Northern Cape DestinationsFraserburg, Upper Karoo
Lying perched on a Karoo plateau north west of the Karoo National Park, Fraserburg is regarded as one of the most authentic little Karoo towns in the Nuweveld Mountains, just five hours from Cape Town.
Lying on Route 353, off the N1 the town is fairly remote: the nearest railway station is at Leeu Gamka on the N1, and the town's neighbours - Sutherland, Williston and Loxton - are a good hour and a half's drive away. It is dry and hot during summer and freezing during winter. If first impressions were all that mattered, you might be forgiven for driving right through.
But Fraserburg is also rather beautiful and unspoilt - the night skies are clear and filled with stars so far away from the lights of a city (small surprise then that neighbour Sutherland is the site of the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere (SALT)); the abundance of spring flowers and the array of biodiversity of this part of the succulent Karoo is incredible; and the town is filled with a number of historical attractions.
Fraserburg forms part of the Flower Route. Between July and September people head to the Namaqualand for the incredible annual display of colourful flowers.
This region might be the most arid in the country, but it is also one of the most diverse in the world – 6000 plant species, 250 birds species, 78 mammal (including the riverine rabbit, both rare and endangered), and 132 reptile and amphibian creatures.
Fraserburg has numerous beautiful examples of Victorian-style architecture, is famous for its hexagonal shaped Pepper Pot (also known as the Peperbus and the only such building in the country), a fine specimen of a Corbelled house (also unique to the area), and fossil evidence that are of intrigue to palaeontologists.