Beaufort West, Karoo
Once you've booked your Beaufort West accommodation explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Beaufort West.
Beaufort West lies between the Gamka and Kuils Rivers, just south of a ridge of hills and north of the Nuweveld Mountains in the Central Karoo, where rocks date back some 230 million years. Although for many South Africans, travelling on the N1, it is yet another typical ‘platteland’ dorp (town) in which they must stick to the speed limit or risk a fine!
This quirky town - the oldest in the Central Karoo - is rich in history that holds intrigue for the scientist, the historian and the eco-tourist. Not only was the first reptile fossil discovered near here, in what has subsequently been described as the world’s richest collecting ground for these fossils, but the town’s historic centre displays an eclectic mix of historical architecture that makes a stop-over here essential.
Beaufort West lies in an area that might be semi-desert today, but was initially a swamp. Some of the world’s most interesting Stone Age sites have been discovered near here and a legacy of rock engravings have been left by Bushmen on farms in the area and at Nelspoort. Collections of ancient reptile fossils now grace exhibitions in museums all over the world and they form the basis of work set to uncover the truth about life when the earth was young.
Included here is the Anglican Church, built in 1850 in a Romanesque style and designed by Sophie Gray, the wife of Robert Gray, first Bishop of Cape Town. The north end of the street houses a local jail, built in 1873 but obviously not very functional as its first jailer, also jailed for negligence on duty, managed to escape never to be seen again.
Local farms provide a popular eco-tourism stop offering walks, hikes and challenging 4x4 routes, whilst the Karoo National Park, just outside of town, is home to a huge variety of indigenous buck and birds. It is also a sanctuary for the endangered black rhino and riverine rabbit.
Get the Scoop
Beaufort West Reviews
No reviews yet.
Be the first to write a visitor review about Beaufort West ...
Visitorials: We Love South Africa
Beaufort West Visitorial
Featured in: Visitorials: We Love South Africa
We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Beaufort West. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Beaufort West because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Beaufort West
Anysberg Nature Reserve lies in the Little Karoo between Ladismith, Laingsburg, Touwsrivier and Montagu, and is approximately four hours drive from Cape Town. The Anysberg reserve offers the visitor some of the most striking scenery in the Karoo as well as fascinating wildlife and plants and various ... more information
Sheltered by the Langeberg Mountains and bordered to the south by the Breede River, the Bontebok National Park provides a refuge for not only bontebok, but also for other species such as the Cape mountain zebra, red hartebeest and grey rhebok. The park is situated within the Cape Floral ... more information
Gamkapoort Nature Reserve lies to the north of the Swartberg Nature Reserve, whilst Towerkop Nature Reserve lies to the west. Together, they form part of the Greater Swartberg Protected Area, a World Heritage Site that lies between the Great and Little Karoos. This part of the Karoo is a huge swathe of mountainous ... more information
In Roux Road on the outskirts of Worcester, some 120 kilometres from Cape Town, lies a unique gem of a garden - the only truly succulent garden in the southern hemisphere, and indeed Africa, that displays one of the largest collection of indigenous succulents in South Africa. 155 hectares of ... more information
The Karoo National Park is situated close to the N1 highway between Cape Town and the hinterland, approximately 1000 km south of Johannesburg and 500 km north of Cape Town. Because of the sparse vegetation game viewing in the Karoo National Park is easily facilitated. Best viewing is ... more information
The dry, harsh conditions of the Klein Karoo are actually ideal for the production of excellent wines. The summers are very hot and dry, while winters can hit major lows. The range of wines produced here is extremely varied as a result of this unique climate, and includes many wonderful ... more information
Ko-Ka Tsara Game Reserve, meaning "small bucks kloof" in Khoi, is set in the Nuweveld Mountains of the Great Karoo, 8km outside Beaufort West. 10,000 of the 70,000 hectare reserve is dedicated to the 24 species of game which include the protected Mountain Zebra and Bontebok. Red Hartebeest ... 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
Things To Do in Beaufort West
Restaurants in Beaufort West
On Holiday in Beaufort West
Beaufort West - A Visitors Perspective
Visitorial - I ♥ Beaufort West because...
Beaufort West Photographs
Beaufort West Map
Beaufort West Accommodation
Beaufort West Hotels
Western Cape Accommodation
Western Cape Hotels
South Africa Accommodation
South Africa Hotels