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What’s so special about the South African Karoo?

By June 30, 2021December 14th, 2022FinGlobal

What’s so special about the South African Karoo?

June 30, 2021


If you’re looking for a magical semi-desert space to unwind, relax, and explore, the Karoo South Africa or Little Karoo South Africa, should come instantly to mind. There’s something undeniably magical about the Karoo, and if you haven’t been there, it’s time to plan a trip for sure!

You might be wondering what’s so special about the Great Karoo South Africa? What exactly makes it so “great”? If you’ve ever been to the Karoo towns in South Africa, you will undoubtedly know that there’s something ultimately powerful about their quaint allure, but it’s about more than that. To give you an overview of what makes the Karoo so unique, we have pieced together a list for you! So without much further ado, let’s jump right in.


Ten things that make the South African Karoo special

  • When measured, the Karoo is a little bigger than the size of Germany! There are over 100 Karoo towns in South Africa with around one million people living in the area. The Karoo spans four provinces: Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Free State. If you enjoy road trips, the Karoo is one of the best destinations to head to. There are long roads of expanses of semi-arid landscape and quaint towns and pitstops along the way. It’s the epitome of a dream road trip route!
  • Plant and animal life about in the Karoo. In fact, 40% of the 6,000 plant species in the Karoo are endemic. The area also plays host to a critically endangered mammal, the Riverine Rabbit and other animals, including the insect-eating Golden Mole, Ludwig’s Bustard, Aardvark, Caracal, and Quagga.
  • The Karoo is responsible for 60% of the world’s mohair production and thus brings in millions of foreign revenue to the country. In case you didn’t already know, mohair is the fleece of the Angora goat and considered one of the most sustainable and beautiful fibres in the world. It goes without saying that the majority of South Africa’s Angora goats are in the Karoo.
  • The meat production landscape is changing in the Karoo, with more farmers focusing on popular crops like olives, walnuts, berries, pecan nuts, and pomegranates.
  • Ronnies Sex Shop (Calitzdorp) on Route 62 beyond Barrydale in the Klein Karoo, South Africa, is not actually a sex shop. The shop name sure does draw attention, though. Instead, it’s a great pit stop for a beer, bite to eat, and a dip in the pool!
  • Helen Martin’s Owl House can be found in one of the Karoo’s small towns called Nieu-Bethesda. The Owl House is a Museum. Helen Martin, the owner, turned her house into an elaborate and decorative visionary environment using glass and beautiful colours. The museum includes 300 statues of camels, peacocks, owls, and pyramids. She started transforming the home after the death of her parents. This particular museum is a must-see!
  • Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich Capital of the World, is found in the Karoo. Here Ostrich is farmed for meat, feathers, handbags, and more. More than 65% of the world’s production of Ostrich comes from the Karoo.
  • The Karoo is a dream destination for succulent plant-lovers. The landscape is full of succulents, broken up with the odd bush that’s able to withstand the desert-like environment. Interestingly enough, the most popular succulent in the Karoo is the Tylecodon Paniculatus or “botterboom” which has glossy leaves in the winter and bright red flowers in the summer. The “half-human” is another popular one that can grow up to 4m high!
  • The Cango Caves are a significant tourist attraction nestled in the Karoo. You might find it interesting that the caves were discovered by a young hottentot looking for missing cattle. He soon found the caves extend for more than 2km underground! The caves were declared a National Monument in 1938.
  • Last but not least on our list, the Klein Karoo South Africa is the only place you can enjoy the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival each year. The festival is held in Oudtshoorn and is a celebration of food, theatre, dancing, and poetry. It’s fondly referred to as the “boere bazaar” and is the perfect place to go if you want to meet and engage with the friendly and eclectic locals.


These are just ten of the many reasons why the Karoo South Africa is such a special and unique place! If you haven’t been to visit the area yet, some of the top historically iconic Karoo towns South Africa to head to include:

  • Aberdeen
  • Bethulie
  • Victoria West
  • Calitzdorp
  • Colesberg
  • Willowmore
  • Graaff-Reinet
  • Okiep
  • Vanrhynsdorp

Wildlife viewing isn’t particularly impacted by the season. Still, because Summer and Winter have extreme temperatures, the best time to head to the Karoo is Spring (September) and Autumn (May) when the days are mild and the nights don’t get too chilly.


Leaving the Karoo for greener pastures? Make sure your emigration finances are in order

Suppose you’ve decided that Karoo isn’t for you (or any other part of SA for that matter) and want to head abroad in search of greener pastures and new opportunities. In that case, it’s best to consider your financial obligations before you board that flight! When leaving South Africa, it is best to determine if you will remain a tax resident or non-tax resident. You will have to determine when the right time is to emigrate from South Africa financially.

At FinGlobal, we specialise in all things tax and financial emigration related. We can ensure that you’re aware of your obligations and that everything is handled meticulously for a smooth emigration process. Whether you’re just considering your options or already at a stage where you need professional assistance, the team at FinGlobal is ready to help. For help and guidance, all you have to do is contact us. You can give us a call on +27 28 312 2764 or email us at today.


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