Oasis on the Karoo’s edge
lovely part of the Karoo, though, are the Swartberg Pass and nearby Meiringspoort.
They are as different as two mountain traverses can be: the former is hot, rough and starkly beautiful while Meiringspoort is cool and pretty, a river with clear waters bubbling through it as huge red rock formations loom menacingly overhead.
It’s a really pleasant day outing to set out from Prince Albert after breakfast, first going over the Swartberg Pass to Calitzdorp where you can stop off at one of the famed Route 62 brandy distilleries.
You return through Oudtshoorn – as quickly as possible, in my case – and stop off for a latish lunch in leafy De Rust before taking a leisurely drive through Meiringspoort.
You can always stop off at Bergwater Wines, 22km outside Prince Albert, to stock up for the evening ahead.
AERIAL VIEW: Prince Albert is not particularly picturesque but sits on the edge of the big-sky Great Karoo. The town has some decidedly superior restaurants and a host of B&Bs.