- Sutherland - South Africa's stargazing capital
- Visit Kruie Kraai Koning's Antoinette Pienaar and Oom Johannes
- Prince Albert, the jewel of the Karoo
- Rooiberg Lodge
- We drive on dirt roads for most of the tour!
The scenery, the people, the food...
At Live the Journey we ALWAYS think of the 3 M's: "Moments, Mates, Memories.” Our objective is to create "MOMENTS" in the company of tour "MATES", to ensure "MEMORIES" that will last for a lifetime. We are inquisitive and are always searching for unique experiences, events, and characters to include in our unique tours. You cannot do these tours on your own. This is exactly why you should tour with Live the Journey and enjoy this 7-day Karoo experience! Don't miss this opportunity!
Tour members meet in the Cape Winelands. After driving along back roads we arrive in Sutherland, the stargazing capital of the country.
Our next stop is the two-night visit to Antoinette Pienaar and Oom Johannes from Kruie Kraai Koning. A visit to the farm, and these two legendary characters, will ensure many new and enriching "moments & memories".
From here we travel to Prince Albert, the Jewel of the Karoo, located at the foot of the Swartberg mountains. The tour concludes after spending the last night at Rooiberg Lodge in the Little Karoo.
The above is just a broad outline to whet your appetite. This journey is designed in such a way to ensure we travel along back roads and gravel roads as much as possible, promising amazing vistas and awe-inspiring landscapes along the way.
DAY 1: DEPART FOR SUTHERLAND
09:00 - Tour members will meet in the Paarl area. We will then drive via the Nuwekloof and Mitchell's Passes to Ceres. From Ceres we drive via Op die Berg and the Katbakkies Pass to the Tankwa padstal. The padstal is ideal for a quick lunchtime snack (own account). We then cross the provincial border between the Western and Northern Cape with the Ouberg Pass waiting for us en route to Sutherland.
The Ouberg Pass is a popular gravel road pass and is undoubtedly the most impressive dirt road pass in the Northern Cape. During the drive, the elevation rises 820 meters over 10.4 km with an average gradient of 1:13. The steepest gradient is 1:6 – this is very steep! The route goes over the ridge of the Roggeveld Mountains reaching a height of 1402 m on the upper Karoo plateau. The pass has 44 corners and turns, including eight hairpin bends and four corners sharper than 90 degrees.
From the plateau it is approximately 40 km before we will reach Sutherland.
Check-in at accommodation and enjoy an early dinner.
19:30 - A local resident will conduct a private stargazing tour for our group. During this 90-minute experience, we will have the opportunity to look through telescopes and learn more about the wonders of the night sky.
O/N The Whitehouse, Sutherland (dinner)
DAY 2: VIA MERWEVILLE TO ANTOINETTE AND OOM JOHANNES
After breakfast and check-out, we hit the road again and drive to Merweville.
Another spectacular pass awaits today – Rammelkop Pass between Sutherland and Merweville. You will remember this steep pass for a long time. It climbs 263 meters in height within 2.6 km with an average gradient of 1:10 with the steepest sections 1:5. Although a 4x4 in dry conditions is not mandatory, it can be a lifesaver in wet weather. The pass offers spectacular views with steep descents and cliffs up to 300 meters high.
We stop at Christo Bothma, legendary for his incredible succulent nursery. The nursery is not open to the public and our group will enjoy a private visit by special permission. We will have plenty of time to take in what Christo is doing here. His passion is contagious.
We’ll enjoy a boereworsrol for lunch at Christo's before proceeding with our journey.
Our destination is Theefontein where Antoinette Pienaar is waiting for our arrival. In Antoinette's own words: "It is wonderful that you want to visit me and Oom Johannes here at Theefontein. The road here is not strewn with thorns, but the middleman of the two-track road can sometimes be a bit high. Come with a bakkie or SUV and drive carefully. Don't come late, because you need enough time to allow Mother Nature to cast her spell over everyone and be settled on Manberg and Vrouberg. Allow time to walk the labyrinth to find your balance. Or sit on the big porch and look out onto the plains and find inner peace”.
Dinner is going to be a wonderful communal gathering with everyone lending a hand to get the food on the table. Live the Journey provides all the ingredients for the meals on Theefontein and the group will all assist in the preparation and cooking. Antoinette refers to the process as "making a meal together".
O/N Theefontein (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 3: WORKSHOP WITH ANTOINETTE AND OOM JOHANNES
Antoinette: "Time passes slowly here on Theefontein. I must also take Oom Johannes' age into account - he is 90! However, we want to leave early to go to the veld to identify herbs. We are not walking far though, so don't worry. In the afternoon we do an information session and workshop about the herbs we saw. Bring a notebook to take notes. We generally talk about herbs and their medicinal value. Everyone, or those who feel comfortable, can use the opportunity to talk or ask questions about any medical problem you might experience.” Folks, this is going to be awesome! Real people and a real, authentic experience. You will remember this time on Theefontein for a long time.
Please assist with the preparation of breakfast and dinner while at Theefontein.
O/N Theefontein (breakfast, light snack, dinner)
DAY 4: VIA BACK ROADS TO PRINCE ALBERT
Enjoy breakfast and prepare to bid Theefontein farewell. We depart and take back roads on our route to Prince Albert. We will drive beautiful roads not frequented by many. The route for the day is determined by road and weather conditions.
A braai in the veld is always special and relaxing. This is exactly what we plan for lunch. A nice braai in the veld or if circumstances allow in a dry riverbed. We promise a very special place and experience ... the farm where the first gold in the Prince Albert area was discovered in 1871. The first knuckle of gold was dug up by an aardvark on the farm Spreeuwfontein where we will have our braai.
Late afternoon we arrive in Prince Albert and check-in at our accommodation where everyone can relax and take in the beauty of the surroundings. Prins Albert is a beautiful, historic town in the Great Karoo and lies at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Pass. The town has wide open spaces ideal for walking, clear skies, a star-filled sky, and silence to rejuvenate your soul.
We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
O/N Swartberg Hotel, Prince Albert (breakfast, veld braai, dinner)
DAY 5: PRINCE ALBERT
Breakfast at the hotel.
Enjoy a leisurely morning and explore the gems of the town in your own time.
This afternoon we drive to the Weltevrede Fig Farm... one of the first fig farms in South Africa. The Adams fig is the main variety cultivated on the farm. The fresh figs are mainly delivered to Woolworths. Ouma Sienie started drying figs on the farm and every year people return from afar to buy them. Jams and jellies from the farm are sold nationwide. We enjoy delicious tea and cake during our visit and also learn more about farming.
Arrive back at the hotel late afternoon. Dinner will be at the hotel.
O/N Swartberg Hotel, Prince Albert (breakfast, dinner)
DAY 6: SWARTBERG PASS AND ROOIBERG PASS
Breakfast, check-out and depart.
The Swartberg Pass is for many the Rubicon of gravel road passes. There is a mystique surrounding this old pass, which elevates it to the very top of the list of mountain passes in the country. The pass also has national monument status. This was Thomas Bain's last and best piece of road engineering.
Today we will drive the Swartberg Pass from Prins Albert en route to Calitzdorp.
At the summit we enjoy the breath-taking view over the Klein Karoo. Our next stop is Calitzdorp and from here we drive along the Rooiberg Pass to our overnight stop. In Calitzdorp there will be free time to have an afternoon snack.
The Rooiberg Pass was built in 1928. It connects Calitzdorp with the small town of Van Wyksdorp. There are a total of 69 turns and corners, which include six hairpin bends and many other bends with a turning radius of more than 90 degrees. The road offers a wonderful view of the valleys and ridges covered in fynbos, and in winter the bright orange flowers of hundreds of aloes can be seen.
Arrive late afternoon at Rooiberg Lodge
O/N Rooiberg Lodge (breakfast and dinner)
DAY 7: DEPART FOR HOME
After breakfast we depart from Rooiberg Lodge and drive to Van Wyksdorp. The Van Wyksdorp Mall is worth a visit. Those who want to return home from here is welcome. Tour members who want to fit in one last pass can follow our tour leader and drive the Gysmanshoek Pass. Gysmanshoek Pass is a mountain pass over the Langeberge.
Until the opening of the Garcia Pass in 1879, the Gysmanshoek Pass was the only road from Riversdal over the Langeberge to the Klein Karoo. The migrant farmers were determined to get a passage over the Langeberge and in 1740 they began to use the Plattekoof Pass. Soon it became the main route between the Klein Karoo and the coastal area. On a 1772 map by Burchell the pass is already indicated. The pass was improved in 1841 and again in 1860 and was then named after the magistrate of Oudtshoorn, J. Hudson. In 1841 it was rebuilt and slightly moved. It is a very steep pass that runs over a neck of the Kanetberg, south of the farm Brandrivier. From the Karoo side the ascent is long and steep. At the entrance to the pass is the remainder of a toll house.
Upon arrival in Heidelberg our tour comes to an end. It is time to say goodbye with each person departing home in own time.
END OF TOUR
18 - 24 April 2024
03 - 09 October 2024
10 - 16 October 2024
Tour price per person sharing:
Per person for self-drive option – R15,800
There is limited space in the tour leader's vehicle for passengers:
Per person for passengers in the tour leader vehicle: R17,900
Single supplement: R1,950
Please note: Above prices are based on 2023 rate and is subject to change. Please use as a guideline only.
- Tour leader in own vehicle
- 1 x night in Sutherland on DBB basis
- 2 x nights at Theefontein in open-plan hostel-type accommodation
- 2 x breakfasts at Theefontein (group helps with meal preparation)
- 2 x dinners at Theefontein (group helps with meal preparation)
- 2 x nights in Prince Albert
- 2 x dinners in Prince Albert
- 1 x barbecue in the field
- 1 x night at Rooiberg Lodge on DBB basis
- Private stargazing tour
- Antoinette Pienaar workshop
- Visit to the Weltevrede Fig Farm
- Transport (4x4 with high ground clearance)
- Meals not specified
- Travel insurance and vehicle insurance
- Personal expenses
- Only 12 people can be accommodated on the tour.
- The tour starts in Paarl and ends in the Cape.
Petro Buitendag, April 2022
“Dankie aan almal wat gedeel het in ons vreugde en ervaring. Dit is ’n gebeurtenis wat nooit vergeet sal word nie.”
Ollie van Schalkwyk, October 2021
“Baie dankie vir die wonderlike gees van saamry, kan nie glo ons was net ses nagte weg nie.”
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