Klein Karoo

South Africa

South Africa’s answer to Australia’s outback, the Klein Karoo and nearby Greater Karoo is pretty much the red centre of South Africa. Derived from the Khoikhoi word for desert, Karoo areas are characterised by extreme variations in temperature, low rainfall, cloudless skies and arid lands with an abundance of succulents.

The Klein (or little) Karoo and the main town of Oudtshoorn are located in a long valley flanked by the picturesque Langeberg and Swartberg mountains. Herds of African elephant once dominated the landscape but, like the kudu and buffalo, were driven out by modern development. These days the world’s biggest bird rules the countryside, giving this area the title of ostrich capital of the world.

HOT TIP: If you love the food, local Beate Joubert has released a cookbook that explores the big flavours in this little part of the world.