The Karoo is an expanse of land in which animals, plants and humans have been defying the odds for many centuries. The Karoo succulents are unique, hardy little plants that do not easily give up, silent proof of the fact that life always finds a way. After the first rains, many species of succulents appear as if by magic among the short grasses. The grasses feed the merino sheep, the other Karoo champions that are bred by the hardy farmers whose settler ancestors long ago decided that the challenges of this arid climate were no match for their ingenuity.
The nomadic San tribes early on discovered the secret of the underground streams, the main source of water in the Karoo. This knowledge often meant the difference between life and death for the hunters who would travel for days after their wounded prey.
Today, countless windmills pump the water from the earth and many people make their living from sheep and game farming. Several farmers have opened their land to visitors, offering a welcome relief from the fast pace of city life. These farm holidays are becoming increasingly popular among visitors.
Karoo towns and villages are few and far between. Do not expect winking city lights, but be on the lookout for charming buildings in traditional Karoo architecture, another example of man’s ability to adapt to a harsh climate.
Adventurers are drawn to the Karoo. It is not a land for the faint of heart who are not willing to adapt to Nature and its ways. Hiking and biking trails take travellers on timeless voyages to fossil and San Rock Art sites, through a landscape that is mainly unmarked by human hands. The region is also popular among hunters, and many farms cater for international hunting excursions.