4X4ing in the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, South Africa
I count myself very lucky to have family who love adventure just about as much as I do. My uncle has seen so much of South Africa off the beaten path, taking dirt roads that were put into place many years ago and are mostly used by local farmers now. Just before heading off to Bali we decided to do a quick overnight 4X4 trip to Gamkaberg Nature Reserve in the Karoo.
Now the Karoo has never been my favourite place. I love certain parts of it, you can check out my blog write up on Graaff Reinet but overall i’m generally more of a green mountain blue ocean kind of girl. Baron deserts are not so much my thing. But boy was I wrong to judge. (A bad habit I have that i’m working very hard at just by the by.)
We took a trip along the R62 scenic route through the beautiful town of Outdshoorn and made a pit stop just outside, at Bella De Karoo, a truly bespoke Farm stall and Resturant. Definitely make a stop here for a breakfast if you like rustic decor and farm life.
Next up was the 4X4 up the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve mountains. The trail was exhilarating with some steep segments along the mountain. It curved us all the way to the very top of 360 degree views of the Karoo. In terms of wildlife, a herd of Mountain Zebra crossed our path on the way-out the reserve but I think the heat kept the rest of the wildlife well at bay.
The accommodation at Ou Kraal is a gem. Consisting of 4 hikers huts, each with two beds and a wash up basin. The views are panoramic, the stars at night unhidden and in full jaw dropping beauty. A sheltered braai/cooking area is cut into the rocks so you're hidden from the elements. The only thing lacking is a shower and you have to be comfortable with using an eco loo (So basically a long drop).
The sunrises and sunsets from here were definitely the highlight of the trip, starting with amazing bright colours and calming to pastel pinks and blues.
My view of the Karoo has definitely been swayed for the better. If you're looking for rustic and authentic decor, hospitable people and views for days go check it out.