Where is the Great Karoo?

The Karoo is South Africa's heartland, covering a third of the country and spanning parts of four provinces.

The Karoo is roughly split into two sections: the expansive Great Karoo wilderness in the north-east, and the smaller and tamer Little Karoo (Klein Karoo) in the south-west. Samara lies within the Great Karoo, which itself covers more than 400,000 km² of semi-desert landscape, a region characterised by low rainfall and expansive, cloudless skies.

Despite its reputation for harsh conditions, the Great Karoo is made up of a wide variety of vegetation biomes, from craggy mountains to low-lying plains, dense thicket to boundless grasslands, many of which are present at Samara.

Dotted around the Karoo lie many colourful towns and villages. The closest to Samara, Graaff-Reinet, is South Africa’s 4th oldest settlement and is rich in history and culture. Other nearby towns include picturesque Cradock, the charming hamlet and artist retreat of Nieu-Bethesda, and Pearston, home to a magnificent Dutch Reformed Church. Further afield, the Karoo encompasses the likes of Calvinia and Matjiesfontein in the West, Carnavon and Colesberg up North, Bedford in the East, and Prince Albert in the South.

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