Koffiefontein, Xhariep Region

The first thing that strikes you about the Karoo is the huge distances between towns. The Grassy Karoo, also known as the 'false Karoo', is the eastern part, which, as its name suggests, is fundamentally grasslands that stretch from Jacobsdal to Somerset East. Despite the grass, hardy fragrant shrubs manage to make their presence known, and historic little towns pepper a landscape dominated by grass and distant mountains.

Koffiefontein, which lies in this region, is situated where the R48 meets the R704 on the Riet River, north east of the little town of Trompsburg. Just as you drive into the town one is faced with a rather idiocyncratic looking coffee can fountain, complete with cup and saucer, which may or may not work, depending on some unexplicable whim. When it does, it's rather charming.

The town, which started out as a coffee stop for transport riders, still has little eateries and shops with names like 'Try-itsi' - a great place to stock up on different sorts of snacks if you're on the road somewhere - and 'Kos Kaia' (food dwelling), which apparently serves heavenly pancakes. But what Koffiefontein is really about, and what makes it so attractive to visitors, is the incredible Karoo Free State hospitality; a real willingness to share their place with you, and the sense that they really love the place.

Ettienne Leroux, who also used the nom de plume of Stephanus Petrus Daniel le Roux and wrote 'Magersfontein, O Magersfontein!' that created such a stir it was banned a year after publication, had a farm in Koffiefontein, which you can see as you drive into the town close to where you swing off the road towards Jacobsdal. Today the farm belongs to a farmer called Schreuder, according to the board on the road.

Travellers' Reviews

2 Reviews from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewvery good

I grew up in Koffiefontein till the age of 12 years old before moving to Port Elizabeth. I loved my childhood day there. As we where the only Portuguese/English people there, I was like any other child growing up in a real small loving community.

TEREZA LENDIA (Port Elizabeth)

Verified reviewexcellent

My heart is in Koffiefontein because that is where my father Dirk Louw taught me the real beauty of this town and its surrounding farms. He was a farm boy in this area and then successfully farmed on his own farm called Weltevrede before he died at the age of 94 years on 10 September 2012. His grave between two rows of tall threes next to green pastures and waters of piece will always remind me of the wonderful life he experienced in this Koffiefontein district. To pass through this area is an experience on its own and recommended to those walking this earth with a love for simplicity .

Louise Louw (Bloemfontein)

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