MOTORING NEWS - Whether you hit the road on four wheels or two wheels, a weekend trip to the quaint little Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet will recharge your batteries and offer a wealth of interesting routes - on and off-road.
A huge bonus is the wealth of things to do with kids.
- Many of the guest farms in the area offer children the opportunity to participate in the daily farming activities, or to just run free.
- Explore the first South African Doll Collection housed at Reinet House in Graaff-Reinet, weaponry from the Anglo Boer War, and walks in the wild, while budding paleontologists can search for dinosaur footprints and skeleton fossils.
- Take a drive to Nieu-Bethesda's Ganora Guest Farm where children can learn more about Bushman paintings, fossils, artefacts and Anglo Boer War engravings. There is also a meerkat rehab facility and the opportunity to pay a visit to the Woolshed.
- If you want to keep the kids entertained while you wander in the galleries and shops of Nieu-Bethesda, enjoy a laid-back lunch or cup of coffee, donkey cart tours are just the thing. Jacob, a town local in Nieu-Bethesda, will bring the town to life on this 20-minute donkey cart ride around town.
- Visit the touch farm at De Toren near Nieu-Bethesda with lots of farm animals to see.
- Take a drive to the Valley of Desolation on the outskirts of Graaff-Reinet in the Camdeboo National Park.
- Sheer cliffs and precariously balanced columns of Dolerite rise 120m 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 14km 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 bird life, 336 plant and 43 mammal species. Catch a glimpse of the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra, plenty of kudus, buffalo, the majestic black eagle and the kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the world.
You have a choice of scenic picnic sites in the park, and for those a little more energetic, there are three hiking trails which range from one hour to overnight hikes.
- The Camdeboo Koedoeskloof 4x4 trail is a seven kilometre return trail of about three hours. Its grading is between two and four.
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