6 Incredible Facts About the Karoo

The Karoo is considered a natural wonder of limitless plains and fascinating rock formations and is perhaps one of the world’s most diverse and unique arid areas. In Southern Africa, the Karoo is a rarity, which draws tourists, researchers and scientists alike. Many archaeologists, anthropologists, botanists, ecologists, geologists, and palaeontologist experts visit from around the world to see and study many features of this dryland zone.

The Karoo is Massive!

It covers almost 40 per cent of South Africa’s land surface and straddles four of the country’s nine provinces – the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and the Free State. South Africa’s Karoo is a biologically distinct ‘country’ that sprawls over 400 000 square kilometres, making it a little bigger than Germany. There is no exact definition as to what constitutes “the Karoo” is available, so the actual size is also not precisely defined.

The Currency of Hard Boiled Sweets

You can’t get from Johannesburg to Cape Town without crossing the Karoo. A hundred years ago, long before the N1 Great North Road, the route through the interior was tough, tortuous and constantly punctuated with farmers’ gates. People travelled this way armed with large bags of boiled sweets to reward the children who would open the gates.

The Karoo is Full of Fossils

The Karoo also hosts an incredibly well-preserved ecosystem that tracks hundreds of millions worth of years in history which that represented through many fossils found in the region.

Towns, Villages and Farms

There are around 100 Karoo towns, settlements and villages, a few thousand farms and one million people in an area that includes four provinces. This dryland depends largely on underground aquifers. Windpumps to raise groundwater were introduced in 1874 to make these permanent towns, villages and farms possible. Karoo Farms supply South Africa with one-third of its red meat.

The name “Karoo”

Is believed to be a Khoi word that means Land of Thirst.

Many Famous Artists


The Karoo has long been known to harbour substantial sedimentary uranium deposits.

Book your Weekend Getaway @ Karoo 1 Hotel and Village.