beaufort West, the 600km2 (235-sq-mile) park is for walkers and lovers of wide open spaces and pure unadulterated silence. Facilities are basic and characterless but a [ 4x4 trail and a night in a remote mountain hut are what you want to go for. Three trails - an 11km (7-mile) day walk, a fossil trail and a short tree-identification trail - leave from the main restcamp. The park's geology dates back 250 million years and the Karoo's spell as a vast inland sea has yielded fossils of some very strange and fascinating creatures. Despite the Karoo's reputation for featureless sandscapes, there's a surprising outcrop of flat-topped workshops, recreates the life of the early Dutch pioneers between 1690 and 1900. Here, local people busy themselves with pursuits such as tobacco-twisting, candle-making and witblits ('white lightning', a lethal brandy-style potion made from peaches or grapes) distilling. After Worcester, the highway toils on up through the sandstone Hex River mountains, whose highest peaks Matroosberg, and Buffelshoek, are topped in winter with snow-icing. Far, far below like uneven jigsaw puzzle pieces, the vineyards are their most spectacular in the russet, burgundy and gold mantle of autumn. Tel: 023 356 2041/48 2795; Email: jcdamens@breedevallel.gov.za; Website: www.hexrivervalley.co.za; See Touring Map: page 35.

MATJIESFONTEIN

The nicest way to break the monotonous, unbroken stretch of the N1 is this hotel settlement built in 1900 and offering an unmonotonous respite for the eyes. In 1883 Scotsman James Logan saw an opportunity to create a dining stop along the railway before trains had their own dining coaches. It gained in popularity, and the Lord Milner was touted as a health spa - making a big deal of the dry and clear Karoo air. It opened its white turreted, Iron-lace-decorated arms to such esteemed guests as Lord Randolph Churchill, Olive Schreiner and the Sultan of Zanzibar. The two dusty streets of the Victorian-style railway station, post office, tearoom, shop and hotel are, In their entirety, a national monument. Tel: 023 561 3011; Email: milner2@mweb.co.za; Website: www.matjiesfontein.com; See Touring Map: page 35. (...)

This is an excerpt from the book: Drive Southern Africa (MapStudio).

Title: Drive Southern Africa (MapStudio)
Scale: various
Authors: various
Publisher: MapStudio
Cape Town, South Africa 2008
ISBN 9781770260085 / ISBN 978-1-77026-008-5
Softcover, 20x28cm, 207 pages, throughout maps and photos

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