Northern Cape, South Africa 2009 - The Karoo

Much of the interior of South Africa is a semi-arid area called The Karoo. It consists of wide open plains with rocky outcrops (iselbergs - which means island mountain). There are huge farms covering thousands of hectares where they state the number of hectares per sheep - which can range from 2 hectares per sheep in the good areas to 7 hectares in the more arid parts.

Windpumps are a common sight as they are essential to supply water from boreholes for people and animals during the long months when there is no rain.

On our way West we stayed at a lodge outside Bloemfontain and were lucky enough to see this beautiful sunset - and a couple of otters in the river as well (but they disappeared before I could get a photo).



Long straight roads are common across The Karoo. There's very little traffic so we tended to change drivers after an hour or so.

Trees generally indicated a source of water and a farmstead. They are often surrounded by several windpumps.

Mostly the vegetation was dried grasses and small bushes....

but occassionally we saw fields that had been irrigated - the greenery really stood out!

There were a few cattle and goats but mostly either black faced or merino sheep were on the farms, often near water supplied by the windpumps.

As we got closer to Calvinia we began to see flowers at the side of the road and the nearby fields.

1. Karoo
2. Calvinia, Namaqualand
3. Springbok, Namqualand
4. Richtersveld National Park
4. Richtersveld - birds

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