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Die Tuishuise & Victoria Manor
Historic Karoo Cottages

South Africa  

Die Tuishuise and Victoria Manor Cradock Accommodation

The  Karoo

The Karoo's name is derived from the Khoisan word meaning "land of thirst". Despite the fact that the landscape of the Karoo is barren, particularly in certain areas, it is still home to some 9,000 species of succulents. Wildlife is also abundant in the Karoo and a wide variety of mammal, bird and reptile species have their home here. The borders of the Great Karoo touch four provinces within South Africa and form the second largest plateau region outside of Asia.

Less than two hundred years ago the Karoo was for the most part void of the fences that are used to separate farms and game parks today. This allowed for huge roaming herds of game that traversed the Karoo in search of the best grazing and water. The Springbok migration that last occurred in the 19th century was said to have been one of nature's most awesome spectacles. In more recent times, sheep farming has formed the economic backbone of the Karoo. However, more and more are farmers are turning their lands into game farms which attract many visitors each year.

The original residents of the Karoo were the Khoisan and the San. The Khoisan relied on sheep and cattle for their livelihood whereas the San were hunters.  These two distinct tribes were indeed the last Stone Age people in South Africa, but their way of life was all but ended due to settlers who set up farms in the Karoo in the 19th century. 

Today the Karoo is a place of great significance for the world's palaeontologists, astrologists, geologists and ecologists. For within the borders of the Karoo lie a landscape that is abundant with remnants from the past in the form of fossils and a soil bed that is one of the most richly layered in the world, dating back to 6bn B.C. At night the sky is resplendent with billions of stars that upon witnessing will leave one utterly breathless. "The Karoo, scientists say, is one of the most silent places on Earth. They proclaim that, with the right equipment in the right place, you can actually record the faint sounds of the atmosphere scratching against the planet here." - From Karoo Keepsakes by Chris Marais & Julie du Toit.



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