Eastern Cape DestinationsAberdeen, Karoo Heartland
Lying in amidst the Camdeboo Mountains (don't you just love the name Camdeboo - it comes from a Khoi word that means 'green hollow', which should give you an indication of the surrounds), Aberdeen is a small town just south west of the N1 where it leaves the Karoo National Park, or alternatively, part way between Middelburg and the Baviaanskloof on the N9.
Aberdeen is also only two hours' drive from the Addo Elephant National Park, so you are in good company when stopping here.
The town is filled with pretty examples of Victorian architecture, and the steepled Dutch Reformed church with its 50 metre tower (the highest in South Africa) alone is worth a drive through the town for. Not surprisingly it is an Architectural Conservation Town because of the gorgeous buildings.
The steeple leans 18 inches 'out of true' and is known as the 'Leaning Tower of Aberdeen' as a consequence - the tiles on the roof weigh it down. A number of artists call the village 'home', unsurprisingly, as there is something about it that makes one want to stay.
Not far from Aberdeen, part way in fact to Graaff-Reinet, lies the Camdeboo National Park. Virtually 20 000 hectares of gorgeous foothills of the Sneeuberg that includes a section of low lying plains and the famed dolerites that are formed from jointed pillars. This part of the park is known as the Valley of Desolation - a process of soil erosion has left these dolerite pillars that stand as high as 120 metres.
It's no surprise that the Valley is a National Monument of both geological and scenic importance. You will visit to hike, walk, view game or simply drink in the views.