Travel in South Africa - from Klerksdorp to Cape Town

Table Mountain, Cape Town

Table Mountain, Cape Town
Table Mountain, Cape Town | Source

South Africa is but only a small part of Africa

South Africa - the little dark-blue area at the bottom of Africa
South Africa - the little dark-blue area at the bottom of Africa | Source

A road trip to Cape Town

Visiting Cape Town from time to time seems to be a yearning deeply rooted in the genes of European-South Africans, because that is where 99.9% of our Western ancestors set foot on shore since 1652.

My own paternal ancestor, Jacob Kützer, and maternal ancestor, Barend Pieters, both from Germany, came as soldiers in 1709 tasked to protect the white settlement against the onslaughts of the natives - the San, the Koi and the Xhosa_people, who obviously felt threatened and disregarded, observing changes they had never foreseen. Like many others, my ancestors had decided to stay in South Africa instead of returning to a war-torn Europe. Farming - providing fresh food to sailors and locals - obviously held more rosy promises than soldiering for them.

Read more about the history of the Cape Colony here.

Heading for Cape Town via Bloemfontein, we departed from the southern part of the North West Province (Klerksdorp) on 17 October – the end of spring, beginning of summer. Driving through the ostensibly boring Orange Free State and even more boring, arid North Cape Province, we thoroughly enjoyed the landscapes, the characteristics of the towns along the road and the heart-stirring history of the regions. Of course, we could not see ‘everything’, and we may have missed some very interesting detail, but I believe that the reader will find this virtual tour insightful and enjoyable.


The Atlantic Ocean, Cape Peninsula, South Africa

The Atlantic Ocean, Cape Peninsula, South Africa
The Atlantic Ocean, Cape Peninsula, South Africa | Source

From Klerksdorp to Cape Town

Google Maps
Google Maps

From the North West Province to Cape Town

Travelling from Klerksdorp, which is located in the southern part of the North West Province, to Cape Town the most obvious route to choose would be -

  1. Klerksdorp (North West Province)
  2. Bloemfontein (Orange Free State)
  3. Colesberg (Northern Cape)
  4. Worcester (Western Cape)
  5. Cape Town (Western Cape

This will take the traveller fifteen and a half hours by car, excluding breaks.

South Africa

1-Klerksdorp, 2-Bloemfontein, 3-Colesberg, 4-Worcester, 5-Cape Town
1-Klerksdorp, 2-Bloemfontein, 3-Colesberg, 4-Worcester, 5-Cape Town | Source

Please note:

This hub is not meant to be a comprehensive article about tourism in South_Africa, but a virtual road trip that will give the reader a pretty good idea of natural sceneries along the road. The pictures were taken during the last half of October, the beginning of summer in South Africa. My references to races and languages spoken in the various regions will give the reader an idea of South Africa's most unique and interesting multi-racial environment resulting in a richness of culture unmatched in this world.

Due to Racial Segregation, which was from 1948 to 1994 enforced in South Africa through legislation called Apartheid, each and every town and city in South Africa still have adjoining townships where either Africans, Coloureds or Indians prefer to stay in spite of their democratic right since 1994 to own houses in towns and cities that were previously reserved for 'only whites'. In this hub the reader will also see pictures of houses and roads in townships.



Departing from Klerksdorp

Situated in the North West Province of South Africa, Klerksdorp was founded in 1837 when white pioneers - the Voortrekkers - settled on the banks of a stream called the Schoonspruit ("Clear stream"). Klerksdorp is the oldest European (white) settlement north of the Vaal River.

At present the main languages spoken in this region are Tswana (42.7%, Afrikaans (23.8%), Xhosa (11.7%), Sotho (10.7%) Other languages, including English, Indian and Yiddish, (10.7%).

According to crime statistics in South Africa, Klerksdorp is still in comparison to other major towns and cities considered one of the safer locations in the nation. Sadly, South Africa is according to 2014's crime rankings the FIFTH dangerous country in the world.

Read more about Klerksdorp here.

Klerksdorp, the City of People

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Oldest Dutch Reformed Church built in 1898 Oldest Victorian house in Klerksdorp Klerksdorp's emblem: A man and a woman representing the main economy of the district - gold mining and agriculture.  A house in Songloed, Klerksdorp A street corner in one of the suburbs, Klerksdorp One of many mansions in Wilkoppies, KlerksdorpOld ABSA Building, Klerksdorp Protea Hotel, Klerksdorp Klerksdorp Town Hall. Photographer: Jean DunnThe North West Musikon, Klerksdorp, provides music tuition to learners of all schools in the region.  Klerksdorp Dam - a paradise for anglers and water-sport fanatics.Traffic cops on duty, N12, Klerksdorp A house in the township. Jouberton, Klerksdorp (Read more about townships at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Township_(South_Africa)Tusk Rio Casino Resort, Klerksdorp, South AfricaFaan Meintjies Nature Reserve, KlerksdorpKlerksdorp - Faan Meintjies Nature ReserveKlerksdorp Court KlerksdorpKlerksdorp - a day-care centre right across Saamtrek Primary School  Klerksdorp - modern business premises A street in the township Jouberton, Klerksdorp A street in Wilkoppies, Klerksdorp A house in Wilkoppies, Klerksdorp
Oldest Dutch Reformed Church built in 1898
Oldest Dutch Reformed Church built in 1898 | Source
Oldest Victorian house in Klerksdorp
Oldest Victorian house in Klerksdorp | Source
Klerksdorp's emblem: A man and a woman representing the main economy of the district - gold mining and agriculture.
Klerksdorp's emblem: A man and a woman representing the main economy of the district - gold mining and agriculture. | Source
A house in Songloed, Klerksdorp
A house in Songloed, Klerksdorp | Source
A street corner in one of the suburbs, Klerksdorp
A street corner in one of the suburbs, Klerksdorp | Source
One of many mansions in Wilkoppies, Klerksdorp
One of many mansions in Wilkoppies, Klerksdorp | Source
Old ABSA Building, Klerksdorp
Old ABSA Building, Klerksdorp | Source
Protea Hotel, Klerksdorp
Protea Hotel, Klerksdorp | Source
Klerksdorp Town Hall. Photographer: Jean Dunn
Klerksdorp Town Hall. Photographer: Jean Dunn | Source
The North West Musikon, Klerksdorp, provides music tuition to learners of all schools in the region.
The North West Musikon, Klerksdorp, provides music tuition to learners of all schools in the region. | Source
Klerksdorp Dam - a paradise for anglers and water-sport fanatics.
Klerksdorp Dam - a paradise for anglers and water-sport fanatics. | Source
Traffic cops on duty, N12, Klerksdorp
Traffic cops on duty, N12, Klerksdorp | Source
Source
A house in the township. Jouberton, Klerksdorp (Read more about townships at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Township_(South_Africa)
A house in the township. Jouberton, Klerksdorp (Read more about townships at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Township_(South_Africa) | Source
Tusk Rio Casino Resort, Klerksdorp, South Africa
Tusk Rio Casino Resort, Klerksdorp, South Africa | Source
Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve, Klerksdorp
Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve, Klerksdorp | Source
Klerksdorp - Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve
Klerksdorp - Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve | Source
Klerksdorp Court
Klerksdorp Court | Source
Klerksdorp
Klerksdorp | Source
Klerksdorp - a day-care centre right across Saamtrek Primary School
Klerksdorp - a day-care centre right across Saamtrek Primary School | Source
Klerksdorp - modern business premises
Klerksdorp - modern business premises | Source
A street in the township Jouberton, Klerksdorp
A street in the township Jouberton, Klerksdorp | Source
A street in Wilkoppies, Klerksdorp
A street in Wilkoppies, Klerksdorp | Source
A house in Wilkoppies, Klerksdorp
A house in Wilkoppies, Klerksdorp | Source

Orkney

Within fifteen minutes from Klerksdorp we drive through Orkney, a little gold mining town on the border of the North West Province and the Orange_Free_State . Here the Vaal River, the largest tributary of the Orange River, is the actual border between these two provinces.

Orkney

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Orkney - a shopping mart Between Klerksdorp and Orkney - cattle grazing right next to the road! Orkney Golf course on the banks of the Vaal River A gold mine at Orkney Orkney, South AfricaCement Factory at Orkney, South Africa. Currently deserted! A house in Orkney A house in OrkneyOrkney, on the banks of the Vaal River
Orkney - a shopping mart
Orkney - a shopping mart | Source
Between Klerksdorp and Orkney - cattle grazing right next to the road!
Between Klerksdorp and Orkney - cattle grazing right next to the road! | Source
Orkney Golf course on the banks of the Vaal River
Orkney Golf course on the banks of the Vaal River | Source
A gold mine at Orkney
A gold mine at Orkney | Source
Orkney, South Africa
Orkney, South Africa | Source
Cement Factory at Orkney, South Africa. Currently deserted!
Cement Factory at Orkney, South Africa. Currently deserted! | Source
A house in Orkney
A house in Orkney | Source
A house in Orkney
A house in Orkney | Source
Orkney, on the banks of the Vaal River
Orkney, on the banks of the Vaal River | Source

The Vaal River

The Vaal River at Orkney - border between the North West Province and the Orange Free State
The Vaal River at Orkney - border between the North West Province and the Orange Free State | Source

R30 from Klerksdorp to Bloemfontein

Source

Orange Free State - From Bothaville to Bloemfontein

45 Minutes after we have crossed the Vaal River at Orkney we find ourselves in Bothaville, the ‘capital’ MAIZE city of South Africa. Heading for Bloemfontein – ±3 hours road trip to the south – we get pretty bored seeing only dry grasslands ideal for pasture and/or crops such as maize, lucerne and sunflowers. Spotting a silo or a windmill, or grazing cattle and game, are the only highlights.

Between Bothaville and Bloemfontein

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bothaville's emblem: A mealie seed Silo's at Bothaville, Klerksdorp Bothaville, South AfricaDutch Reformed Church in BothavilleBothaville, South AfricaOrange Free State, South Africa (Near Bultfontein)  Free State, South Africa, R30 to Bloemfontein. Mealie lands waiting for rain... Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville Bloemfontein - Many-many silo's for mealies along the road Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville Bloemfontein - Many silo's for mealies along the road Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Mealies will be planted after the first summer rains hopefully during November Free State, South Africa, R30, Bothaville to Bloemfontein - Mealies will be planted after the first summer rains hopefully during November Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville and BloemfonteinFree State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Many windmills along the road - I love windmills! Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and BothavilleFree State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Poplars providing shade for tired travellers in need of a break Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Crossing a river Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Gold mine near WelkomFree State, South Africa, R30 - Tollgate
Bothaville's emblem: A mealie seed
Bothaville's emblem: A mealie seed | Source
Silo's at Bothaville, Klerksdorp
Silo's at Bothaville, Klerksdorp | Source
Bothaville, South Africa
Bothaville, South Africa | Source
Dutch Reformed Church in Bothaville
Dutch Reformed Church in Bothaville | Source
Bothaville, South Africa
Bothaville, South Africa | Source
Orange Free State, South Africa (Near Bultfontein)
Orange Free State, South Africa (Near Bultfontein) | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30 to Bloemfontein. Mealie lands waiting for rain...
Free State, South Africa, R30 to Bloemfontein. Mealie lands waiting for rain... | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville Bloemfontein - Many-many silo's for mealies along the road
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville Bloemfontein - Many-many silo's for mealies along the road | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville Bloemfontein - Many silo's for mealies along the road
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville Bloemfontein - Many silo's for mealies along the road | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Mealies will be planted after the first summer rains hopefully during November
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Mealies will be planted after the first summer rains hopefully during November | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, Bothaville to Bloemfontein - Mealies will be planted after the first summer rains hopefully during November
Free State, South Africa, R30, Bothaville to Bloemfontein - Mealies will be planted after the first summer rains hopefully during November | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville and Bloemfontein
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bothaville and Bloemfontein | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Many windmills along the road - I love windmills!
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Many windmills along the road - I love windmills! | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Poplars providing shade for tired travellers in need of a break
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Poplars providing shade for tired travellers in need of a break | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Crossing a river
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Crossing a river | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Gold mine near Welkom
Free State, South Africa, R30, between Bloemfontein and Bothaville - Gold mine near Welkom | Source
Free State, South Africa, R30 - Tollgate
Free State, South Africa, R30 - Tollgate | Source

BTW, the difference between mealies and corn in South Africa

White and yellow mealies - the most important grain crop produced in SA
White and yellow mealies - the most important grain crop produced in SA | Source
Corn (wheat) - the second most important grain crop produced in South Africa
Corn (wheat) - the second most important grain crop produced in South Africa | Source

Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein (Fountain of Flowers) - where I was born and raised until the age of ten - is the capital city of the Free State and, as the judicial capital of South Africa, one of the country’s three national capitals. (The other two capitals are Cape Town (the legislative capital), and Pretoria (the administrative capital). Bloemfontein was founded in 1846 originally as a British outpost. Read more about Bloemfontein here.

Languages spoken are Afrikaans (42.5%), Sotho (33.4%), English (7.5%), Xhosa (7.1%), Other (9.5%).

NB: Most of the pictures I have taken are of historical buildings – the Bloemfontein of my childhood.

Bloemfontein

Click thumbnail to view full-size
BloemfonteinThe emblem of Bloemfontein is a rose; Bloemfontein is known as the City of Roses The Tweetoring Kerk (Twin Tower Church) Bloemfontein, built in 1849. (I was baptised in this church) One of only a few high buildings in Bloemfontein BloemfonteinBram Fisher Building - this modern glass construction serves as the headquarters of the Mangaung (Bloemfontein's) Local Municipality.BloemfonteinBloemfonteinBloemfonteinBloemfonteinBloemfonteinBloemfonteinBloemfonteinFIRST RAADSAAL MUSEUM, Bloemfontein, built in 1849 © Martie CoetserBloemfonteinBloemfontein Railway Station Bloemfontein Railway Station Witperd Klip. White Horse Stone, was laid during the Anglo-Boer War by members of the Wiltshire Regiment who were then stationed at Naval Hill. Dutch Reformed Church, Noordhoek, Bloemfontein (our church in 1964-1967) National Women's Monument, Bloemfontein, commemorating the death of some 27,000 Boer (Afrikaans) women and children in British concentration camps during Anglo-Boer War II (1899-1902)
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
The emblem of Bloemfontein is a rose; Bloemfontein is known as the City of Roses
The emblem of Bloemfontein is a rose; Bloemfontein is known as the City of Roses | Source
The Tweetoring Kerk (Twin Tower Church) Bloemfontein, built in 1849. (I was baptised in this church)
The Tweetoring Kerk (Twin Tower Church) Bloemfontein, built in 1849. (I was baptised in this church) | Source
One of only a few high buildings in Bloemfontein
One of only a few high buildings in Bloemfontein | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
Bram Fisher Building - this modern glass construction serves as the headquarters of the Mangaung (Bloemfontein's) Local Municipality.
Bram Fisher Building - this modern glass construction serves as the headquarters of the Mangaung (Bloemfontein's) Local Municipality. | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
FIRST RAADSAAL MUSEUM, Bloemfontein, built in 1849 © Martie Coetser
FIRST RAADSAAL MUSEUM, Bloemfontein, built in 1849 © Martie Coetser | Source
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein | Source
Bloemfontein Railway Station
Bloemfontein Railway Station | Source
Bloemfontein Railway Station
Bloemfontein Railway Station | Source
Witperd Klip. White Horse Stone, was laid during the Anglo-Boer War by members of the Wiltshire Regiment who were then stationed at Naval Hill.
Witperd Klip. White Horse Stone, was laid during the Anglo-Boer War by members of the Wiltshire Regiment who were then stationed at Naval Hill. | Source
Dutch Reformed Church, Noordhoek, Bloemfontein (our church in 1964-1967)
Dutch Reformed Church, Noordhoek, Bloemfontein (our church in 1964-1967) | Source
National Women's Monument, Bloemfontein, commemorating the death of some 27,000 Boer (Afrikaans) women and children in British concentration camps during Anglo-Boer War II (1899-1902)
National Women's Monument, Bloemfontein, commemorating the death of some 27,000 Boer (Afrikaans) women and children in British concentration camps during Anglo-Boer War II (1899-1902) | Source

Springfontein

Approximately one and a half hour from Bloemfontein is a small mixed farming town called Springfontein (Jumping Fountain). After checking the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam, now known as the Gariep Dam, we decided to spend the night in Springfontein’s classic hotel, reliving its forgotten glory.

Springfontein

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Springfontein Town Hall Springfontein Police Station An old house in Springfontein, built many moons ago - most probably in the beginning of the 1900's. Right across the railway station, Springfontein Hotel offered lodging to the rich during the first half of the 1900's.
Springfontein Town Hall
Springfontein Town Hall | Source
Springfontein Police Station
Springfontein Police Station | Source
An old house in Springfontein, built many moons ago - most probably in the beginning of the 1900's.
An old house in Springfontein, built many moons ago - most probably in the beginning of the 1900's. | Source
Right across the railway station, Springfontein Hotel offered lodging to the rich during the first half of the 1900's.
Right across the railway station, Springfontein Hotel offered lodging to the rich during the first half of the 1900's. | Source

Gariep Dam

In the Orange River, on the border of the Free State and Eastern Cape Province, is the Gariep Dam - the largest storage reservoir in South Africa completed on 31 August 1969. The adjoining hydro-electrical power station houses four 90 MW generators, giving a maximum output of 360 MW of electricity. Read more about the Gariep Dam here and here.


According to travelstart.co.za, the Forever Resort at Gariep Dam is one of the 25 bests holiday resorts in South Africa.

Gariep Dam

Click thumbnail to view full-size
According to travelstart SA, the Forever Resort at Gariep Dam is one of the 25 bests holiday resorts in South Africa  Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa Power station at Gariep Dam, Orange Free State, South Africa Power station at Gariep Dam, Orange Free State, South Africa
According to travelstart SA, the Forever Resort at Gariep Dam is one of the 25 bests holiday resorts in South Africa
According to travelstart SA, the Forever Resort at Gariep Dam is one of the 25 bests holiday resorts in South Africa | Source
Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa
Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa | Source
Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa
Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa | Source
Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa
Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa | Source
Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa
Gariep Dam. Orange Free State, South Africa | Source
Power station at Gariep Dam, Orange Free State, South Africa
Power station at Gariep Dam, Orange Free State, South Africa | Source
Power station at Gariep Dam, Orange Free State, South Africa
Power station at Gariep Dam, Orange Free State, South Africa | Source

The Orange River

Only an hour by car from Springfontein, we cross the Orange River - the border between the Free State and Northern Cape Province. The Orange River is the largest river in South Africa and, as the Orange Free State, named after the Dutch Royal House. In the New Democratic South Africa (since 1994) the Orange River is rather called the Gariep River, as it was called by the earliest pre-colonial inhabitants.

It will forever be a mind-blowing fact that the Voortrekkers (Dutch pioneers) managed to cross this river in wagons that were pulled by oxen during the 1830's. Read more about the Voortrekkers here and here.

The Orange River

The Orange River, border of the Free State and Cape Province between Springfontein and Colesberg
The Orange River, border of the Free State and Cape Province between Springfontein and Colesberg | Source

The Groot Trek

Source

Colesberg

On our route from the North West Province to Cape Town, Colesberg is the first town we get in the Northern Cape Province. Founded in 1830, the town was originally named after an interesting hill, Toverberg, (magic mountain), but under British rule the hill and town were renamed after Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole,

This town/region is known for its large sheep farms and racehorse stud farms. The main languages spoken here are Xhosa (59.5%), Afrikaans (33.1%), Sotho (2.8%), English (1.8%), Other (2.9%). Read more about Colesberg here.

Colesberg

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Colesberg Passing Colesberg's towship, Kuyasa A view on Coleberg  An old house for sale in ColesbergColesberg Dutch Reformed Church, Colesberg ColesbergColesbergReformed church, Colesberg. Read about the history of Reformed churches (the break away from Dutch Reformed) here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Churches_in_South_AfricaOld, renovated houses in Colesberg Old, renovated houses in Colesberg An old house in the process of being renovated, Colesberg Toverberg (Magic Mountain) was renamed after Toverberg after a nearby hill, it was renamed after Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole,
Colesberg
Colesberg | Source
Passing Colesberg's towship, Kuyasa
Passing Colesberg's towship, Kuyasa | Source
A view on Coleberg
A view on Coleberg | Source
An old house for sale in Colesberg
An old house for sale in Colesberg | Source
Colesberg
Colesberg | Source
Dutch Reformed Church, Colesberg
Dutch Reformed Church, Colesberg | Source
Colesberg
Colesberg | Source
Colesberg
Colesberg | Source
Reformed church, Colesberg. Read about the history of Reformed churches (the break away from Dutch Reformed) here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Churches_in_South_Africa
Reformed church, Colesberg. Read about the history of Reformed churches (the break away from Dutch Reformed) here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Churches_in_South_Africa | Source
Old, renovated houses in Colesberg
Old, renovated houses in Colesberg | Source
Old, renovated houses in Colesberg
Old, renovated houses in Colesberg | Source
An old house in the process of being renovated, Colesberg
An old house in the process of being renovated, Colesberg | Source
Toverberg (Magic Mountain) was renamed after Toverberg after a nearby hill, it was renamed after Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole,
Toverberg (Magic Mountain) was renamed after Toverberg after a nearby hill, it was renamed after Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, | Source

From Colesberg to Matjiesfontein

Source

Between Colesberg and Beaufort West

We find ourselves now in a very interesting region called the Great Karoo – a semi-desert that was ± 320 million years ago an inland sea with wide swampy deltas - the natural habitat of ancient reptiles, andamphibians and dinosaurs. Read more about the Karoo here.


Heading for the next large town, Beaufort West - ±three and a half hours from Colesberg - curiosity encourages us to take a quick trip through some of the smaller towns along the N1, among others Hanover,_known for its powerful fountain (spring) that releases about 205,000 litres (± 54155 US gal) of water per day. This is where the famous author of 'The Story of an African Farm' , Olive Schreiner, and her husband lived from 1900 to 1907. The Karoo air is well known for its ability to relief/cure asthma.

What amazes us the most, and not only during this trip: While some towns and cities are bursting out of their boundaries, forever expanding and cluttered with modern buildings, time came to a standstill in many of the old towns somewhere in the beginning/middle 1900s. Driving through an old town arouses nostalgia and a longing to a time when over-population, crime and the urge or obligation to 'perform' were not the order of the day.

Hanover

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dutch Reformed Church, Hanover, Northern Cape Hanover, established in 1854Large lots are still the order of the day in Hanover Hanover, Northern Cape Broad, gravel road in Hanover, Northern Cape Court House, Hanover Hanover, South AfricaHanover, South AfricaHanover, South Africa
Dutch Reformed Church, Hanover, Northern Cape
Dutch Reformed Church, Hanover, Northern Cape | Source
Hanover, established in 1854
Hanover, established in 1854 | Source
Large lots are still the order of the day in Hanover
Large lots are still the order of the day in Hanover | Source
Hanover, Northern Cape
Hanover, Northern Cape | Source
Broad, gravel road in Hanover, Northern Cape
Broad, gravel road in Hanover, Northern Cape | Source
Court House, Hanover
Court House, Hanover | Source
Hanover, South Africa
Hanover, South Africa | Source
Hanover, South Africa
Hanover, South Africa | Source
Hanover, South Africa
Hanover, South Africa | Source

Richmond

Richmond is another charming little town in the Upper Great Karoo, displaying the original, well-maintained Victorian and Edwardian Karoo style buildings. Richmond was established in 1843 to meet the religious needs of the farming community. Those days a church was built to serve all farmers in a specific region with sermons, confirmations, baptizing, the Holy Communion, etc. Entrepreneurs of all sorts grabbed the opportunity to erect shops in the vicinity of the church in order to deliver services to the farmers who came from far and near in their ox-wagons to gather for the entire weekend on the church plain.

As a matter of interest, although it is a bit complicated: The Dutch Reformed Church (Protestants) originated in the 17th century (1652 onwards) in the Cape Colony from the Dutch Reformed Church of the Netherlands (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk). In the late 1830’s the Voortrekkers broke away from the Cape Colony – ref the Great Trek to the North - and formed a sister-church. They used the ‘new’ word ‘hervormde’, instead of the old word ‘gereformeerde’. (Both means ‘reformed’). Hence the ‘new’ church was named Die Nederduitse Hervormde Kerk. Then the original Dutch Reformed Church in the Cape Colony started to re-use the original word, ‘gereformeerde’. Unsuccessful efforts to reunite the two ‘sisters’ resulted in the establishment of both sister churches wherever the Voortrekkers founded towns north of the Orange River. Then, in 1859, some of the members of the (original) Dutch Reformed Church refused to accept the new hymn book and broke away to form the third sister-church, the Reformed Church (Gereformeede Kerk).

Considering the wars between Catholics and Protestants in Europe, the Catholic Church was forbidden in South Africa until 1795. The first Anglican churches came with the British when they occupied the Cape_Colony in 1795 until 1802 (after the Battle_of_Muizenberg), and then again in 1806 after the Battle_of_Blaauwberg.

As the years went by many members of the original three sisters churches broke away to form charismatic churches in accordance with their interpretation of the Bible. Today in South Africa the list of churches is as long as my arm.

Richmond

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Library, Richmond, South Africa | Source
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Richmond, South Africa, Dutch Reformed Church | Source
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Richmond, South Africa | Source

Three Sisters

Three_Sisters is a well-known landmark on the route between Cape Town and the northern provinces of South Africa. It is the place where travellers via Bloemfontein and travellers via Kimberley meet to continue their trip to Cape Town on the same route, the N1. Three Sisters is named after three unique hills better known as ‘koppies’ (cups) in South Africa. These koppies are topped with dolerite (diabase/microgabbro) – an equivalent to volcanic basalt or plutonic gabbro.

Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West

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Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West | Source
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West | Source
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West | Source
N1 between Cape Town and the northern provinces of South Africa - the traveller will find many heavy vehicles on this road
N1 between Cape Town and the northern provinces of South Africa - the traveller will find many heavy vehicles on this road | Source
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West - Two of the three sisters
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West - Two of the three sisters | Source
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West - Sister Nr 3 at Three Sisters, South Africa
Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West - Sister Nr 3 at Three Sisters, South Africa | Source
Three Sisters, South Africa - Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West
Three Sisters, South Africa - Great Karoo between Colesberg and Beaufort West | Source
Three (fake) sisters between Colesberg and Beaufort West, Great Karoo, South Africa
Three (fake) sisters between Colesberg and Beaufort West, Great Karoo, South Africa | Source
Three Sisters between Colesberg and Beaufort West, Great Karoo, South Africa
Three Sisters between Colesberg and Beaufort West, Great Karoo, South Africa | Source
Three Sisters between Colesberg and Beaufort West, Great Karoo, South Africa
Three Sisters between Colesberg and Beaufort West, Great Karoo, South Africa | Source

Read the most interesting article about the Karoo here -

Geological facts about the Karoo, South Africa
Geological facts about the Karoo, South Africa | Source

Beaufort West… at last!

Between the Gamka and Kuils Rivers is Beaufort_West, founded in 1818. This was the first white settlement in the Great Karoo and is today the largest town in this area of the Central Karoo. Its economy is mainly based on sheep farming. Read more about Beaufort West here.

Languages spoken in this town are Afrikaans (81.2%), Xhosa (13.6%), English (2.6%) Other (2.7%).

According to some sources Beaufort West is actually located in the Little Karoo and not in the Great Karoo. Geologically the area between the Swartberg (Black Mountain) and the Langeberg Mountains is known as the Little Karoo.

The traveller, however, can't really see the difference between the Great and Little Karoo, or the Upper, Central or Lower Karoo. All of it looks bleak and semi-desert. Yet, knowing the stories and poems of people living in this region, we know that it has a magical power, capturing the heart and soul of its inhabitants.

Read more about the Little Karoo here.

Beaufort West

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Dutch Reformed Church, Beaufort West, South Africa
Dutch Reformed Church, Beaufort West, South Africa | Source
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Beaufort West, South Africa | Source
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From Beaufort West to Lainsburg

Google Maps
Google Maps

Beaufort West to Laingsburg

From Beaufort West to the next significant town, Laingsburg, we face another stretch of almost three hours through the relentless dry and hot Great Karoo, which is equally dry and cold during winters.

However, the Karoo has a worse part, called the Moordenaars (Killer) Karoo. One of the towns in the Moordenaars Karoo is Sutherland, the coldest town in South Africa, holding the lowest temperature of −20.1 °C (−4 °F) during winter when snowfall is quite common in contrast to 95% of South Africa.

South_African_Astronomical_Observatory (SAAO), the national center for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa, with links worldwide for scientific and technological collaboration, is located in Sutherland.

Fortunately the main route between the north (Johannesburg) and Cape Town, the N1, doesn't take the traveller through the Moordenaars Karoo.

Moordenaars Karoo

Moordenaars Karoo near Katbakkies Pass
Moordenaars Karoo near Katbakkies Pass | Source

Sunset in the Moordenaars Karoo

Sunset near Sutherland
Sunset near Sutherland | Source

The Blokhuis, Laingsburg

Just before Laingsburg something out of the ordinary captures the traveller’s mind – a ‘blokhuis’ that was erected by the British during the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 in their effort to guard the railway bridge which enabled the transport of weapons and food by train. (Even the horses of the British were not able to digest South Africa’s natural vegetation.) While the British burnt all farms and held the women, children and elders of the Boere captive in concentration camps, and also their African employees in separate camps, causing the death of more than 26 000 women and children (while the death-roll among the Africans was not even recorded), the Boere used hit-and-run guerrilla tactics in their efforts to deny the British supplies and refuge. 93,940 Boers and 24,457 black Africans were reported to be incarcerated in concentration camps. Of the 28,000 Boer men captured as prisoners of war, 25,630 were sent overseas. Thousands were not able to return to South Africa.

Considering this tragedy, I find the Apartheid's policy that was eventually legalized by the 'Boere' in 1948 even more sadder. Amazing how people, once they come into power, also practice the injustice they have suffered in some way or the other while they were powerless. Read more about the Second Anglo Boer War at britannica.com.

NB: The name 'Boere' refers to Afrikaans-speaking whites, the descendants of Dutch, German and French Europeans. 'Boer' is actually the Afrikaans word for 'farmer'.

The Blokhuis

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Die Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa Bridge at Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa Inside the Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa Bridge at Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa The entrance to the Blokhuis - wooden stair case missing. Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa
Die Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa
Die Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa | Source
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Bridge at Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa
Bridge at Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa | Source
Inside the Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa
Inside the Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa | Source
Bridge at Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa
Bridge at Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa | Source
The entrance to the Blokhuis - wooden stair case missing. Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa
The entrance to the Blokhuis - wooden staircase missing. Blokhuis, Laingsburg, South Africa | Source

Laingsberg

On the route to Cape Town, Laingsberg is the first town located in the Western_Cape Province. It lies at the confluence of two rivers, the Buffalo and Baviaans. It is considered to be one of the driest parts of South Africa.

The entire town was almost swept away in 1981, when abnormal rainfall in the catchments of both rivers caused an unexpected flood, claiming 104 lives and 21 buildings.

NB: The Western Cape Province (including Cape Town) is the only province in South Africa that is not run by the ANC government. The leading political party in this province is the Democratic Alliance, obviously due to the fact that Africans - the majority supporters of the ANC - are not the majority inhabitants of this province. The population groups in this province are Coloured (48.8%), Africans (32.8%), White (17.3%), Indian/Asian (1%).

In Laingsburg the languages spoken are Afrikaans (93,6%), English (1.7%), Xhosa (1.6%), Other (3.1%). NB: Afrikaans is also the language of the majority Coloureds.

Laingsburg was established in 1881 mainly because the extended railway route from Cape Town happened to run past the farm of Stephanus Greeff. He then grabbed the opportunity to develop the farm into a small town. Read more about Laingsberg here and here, including the unexpected flood that had swept away the largest part of the town on 25 January 1981.

Laingsburg

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Laingsburg, South Africa | Source
Dutch Reformed Church, Laigsburg
Dutch Reformed Church, Laigsburg | Source
The unpredictable  Buffels River , Laingsburg, South Africa
The unpredictable Buffels River , Laingsburg, South Africa | Source
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Laingsburg, South Africa | Source
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High School, Laingsburg, South Africa
High School, Laingsburg, South Africa | Source
Laingsburg, South Africa
Laingsburg, South Africa | Source

Matjiesfontein

From the north to the south, almost at the end of the Karoo, we reach the most charming Victorian village, Matjiesfontein (fountain of little reeds). It is actually only one railway station and a street containing a hotel and a few houses.

The history of Matjiesfontein is totally captivating, about James Douglas (Jimmy) Logan. As a young lad Jimmy joined the North British Railway at Reston in Scotland, but at the age of 17 he went to sea. Two years later (1876), stranded in a waterlogged ship at Simons Bay (near Cape Town) with only £5 in his pocket, he decided to apply for a job at the Cape Colonial Railways, which was still an infant. By the time he was 20, he was appointed as stationmaster of the newly completed Cape Town Station. Diamonds were discovered in Kimberley in 1866, and travellers from Cape Town to Kimberley were in dire need of accommodation and food. The railway dining cart was not yet introduced, so Jimmy grabbed the opportunity to establish refreshment rooms at railway stations. This was the beginning of his wealth and fame.

Cured from his chest ailment by the dry Karoo air, he made Matjiesfontein his headquarters. By then he was the husband of Emma Haylett (of Cape Town) and the father of Jimmy and Gertrude.

During the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) the British established a remount camp on the outskirts of Matjiesfontein with 10,000 troops and 20,000 horses. Go figure! At the end of the war, by-passed by a National Road to the north, Matjiesfontein started to sink into obscurity. When Jimmy died in 1920, Matjiesfontein was just another railway station and homestead of the Logan family.

In 1968 David Rawdon, in his capacity as hotelier, bought the village and restored it to more than its original fame.

Matjiesfontein was declared a National Heritage Site in 1975.

Matjiesfontein

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Matjiesfontein - stair case inside the coffee shop
Matjiesfontein - stair case inside the coffee shop | Source
Matjiesfontein - Back yard coffee shop
Matjiesfontein - Back yard coffee shop | Source
Matjiesfontein - Foyer, Lord Milner Hotel
Matjiesfontein - Foyer, Lord Milner Hotel | Source
Swimming pool at Matjiesfontein
Swimming pool at Matjiesfontein | Source
Matjiesfontein - Lunch in the Coffee Shop
Matjiesfontein - Lunch in the Coffee Shop | Source
Indigenous garden, Cedar Guest House, Matjiesfontein Farm. Photo: Kayang Gagiano
Indigenous garden, Cedar Guest House, Matjiesfontein Farm. Photo: Kayang Gagiano | Source
Matjiesfontein - a bedroom in the Lord Milner Hotel
Matjiesfontein - a bedroom in the Lord Milner Hotel | Source
Matjiesfontein - Bougainvillea growing in the back yard of the coffee shop
Matjiesfontein - Bougainvillea growing in the back yard of the coffee shop | Source

Matjiesfontein - I was utterly surprised to find an entire 'house' beneath the station - once the headquarters of Jimmy Logan, now the The Marie Rowdon Museum

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Matjiesfontein | Source
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Matjiesfontein - Museum | Source
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Matjiesfontein - Museum | Source
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Matjiesfontein - Museum | Source
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Matjiesfontein | Source
Matjiesfontein - Museum - most of it underground
Matjiesfontein - Museum - most of it underground | Source
Matjiesfontein - Museum - The red uniforms of the British soldiers
Matjiesfontein - Museum - The red uniforms of the British soldiers | Source
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Matjiesfontein - Museum | Source
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Matjiesfontein - Museum | Source
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Matjiesfontein - Museum | Source
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Matjiesfontein Museum | Source
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Matjiesfontein - Museum | Source
Matjiesfontein - concertina in the museum
Matjiesfontein - concertina in the museum | Source
Matjiesfontein Museum
Matjiesfontein Museum | Source

From Matjiesfontein to Cape Town

Google Maps
Google Maps

From Matjiesfontein to Cape Town

A three hours road trip to Cape Town lies ahead of us...

Read all about this second phase of our journey at From-Matjiesfontein-to-Cape-Town.......


Travelling in South Africa

Find many more virtual tours of South Africa here.


A windmill in the Orange Free State
A windmill in the Orange Free State | Source

© 2014 Martie Coetser

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Comments 33 comments

kimmie 2 years ago

Hi Martie

What a wonderful hub! I so enjoyed following you on this magnificent journey. Your country truly has such a rich heritage and many intrigue ing sites. The pictures were wonderful as well. Thank you so much for sharing.

Hugs

Kimmie


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Your road trip was truly picturesque and educational. Thanks for sharing the rich experiences of your journey in pictures and historical fact. I'll be back for a more thorough review of all your photos. Beautiful work!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Beautiful pictures and interesting hub. The history of Africia has always intrigued me. The church history is much like ours here in America. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing....Hugs..


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I always appreciate articles like this one. Chances are I'll never see your country, so I have to rely on writers like you to fill in the blanks for me. Beautiful job, here. You covered quite a bit in one article.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Martie. Thank you for taking us all on this trip with you. It surprises me how much the territories you visited look like our southwest. The landscapes are very similar to my eye. Of course we are in a desert and struggle for our water. S.A. looks a little more green. I enjoyed the tour, but after a long trip like this I am tired - so time for a nap.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Dear Martie,

Thank you so much for taking us along with you on your travels in your beautiful and fascinating country. I loved all of the great history here you have included, and I learned so much. Fascinating!

All of the photos are wonderful. I love the architecture of the churches, and found the history of the churches there so interesting.

I am amazed about even the horses of the British not being able to eat there. That is sad about the high rate of crime in your beautiful country with all of its peaceful countryside, seaside and quaint little towns with wonderful architecture, but it seems such violence is taking over all countries. Well, here in the US, crime and violence are ever-increasing and some cities here are so dangerous. Two of the larger cities, one in which I work, and the other just north of where I live, are two of the most dangerous cities in our state, and I believe one is in the top 100 in the US! Well, maybe two are in the top 100 of all cities in the US, which is hard to believe, but true.

Excellent hub!

Voted up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Hugs


Sannel 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing your exciting road trip with us, Martie. As you may remember telling you, I've visited South Africa, but only for a few days, so I did only get to see a small portion of your beautiful country, making this wonderful and informative hub even more interesting to me. I loved seeing all the great pictures, as well. Sharing this, my friend

Hugs,

Sannel


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Hi Martie,

Wow! This hub is awesome, and like some of my American friends, I was amazed to see architecture and similarities to parts of our country, particularly in the churches.

This was an absolutely fascinating travel guide and I love how you wove some personal history about your own family and places where they lived, and about South Africa, and most especially about the churches.

The photos are wonderful and I appreciated the descriptions you put beneath them and/or in the general text.

Looking forward to reading the continuation.

Voted up across the board except for funny, and shared.

Love & Hugs,

Gail


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I enjoyed your photo tour of SA. Thanks for letting me be an armchair traveler!


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi Martie A gorgeous place indeed!I visited Cape Town and had a wonderful time there. It was on our anniversary. The photos are so beautiful and the Mother City is definitely the place to be. Voted up, beautiful, useful and interesting.


IslandBites profile image

IslandBites 2 years ago from Puerto Rico

Awesome hub! Voted up!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

What a beautiful virtual tour of S. Africa. I love road trips and this one is amazing. I now feel I know a bit about S. Africa when before reading this I didn't know much about your country. Your history is similar to the U.S. in that other European peoples and cultures came to S. Africa for religious freedom. I had no idea so many languages were spoken in S. Africa. Your photos are breathtaking and it is interesting to me to see your country. The amount of photos is wonderful and all your photos are stunning. Thanks so much for this detailed and interesting tour of S. Africa. Another stellar hub, Martie, and so enjoyeable.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Well there isn't much to add to all the wonderful comments about this wonderful hub. Your pictures are beautiful and show Americans an Africa we never really get to see.

I loved the educational information you included so interestingly. What a beautiful country with such amazing architecture and character. Thank you for sharing your journey.

I had to vote all but funny as this was an exceptional visit for us! I hope your really enjoying yourself ;)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Martie.....Amazing! Thanks to you and this fabulous photo/article, I have just been on vacation in South Africa! Your photos are exquisite and combined with the details of information you share of your beautiful Country, I am well-educated on so very much of South Africa that I have not previously been aware.

I thoroughly enjoyed this journey, Martie. It has been my pleasure to become more familiar with your special part of the world....Peace, Paula......UP+++shared, tweeted, pinned & googled..........


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Martie, this was fascinating. You gave us a taste of history and culture, along with wonderful photos. I think it's amazing that you see rhinos and zebras as you travel. Very cool.

It was fun seeing the town you grew up in. I especially like the architecture of Beaufort West and Matjiesfontein.

I look forward to the next leg of your trip. I hear Cape Town is beautiful.


twoseven profile image

twoseven 2 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Wow! Thank you so much for putting this together. I love how many photos you included. It really gives those of us who have never been there a feel for the land.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

@ Hi, Kimmie – thanks for being with us on this tour. I am so glad you enjoyed it so far, although I must admit: The trip from Klerksdorp to Matjiesfontein is interesting, but surely the ‘ugliest’ and most boring part of the tour. We should have spent more time in beautiful Bloemfontein. But I am too eager to show you Cape Town and vicinity, and also the most awesome Eastern Cape. Don’t let a ghost kidnap you in the spooky museum under the Matjiesfontein railway station! We don’t want to go to Cape Town without you :)))

@ PegCole17 – Good to see you! Enjoy a good lunch in the antique Lord Milner Hotel (at Matjiesfontein), or a cup of coffee and cake in the coffee shop, or a light lunch. The Coffee Shop’s quiche of the day is a Spinach & Mushroom tart served with salad. Absolutely delicious. (Picture has been added.) The bus will depart for Cape Town at 2:00 PM :)

@ always exploring, my dear friend, so good to have you with us! Yes, the more people, the more churches. I think religion is like mining, and the human soul contains the most precious ‘stones’, (especially love), to be mined to the benefit of the entire universe and all it is being composed of. But now you know miners – they have a self-centered perspective on whatever they mine. Ruby, you may enjoy a swim in Matjiesfontein’s pool before the bus depart for Cape Town. (I added the appropriate picture.) Let’s enjoy a groovy cocktail :)

@ Hi billybuc, I really try to not bore the ‘tourist’ with too much detail, but as this may be the only view of South Africa most of my friends overseas will ever have, I have to provide the essential background. Good to have you on board :) You may like a stroll in Matjiesfontein’s beautiful gardens.

@ mckbirdbks , good to have you on this tour. Wonderful to know that you can relate. Of course, you may have a nap in the Lord Milner hotel, or in the guest house. I added a picture of one of the hotel’s bedrooms. All so very-very Victorian :) But first go get yourself a Whiskey at the Lairds Arms (next door to the hotel). Or wait, the pianist over there may get you in a playful mood. Mck, in less than an hour the climate is going to change rapidly from semi-dessert to Mediterranean. Then to the east, in the Eastern Cape, the climate is completely different – kind of sub-tropical. Have a good rest so you can enjoy the entire tour :)

@ Dear Faith Reaper, I have to restrict myself when it comes to the sharing of history, as I really find SA’s history captivating, including the history of the church. During this tour I provide but only the most essential detail, with lots of links for the curious reader to follow. You may like to explore that fancy stair case in the coffee shop. Can you believe it, I have not done it myself and now I have this urge to know what’s up there? Yes, sadly this beautiful country hosts too many criminals and swallow, self-centered people. The Karoo may be dry and boring, but just knowing its history, and the ability of its plants and animals to survive, fill me with awe. We, humans, have the privilege – and ability - to enjoy and appreciate the most awesome creation, how can some of us be like animals, able to kill (without showing any mercy) in order to live? I guess we can classify humans, too, as carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. Although I am not vegetarian, I see myself emotionally as a herbivore. I will not ‘kill’ another animal in order to survive. But oh, I may kill in the process of protecting myself? Mmm, another topic for another day. Stay on the bus and enjoy touring South Africa :)

@ Hi, dear Sannel, keeping in mind that you live in Sweden, one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, keeps me very humble :) Amazing how we learn to love the country of our birth, or rather the part we know by heart, and how the fear of losing it could keep some people forever blind and deaf for the rest of the world. Another interesting topic we can discuss over a long cocktail at the pool :)

@ Dear Happyboomernurse, so good to see you! The more we learn about each other and each other’s countries, the more we realize how much the same we and everything really is. I am sure you are going to like the rest of the tour even more, Gail :) I was in particularly very impressed with the Eastern Cape – my first visit to this part of SA. To be published soon :)

@ Hi rebeccamealey, good to have you on the bus. Please stay on and enjoy the rest of the tour :)

@ Ah, DDE, I hope you are going to love my pictures of Cape Town and vicinity. We have spent only 4 days in Cape Town and though we haven’t give ourselves an hour of rest during the day, we haven’t seen a tenth of its awesome beauty. Time, and our physical abilities, are such merciless rulers, preventing us from doing everything we want to do. Have a good look at Matjiesfontein’s museum :) When I take you on a tour to KwaZulu-Natal and Durban, the history of the Indians in South Africa will come to its right :) BTW, I bought your book about Indian herbs. Absolutely informative, useful and awesome!

@ suzettenaples – South Africa has eleven official languages. One day I am going to write a hub about it, including video’s. Believe me, Suzette, you are going to enjoy the rest of the tour even more. Wonderful to have you on the bus. Go have some coffee and cake in the garden behind Matjiesfontein’s Coffee Shop. There is a beautiful Bougainvillea crawling up against the wall. (Picture added.)

@ IslandBites – Thanks for joining us on this virtual tour of a part of South Africa :) We are heading for Cape Town, where Western Civilization started – or should I say intruded - in 1652.

@ tillsontitan – I am so glad you are one of the tourists on our bus. I am sure after this tour you will almost love South Africa as much as I do, or you will at least understand why I enjoy living down here in spite of the wrong-doings committed by some heartless and soulless people down here. Have a look at the awesome old Victorian dresses in the museum.

@ fpherj48! I am so happy to see you. Just keep yourself strong and healthy and you will enjoy a tour of South Africa you will never forget. The bus depart for Cape Town at 2:00PM. Don’t get lost among all the souvenirs you can buy in the Post Office/Shop.

@ bravewarrior – So good to have you on the bus, dear Sha :) I took a picture of the house we lived in when I was 8-10 years old. Those days it was quite nice for the middle-class, but for the middle-class of today it is way too small with only one garage and one bathroom. Today it is but only neat and decent for the ‘classy’ poor, or for a retired couple compelled to survive on their pension fund. Even more shocking was the area where I grew up until we moved into town (when I was 8). In my time that area – Shannon/Bloemspruit - accommodated flourishing small holdings - miniature farms. Today most of the houses there – and they were big and beautiful according to the standards of those days – are nothing but ruins surrounded by squatters camps. Amazing how the standard of living develops – and at a mind-blowing pace since World War II. How will it be in 50 years? Sha, don’t miss the bus when it departs for Cape Town. You will love the rest of the tour.

@ twoseven – I think the photo’s give the reader a pretty good idea of reality. I am so glad you enjoyed the trip. Stay tune for Cape Town :)


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very interesting hub, Martie. It was fascinating to see your photos of South Africa! The scenery is very different from the scenery in Canada. Thank you very much for sharing the information and the photos.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Thanks for a very interesting 'trip.' The photos are great, too. It all reminds me of our stay there visiting our daughter some years ago. My Grandfather was there about a hundred years ago with his brother and cousin. Some parts remind me of Victoria, my home State.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Martie,

I am feeling your exhaustion as I vicariously take a tour with you and Mr. B

This feels like a virtual scrapbook with the beautiful collections of pictures you have assembled of your 'neck of the woods'...I happen to feel even closer to you (if that is possible) that we can both put our toes in the same Atlantic Ocean.

I love the Victorian influence that you describe throughout and find an amazing similarity in the names of towns such as Richmond and Beauford in SA and the USA.

I'm also looking forward to your second installment...you are comprehensive and fascinating in your approach with these travel posts.

Voted UP and UABI and sharing. Love and hugs, mar


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi Martie Thank you very much for supporting me. I am from KWA ZULU NATAL PIETERMARITZBURG. Now all you got to do is write a review. I appreciate your kind soul.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

@ AliciaC – you haven’t seen nothing yet :)) Please stay on the bus, let me show you the rest of the beautiful Cape Province. Oh, but all our provinces are beautiful, each in its own unique way. Thank you so much for joining us on this tour.

@ BlossomSB – it must be very hard to not live in the same country as one’s children. Fortunately the world has become so much smaller, thanks to aircraft. Please stay on the bus and enjoy the rest of the tour :)

@ Dear sista marcoujor – amazing how exhausting a road trip can be, but let's keep in mind that physical energy, like money, has to be spent and regenerated in order to receive whatever we want/need. Oh my, I remember a time I feared I would run out of money, but this time I honestly feared I would run out of energy. And I guess I did, that’s why I could not fight those nasty streptococci at the end of our trip. Be that as it may be, I am up and about again, eager to relive the entire tour via this virtual tour especially orchestrated for you and all my friends. Now let's go have a cocktail in the garden where Mr. Andy can spend some time with Lady Beau :)

@ DDE, I will write that review early in the New Year, and even earlier when Time presents an opportunity :)


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi Martie you have been very supportive and I admire that in you. Have a lovely day.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Enjoy your day, DDE :)


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Thank you so much Marie for the stroll through our Motherland of South Africa. Marvelous information here, great research and detail. Also, I hope to hear why the people there are so well endowed; how and what they eat, their faith and how they worship, what they do for recreation and so forth. Is this also The Promised Land? Wonderful and fulfilling hub. Glad you enjoyed this trip.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi word55, I am busy writing a novel with South Africa as the background. I am going to address your questions, for sure. It is so wonderful to learn more about other's via a novel. Is South Africa your motherland and you're now living in Chicago? If so, I am sure you miss our beautiful nature. Thank you for joining us on this tour of the Cape Province :)


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hi Martie, I look forward to reading your novel. I called it the motherland because I heard it was the land of all riches and richness. Roy Ayers did an album about it being the motherland a few years ago... I was born and raised in Chicago and still here. Keep up the good work. God Bless!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

word55, I am living an hour away by car from the so-called Cradle of Humankind. Personally I don't believe the theory that all humans have a mutual ancestor and that they originated from Africa. Just contemplating the existence of very unique fauna and flora all over the world, specific habitats for specific plants and animals (including humans) - make me believe that specific human races, too, had come into being in specific regions on earth. Thereafter they have travelled and mixed with each other. The lack of evidence is due to general decay. Remains are only to be found in certain geological conditions. But this is but only my personal conviction. You, too, keep up the good work :)


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Interesting Martie! Have you ever traveled to the so-called Cradle of Humankind? Have you ever been curious to where man was originally created, as depicted in the Bible? Have you compared the details of the Cradle with what is said in the book of Genesis, chapters 2 and 3? Instead of theorizing it, one must adapt to the fact that the truth of man's creation depends on the relationship one has with God, His Holy Spirit, the regard entrusted for His truths and the purpose that His Son, Jesus Christ came in and on earth to serve.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Word, yes, I have visited the site. Very interesting. I mention the site in my hub "En route from Klerksdorp to Pretoria". I have studied all theories regarding the origin of the universe, earth and life. I have also studied mythology, and especially that of the Sumerians - where Abraham once lived in Ur (Mesopotamia) before he left to search for the Promised Land. I have also studied the Bible in depth. So, I have a very broad perspective on life, humans and their doings and beliefs. Of course, I don't see God as a human, but as a Power totally beyond human comprehension. Man's perspective on God, the way they see him, irritates the living daylight out of me. The majority of people see Him as a glorified godfather cum lucky charm, making all their wishes come true. I prefer to belief that he is who he is. The audacity of us humans, trying to minimize such a powerful creator and maintainer of a universe we cannot even comprehend, boggles my mind. Have a good day!


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Ok, thank you Martie, I'm having a great day!


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida

What a complete and fascinating piece of work this is, Martie. You have outdone yourself, m'dear. Every travel and tour agent who reads this comprehensive travel article will be green with envy. Trust me. I have bookmarked this so I can read it again and more than just once. Thank you for your painstaking efforts and effusive research.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa Author

Dearest drbj. so good to see you, and thank you so much for your most inspiring comment. You were in my mind the entire November 14th, and I hope you have had a wonderful day :)

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