This picturesque drive follows the winding path of the river between spectacular, lichen-covered red mountains, with the possible sightings of baboons, mongoose, leopard tortoises, and small buck. On the way is Meiringspoort waterfall, which is considered nearby De Rust’s most beautiful stop, and is fast becoming a popular dive site, with tales of a mermaid that lives in the waterfall’s pool.
If you’ve been wondering “waar is klaarstroom?”, nature enthusiasts will be delighted to know that it lies in the Greater Cape Floristic Region, establishing it as an important area for terrestrial biodiversity. It is a protected area on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and a fascination for any flora or bird enthusiast.
As well as the abovementioned animals often spotted off the side of the road, there are lots of opportunities to encounter wildlife. Early risers can watch meerkats awake from their slumber to start the day, just before sunrise. The world’s largest and heaviest bird, the ostrich, can be visited at various show farms. A stunning long drive along the rebuilt Voortrekker route, to Oudtshoorn, will take you to Buffelsdrift, home to elephants, rhino, Cape buffalo, giraffe and hippo, to name but a few.
Suffice to say that the region also boasts breath-taking hiking trails, mountain bike routes and horse-riding paths. Stompdrift Dam offers angling enthusiasts a chance to target carp, barbel and bass. Klaarstroom’s low light pollution renders it the perfect place for evenings spent stargazing and, with a pair of binoculars, you can check out the Big 5 of the African Sky: the Milky Way, the Southern Pleiades, Omega Centauri, the Eta Carinae Nebula, and the Coal Sack.
A short 45 min drive takes you to Oudtshoorn where there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Cango Caves is South Africa’s oldest attraction. It features a system of 20 million-year-old caves with a series of hidden chambers, some of which you can explore during guided tours. Cango Wildlife Ranch is best known for its crocodile encounters. You can brave facing these formidable aquatic predators from the safety of a cage. Other wildlife encounters at this ranch include getting hands-on with lemurs, cheetahs, servals, leopards and snakes. Oudtshoorn is also known as a national centre for creativity where you can visit the various art galleries. Acrophiles will be thrilled at the opportunity to skydive with incredible views of the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountain ranges.
The coast is two hours away, in Mossel Bay, on the Garden Route. Here, there are plenty of beaches and a variety of adventure activities, including whale watching, white shark cage diving, SCUBA diving, sandboarding and deep-sea fishing. It also boasts a world-renowned archaeological site, The Point of Human Origin, which showcases the earliest evidence for modern human behaviour. The latest activity to launch in the town is a 1.1 km zipline, proudly the longest over the ocean zipline in the world.
Named by CNN Travel as the world’s best road trip destination, this leisurely scenic route takes you from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. The Prince Albert Loop, along which Klaarstroom sits, is certainly one of the most beautiful highlights of this drive. It features two stunning mountain passes and quaint Karoo towns. Route 62 is proclaimed the longest wine route in the world, with the family-owned Karusa wines being the closest en route from Klaarstroom. This premium vineyard and craft brewery, with its acclaimed Cap Classiques and Mediterranean-styled wines, will not disappoint.
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