travel

Dust to dust in the Karoo: 1900

“The dust bin of creation” was Author Julian Ralph’s opinion of the Karoo. In Towards Pretoria, his account of the Anglo-Boer War, he describes the intense heat and the air that was “as full of dust as London’s is of smoke”. He said: “Our throats are dry and caked with dust. The ground is loose […]

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Karoo Captivates The Bishop

When Robert Grey, Bishop of Cape Town, set off for the northernmost reaches of the Colony, he was captivated by the Karoo. “There was no time for reading in the wagon,” writes Thelma Gutsche in The Bishop’s Lady. “The arid desert-like Karoo with its abrupt rocky kopjes, occasional mirages and stunted bushes sparsely mixed with […]

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Travel and hotels in the Karoo, circa 1870

The arid plains of Africa did not impress Melton Prior, war correspondent for the Illustrated London News. From 1870 to 1905, he seems to have covered every major war in the world, but he found South Africa’s rural scenery unbearable and disappointing. He found some of the accommodation on offer even worse. “Each day we […]

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Travelling through the Karoo: The diamond rush of 1871

The description by Boyes, travelling through the Karoo to the diamond fields in 1871:   The “coach”, a huge wagon, was drawn by eight horses, had three wooden benches under an awning. It could seat nine passengers and two more could “perched” at the back with the guard.  There was little room for luggage, so […]

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