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The Camdeboo… where space, nature and heritage combine to offer a Karoo tourism experience like no other place on earth.

Established in 1786, Graaff-Reinet is the country’s fourth oldest magisterial district and has been named the “Gem of the Karoo”. The town is recognized as the home of magnificent examples of Cape Dutch, Victorian and Karoo architecture, and has over 220 heritage sites (more than any other town in South Africa!). The past is preserved in five extraordinary museums which hold collections of photographic memorabilia, firearms, artworks and fossils, tracing the story of the Karoo – and the town – from pre-history right up to the present day. This lovely town is the only one in South Africa that is virtually surrounded by a nature reserve, Camdeboo National Park, and is situated on the banks of the Sundays River. The lush gardens, parks and tree-lined avenues are in sharp contrast to the semi-arid vastness of the surrounding Great Karoo. Visit Graaff-Reinet for a true Karoo experience.


Sheer cliffs and precariously balanced columns of Dolerite rise 120 metres from the valley floor, against the timeless backdrop of the vast plains of the Camdeboo. This is the product of volcanic and erosive forces of nature over 100 million years.

This breathtaking site is a short 14 km drive from the town. Any visitor to the Camdeboo National Park will be surprised to discover the diversity of fauna and flora. There are over 220 recorded species of birdlife, 336 plants and 43 mammals. Catch a glimpse of the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra, plenty of Kudu, Buffalo, the majestic Black Eagle and the Kori Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the world.


It will feel as though you have time travelled to the past when visiting the beautiful village of Nieu Bethesda nestled at the foot of the magnificent Compassberg, only a 30 minute drive from Graaff-Reinet. The town was first established as a mission station in 1875. It is renowned for its sacred Bushman rock art sites, fossils and the Owl House, which is a museum dedicated to the eccentric artist Helen Martins. This quaint village has no fuel stations, banks, ATM’s or credit card facilities, so fill up your tank and wallet beforehand.