Loxton, Upper Karoo
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Travelling through the Karoo along the popular R63 towards the West Coast and Namaqualand, the road passes through a little cutting in a hill before revealing the tiny village of Loxton that stands surrounded by endless plains. Loxton is one of those unexpected settlements, thanks to far-seeing townsfolk who planted trees along all its streets over one hundred years ago. This shade-rich environment, along with a variety of lovely old Karoo architecture, and friendly inhabitants makes this a particularly appealing town and one that offers natural beauty year-round. Each season brings something special. There’s the chance of snow in winter, and come spring, the pear trees that line many of its streets put on a magical show of white blossoms.
Then there’s the tranquillity. With a permanent population of just sixty-five souls in the main village itself, there is no hub-bub of activity and you won’t find a busy town centre here. Apart from the odd bakkie that passes by, the loudest sounds one usually hears is the regular donging of the church clock and the creaking of a wind pump followed by hours of peace punctuated only by the gentle coo-cooing of a dove and the buzz of insects on the hot summer air. Come nightfall, you’ll see more bright stars than bright lights thanks to the lack of light and air pollution.
The lack of activity on the streets belies the bustle going on behind closed doors and garden gates. Original narrow leiwater channels are still used for flood-irrigation and in summer the fruit and vegetables that sprout from enthusiastic gardeners’ plots includes garlic. Although Loxton falls into the mainly-sheep-farming category, it is also one of the largest garlic-producing areas in the country. After years of standing empty, buildings are being or have been restored and the town is enjoying a revival. It even has a little coffee shop and several guesthouses now.
With little to distract one, this is an idyllic and crime-free place to unwind, catch up on your reading, and take to the hills in the early mornings to explore the ancient dolerite koppies. Spend some time on a stoep contemplating life and you may see the odd donkey cart klip-klop sedately by… Come and enjoy the simple life in Loxton!
Points of interest: On farms around Loxton one may view unique Corbelled Houses that are built of local stone and shaped like old-fashioned beehives. These dwellings occur only in a small area of the Karoo, and nowhere else in the country. They were constructed around 1811 onwards by the early trekboers (migratory farmers) and due to the lack of other building materials, consist solely of local stone, with their most amazing feature being that they have a roof, which has no supporting roof beams. Visitors may visit these Corbelled Houses by prior arrangement, as well as enjoy bird watching on and around farm dams after good rains; and stop in to view the replica Dutch castle and windmill, which looks like it’s stepped straight out of a fairytale.
Note: There is no bank in Loxton, and fuel is only available from the farmer’s co-op, which operates on weekdays and Saturday mornings only, and is not open on public holidays.
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"Better star gazing than Sutherland, quieter than Poffadder, more laid back than Cape Town - this is the place to visit to recharge your batteries! Sunrise over ..." - stephen, cape town
Featured Attractions in (or near) Loxton
Akkerdam Nature Reserve lies just outside the little town of Calvinia, which is found at the foot of the Hantam Mountain (mountain of the red bulbs) that towers over the town, roughly 400 kilometres outside of Cape Town. Akkerdam, also known as the Akkerendam Nature Reserve, is practically a requisite ... more information
The Free State's largest nature reserve is a combination of the 36 487 ha Gariep Dam on the Orange River and an 11 237 ha game sanctuary on its northern shore. From the Gariep dam some 200 000 ha of land is irrigated, by means of a tunnel of 83,8 km, delivering water to the upper valleys of the Fish River, and then ... more information
Karoo is a “quenna” word meaning “dry and hard”. Gariep is also a “quenna” word meaning “big water”or river. The Karoo Gariep Concervancy is found on the Karoo “dry and hard” side of the Gariep “big river”. Like its name describes this is a very natural diverse part of South Africa. The fact that ... more information
Said to be South Africa's first mountain pass, Molteno Pass links Beaufort West to Loxton, in effect joining the oldest town in the area to the Northern Cape. It lies in the Nuweveld Mountains on R381, completed in 1881 and named after the first Prime Miinister of the Cape, Sir JC Molteno, who also represented Beaufort West ... more information
The 80 000 hectare Tankwa Karoo National Park, proclaimed in 1986 and still in a development stage, is at present in a veld recovery phase and it will be some time before the original vegetation re-establishes itself. Even so, after the occasional shower, the park erupts into a dazzling display of flowering ... more information
Events and/or Festivals in Loxton