Congratulations to Deidre and Lara Strydom, Xplorio Gansbaai’s first ever competition winners.
South Africa is well-known for its awe-inspiring attractions and friendly citizens. Heading down to the southernmost region of Africa, you’ll discover the intricate biodiversity of the Overberg and as you move in-land, the unique beauty of the Klein Karoo. Caught in the middle of these two worlds you’ll find the busy little town of Barrydale on the famous Route 62.
On first approach, whether from Cape Town via Montagu or from the Garden Route via Ladismith, you’ll notice the sharp contrast of low Karoo shrubbery to the lush fields of fynbos of the coast. But don’t let the wide open spaces fool you, just wait until you get closer to the town itself. All of a sudden you’ll spot a flash of bright colour and venturing out a bit, there is a number of great attractions you wouldn’t think to find in a small Klein Karoo town.
Located a short drive outside of Barrydale lies two wildlife reserves ready to welcome you to a wild experience. Towards the north you’ll fins Sanbona Wildlife Reserve where you can explore a Big 5 wilderness sanctuary which offers 5-star luxury accommodation and a unique way of exploring the surrounding landscapes. Travelling along the R62 towards Ladismith lies the Touwsberg Private Game & Nature Reserve. Offering excellent accommodation and the change to view over 600 species of free-roaming game and bird species, Touwsberg is a little hub of paradise in the middle of the open plains of the region.
Moving a little closer to town, you’ll discover the 600 ha that host Warmwaterberg Spa. Offering self-catering accommodation (chalets and/or camping) along with a full service restaurant and bar, shop and braai facilities, the property plays host to the mineral hot springs that draws holiday-makers to the area. If you’re looking for a comfortable stay closer to the bustle of town, why not try the historical Karoo Art Hotel. With every room individually decorated and serving up delicious gourmet creations from the kitchen, the Hotel celebrates art in a big way. Experience country-style hospitality as well as a line-up of local artists and musicians hosted at the venue throughout the year.
Those looking to nibble on something delicious and nutritious, head on over to the quirky restaurants in Barrydale as they serve up dollops of goodness. Enjoy traditional home-cooked cuisine paired with drinks by a fireplace and live music at the Karoo Saloon or head out to The Blue Cow Farm Stall @ the Barrydale Waterfront to experience unforgettable farm food and bird watching. And for dessert, pop into the vintage diner at Diesel & Crème for the most deliciously decadent milkshakes in town.
There is also a treat in-store in Barrydale for the more trained palate with the nearby tasting venues. Having established themselves amongst the top winemakers and distillers of South Africa, Southern Cape Vineyards at the Barrydale Wine and Brandy Cellar offer the bottled essence of the Barrydale area. And located just outside of town you’ll find the Joubert Tradauw Private Wine Cellar. Established in the late 1990’s, the first grapes on the farm were harvested in 1999 and have now grown in production to deliver just below 3000 cases annually.
With your accommodation and dining options sorted, it’s time to get a little dirty and explore the outdoor adventures of Barrydale. Tackle the folds of the Langeberg Mountains with Klipbok 4x4 Adventures and celebrate with sundowners at the end-point lapa. Alternatively join Cycling Adventures on one of their cycling, hiking, horse riding or kayaking tours; they can even arrange your meals and accommodation for you. Salted fishermen can Killarney Trout for the chance to catch Rainbow or Brown Trout in four beautiful still dams accompanied with spectacular views.
With so many interesting things experienced and memories made, it’s always good to take a little something with you to remember your stay by. Stop by Hardy’s Memories of Africa for a selection of curious and gifts from all over the African continent. To take home the Barrydale landscapes captured professionally on canvas, we suggest making a turn at Magpie. Showcasing the works of the MagpieArtCollective in the form of chandeliers, crafts, art and more, any art-lover can find something unique to add a touch of the Klein Karoo to their home. The next street over in the MUD Centre you can peruse the Mud Art Gallery as well as grab a last bite to eat at Clarke of the Karoo before you hit the road.
We hope you had a wonderful stay and that Barrydale could amaze you as much as it does us every day. We look forward to seeing you soon!