Northern Cape DestinationsHanover, Upper Karoo
The little Karoo town of Hanover is often described as the town in the middle of South Africa. It lies halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town; between Cape Town and Durban, and between Upington and Port Elizabeth. Before the advent of cars, all roads led to Hanover and virtually all travellers passed through the town.
It comes as no surprise then to learn that the town in its heyday was home to the wealthy and eccentric, including Olive Schreiner, the author who championed womenís rights. She and her husband lived here between 1900 and 1907. Her typical Karoo cottage, with its iron roof and stoep, is today a national monument that stands on the corner of Grace and New streets. Hanover is one of those typical little Karoo towns: the type that necessitates a stop to explore in order to capture its character and attitude.
Life is sedate and remains, in the main, unchanged - there is little that would ruffle Hanoverís feathers, other than the N1 which cuts through the veld that lies between the town and its cemetery. Itís true that Hanover is a small town. But it is interesting and, in places, appears to have lingered in the late 19th century, with some really fine examples of architecture from this era.
There is a walk up to the top of Trappieskop, a koppie just outside of Hanover euphemistically called Trappieskop Mountain, that gives one a birdís eye view of the surrounds. In fairness to its allusion to being a mountain, Trappieskop was the site on which the countryís first observatory stood, before it was moved to Sutherland.