Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsCamdeboo Route
Where? The Camdeboo Route links the towns of Graaff-Reinet, Aberdeen and Nieu-Bethesda in the Eastern Cape.
It is one of six routes through the Karoo. The others include: the Little Karoo Route, the Great Karoo Route, the Sundays River Route, the Hantam Route and the Green Kalahari Route. Visit tourism information offices in t he Eastern Cape for details.
The Camdeboo Route follows the N9 from Port Elizabeth and links to Willowmore (visit Sophie's Choice) and the Baviaannkloof Wilderness via Uitenhage, Kirkwood, Jansenville and Steytlerville.
It then passes through Aberdeen (an architectural conservation area), Graaff-Reinet (marketed as the gem of the Karoo for its architecture and hospitality) and over mountain passes, via the enigma of Nieu Bethesda, to the town of Middelburg (a sheep and angora goat farming community), Noupoort, Colesberg and the Gariep Dam.
The Camdeboo is a vast area (7 232.68 km²) within the Cacadu District in the north-western half of the Eastern Cape, about 270 km from Port Elizabeth.
It is an ancient land that forms part of the Karoo Supergroup. This land supported pre-dinosaur inhabitants – the precursors to mammals and reptiles as we know them today. More recently the Khoisan have lived here, followed by settlers who forged their way into the Hinterland.
The area is also known as the Karoo Heartland - the scenery some of the most incredible in the province.
The Camdeboo Route is big-sky country, a route that brings with it the peace and quiet of little towns, the simplicity of the great outdoors and the gentleness of down time in the middle of the Karoo.
• the Karoo Hotel cabaret in Steytlerville
• The Valley of Desolation
• The Owl House, fossil museums and Ganora Farm in Nieu Bethesda
• Lake Xhariep
• the Griqua republic at Philippolis
But there are also the undiscovered highlights - the little coffee shops, farm stalls and craft outlets in each of the little towns, the restaurants, accommodation and eccentricities that make up small town living.