Eastern Cape DestinationsMiddelburg, Karoo Heartland
Lying in the middle of the Karoo, surrounded by mountains in an area recognised for its prolific and naturally occurring herbal plant life, San rock art and a scenic beauty beyond description, Middelburg is and isnít like other Karoo towns.
In a way that is very much like other towns, Middelburg leaves its doors standing wide open and neighbours stroll in without an invitation. The skies are filled with stars at night, but, despite the fact that this is the middle of the Karoo, Middelburg differs from other towns because it has had so few water restrictions, due in large part to the surrounding waterfalls and streams that provide the town with its water.
The town probably gets its name from its geography - it not only lies halfway between Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein, but halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town as well. As such it serves as a stopover for many a traveller en route to somewhere. The town is seeped in Anglo Boer War history and in close proximity to Market Square stands the Dutch Reformed Church, the Methodist Church and the town hall.
Just outside Middelburg lies the Karoo National Park, probably one of the main attractions to this part of the world and a wonderful example of how life has adapted to survive harsh weather conditions. Surrounded by the Nuweveld Mountains, the park is home to black rhino and buffalo, the Cape mountain zebra and over 20 breeding pairs of black eagle. There are some wonderful examples of succulent plants and small reptiles as well, and a bird hide that is worth an early morning and evening visit.