Eastern Cape DestinationsHofmeyr, Karoo Heartland
The pretty little town of Hofmeyr lies in the shadow of the Bamboes Mountain Range in the Karoo. This beautiful mountain range that, depending on the time of day, ranges in colour from purple red in the mornings to a deep smoky blue in the late afternoons, begins in Molteno and forms part of the Drakensberg escarpment, which splits into the separate ranges of Stormberg, Bamboes, Suurberg, Nieuveld and Komsberg as it enters the Eastern Cape.
Hofmeyr lies in a part of South Africa that is unusually beautiful, peaceful and unique. It lies just 60 kilometres away from Cradock and 40 kilometres from Steynsburg in an area filled with restored farmhouses, wide open spaces, star-filled evenings and access to an incredible variety of succulents, some of which are found nowhere else on Earth.
There are a number of defining reasons why Hofmeyr is a memorable town, apart from the fact that it lies more or less halfway between Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth and thus serves as an essential stopover.
It takes its name from Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, also known as 'Onze Jan', who despite being Jan Smuts' closest advisor and a member of the South African Party was also regarded as a Liberal and an opponent of racial segregation. He was the figure who served as the namesake for Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr de Waal, one of the champions of the Afrikaans language (interestingly, his father, after whom De Waal Drive is named, was a mayor of Cape Town).
But history aside, Hofmeyr is also closely tied to the discovery of the Hofmeyr Skull, a 36 000 year-old homo sapien skull found in a dry channel bed of the Vlekpoort river, just outside Hofmeyr. The skull supports the hypothesis that humans evolved in Africa before 200 000 years ago.