The Garden Route and Little Karoo, by Leon Nell
The Little Karoo lies huddled between its greater namesake and the Garden Route, which stretches between the Indian Ocean in the south and the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains to the north. In this wonderful book both regions are introduced by Leon Nell.
Once known as Outeniqualand, a land of dreams and promises, the coastal area between the Great Brak and Keurbooms rivers has drawn settlers for centuries with its great beauty and the hope of untold wealth. Although 'Outeniqua' is generally taken to be a Khoi word meaning man laden with honey, the name, according to another theory, derives from the San 'Obiqua', an abusive term for 'murderer' or 'robber'. Multiple corruptions and transposition of sounds among different nationalities of settlers and explorers (Dutch, British, French, German) are said to have changed the name to 'Obnika', 'Otnika', 'Auteniqua', 'Anteniqua' and, finally, 'Outeniqua'. This second meaning is belied by the beauty of what, the harsh realities of Africa notwithstanding, must once have looked like a Garden of Eden on earth. The Garden Route encompasses Outeniqualand, stretching along the southern Cape coast from Mossel Bay in the west to Storms River in the east. To the north are the mountain walls of the Outeniquas and the Tsitsikamma range. To the south, nothing but water and thousands of square kilometres of uninhabited Antarctic ice. Truly the end of Africa, the ancient cliffs of this coastline experienced the break from the mega-continent Gondwanaland millions of years ago. They have looked down on vast changes: fluctuating sea levels, the coming and going of ice ages, the extinction of the great dinosaurs. These great geographical upheavals not only changed the face of the earth, but heralded the beginning of various forms of life that adapted to meet particular needs. Time and life worked together to create the enchantment of the Garden Route. Man has lived here longer than most minds can comprehend. Long before Europeans began to settle as subsistence farmers along the shores of the Mediterranean, and long before the great tribes of central Africa started to move south, people inhabited this coastline, living off land and sea. Some excavations give evidence of human life along the southern shores of Africa as far back as 60000 years. Others, like those at Klaasie's River and on the west coast of southern Africa, indicate much earlier human habitation. Indeed, mankind itself may have originated in southern Africa. Today, a national road meanders east-west through a coastal platform only 15 km wide at its narrowest and 40 km at the widest, affording access to spectacular views, hiking trails, unspoilt beaches, nature reserves, majestic mountains and secluded settings - part of what the Garden Route offers. Ravines, gorges and lakes together with more than 65000 ha of indigenous forest make this a world on its own, as if this piece of earth is indeed a garden, something to be cared for always and nurtured. Most of the rivers along the Garden Route originate either in the Outeniqua or Tsitsikamma mountains, which means that their catchment areas are relatively small. There are no urban or industrialized areas to flow through and the waters stay clean and unpolluted. While some rivers cut across so-called Table Mountain quartzite, most flow through granite or Cretaceous mudstone. Specific geological characteris-tics influence the patterns of the rivers and their tributaries. The most important rivers are the: Gourits River west of Mossel Bay; Great Brak River between Mossel Bay and George; Swart, Kaaimans, Silver and Touws rivers between George and Wilderness; Knysna River (flowing into the lagoon of the same name); Bietou and Keurbooms rivers near Plettenberg Bay; Groot River at Nature's Valley; and the Storms River, which flows through Tsitsikamma National Park. [...]
This is an excerpt from the book: The Garden Route & Little Karoo, by Leon Nell.
Title: The Garden Route & Little Karoo
Author: Leon Nell
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781775840275 / ISBN 978-1-77584-027-5
Softcover, 21x25 cm, 256 pages, throughout colour photos
Nell, Leon im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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