Of all landscapes in South Africa, the Karoo has clinched the most marvellous of claims. It has been called ‘the world’s most extraordinary desert‘ (National Geographic) and ‘an envied rarity‘ (Country Life). It has also been described as South Africa’s ‘soul space‘ and its own ‘version of New Mexico, the Outback or the Gobi‘ (The Guardian). All of these impressions capture something of the magic of the immense and captivating place that is the Karoo. For those hearing the call of the Karoo, we suggest some extraordinary wilderness encounters and delightful guest houses in both the Great and Little Karoo.

Samara Private Game Reserve is a 70 000-acre protected wilderness in the Great Karoo, a place that was once home to dinosaurs and is now inhabited by all of Africa’s wildlife greats. Keep close company with the natural world and enjoy guided 4×4 and foot safaris, conservation activities, cheetah tracking, family activities, wilderness picnics and outdoor dining, and sleepouts under Karoo skies. Families are welcome at Samara and suitable activities are available for children. Mail us.

Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve is a sanctuary for conservation and personalized safaris in the Great Karoo region of the Eastern Cape. The reserve provides a wilderness home to many successfully rehabilitated species, and an inspiring window onto conservation excellence. Accommodation is in three historic Cape Dutch houses and two luxurious safari tents. In addition to safari experiences, guests at Mount Camdeboo can explore the Camdeboo National Park, the Mountain Zebra National Park, Valley of Desolation, historic Graaff-Reinet and Nieu Bethesda.  Mail us.

Onse Rus Guest House welcomes you to a delightful Karoo guest house experience in the Victorian village of Prince Albert. Lodgings under thatch, shuttered windows, quirky stone men at home in a shaded pool-garden, country air and resident animals – all of this adds up to a homely, Karoo-world guest house experience. Prince Albert is situated at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains and is well known for its sun-ripened fruit. Also well worth tasting are the area’s Karoo lamb, olives and home-made cheeses. The area is also emerging as a producer of quality wines. Mail us.

Mirtehof Guest Farm Estate basks on the edge of pretty Prince Albert, offering limitless views and slow farmstead living on a working farm.  Donkeys, horses and geese are at home at Mirtehof, where days are brightened by an exotic Karoo garden. Five rooms offer luxury accommodation in homegrown Karoo style.  The original farmhouse at Mirtehof is a listed national building, and it offers splendid views of the mountains and surroundings. Mail us.


To the south of the Karoo is the Little Karoo, a long strip of valley bounded by the Swartberg and Langeberg Mountains. Watered by mountain streams and the rain, it is somewhat less dry than the Karoo.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a free-roaming Big 5 game reserve in the Little Karoo, sheltering a diversity of wildlife and fynbos. Game drives, cruises, rock art viewing and stargazing are highlights of the experience, along with superb accommodation at a choice of lodges: Tilney Manor, Dwyka Tented Lodge, Gondwana Family Lodge, and Explorer Camp. Mail us.

Mail us to book your next getaway, or speak to us on +27 21 797 7122.