Beaufort West is the largest town in the Great Karoo region and is often referred to as the “Heart of the Karoo”. Here you will be inspired by the magic of the sunrise and sunset over the beautiful, raw Cape Karoo land. The town is set on a typical “platteland” landscape, and a walk through the town is the perfect way of getting familiar with the town’s relaxed atmosphere and historic setting. You will find a mixture of Victorian, Edwardian, Cape Dutch, and Romanesque style buildings. There are a few national monuments and museums to view, including an exhibition of the heart-transplant pioneer Professor Chris Barnard.
The main street is filled with historic tales and it was named after the love story of Sir Rufane Donkin and his beloved Elizabeth. Visitors can also see the graves of Boer and British soldiers in the old cemetery of Beaufort West and the restored blockhouse of the 1901 Anglo-Boer War which still guards the railway.
The Karoo National Park is only ten kilometres from Beaufort West and is home to the endangered black rhino, buffalo, Cape mountain zebra and riverine rabbit. Walk the unique 400-metre Karoo Fossil Braille Trail, specifically adapted for vision-handicapped visitors, where you will discover funky fossils of mammal-like reptiles and interesting geology of the Great Karoo. Stroll the 800-metre Bossie Trail and check out the showcase of Karoo succulents including aloes, crassula, spiny klapperbossie and boegoekaroo.
Other attractions are the Karoo Sundowner Donkey Cart Tour, 4x4 trails, and for fine dining there are a variety of restaurants offering delicious country-style meals and fresh coffee.
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