Graaff-Reinet lies between Cape Town and Jo’burg and is 300km from Port Elizabeth. The jewel of the Karoo, it’s an oasis of gracious old charm in the heat of its dusty surroundings.
- Nieu Bethesda
This tiny archetypal Karoo village is tucked into a valley in the shadow of the Kompasberg Mountain, part of the Sneeuberg range. It’s best known as the home of the Owl House.
- Somerset East
Walter Battis, the eccentric artist lived here, old fashioned roses flourish and the odd historic monument decorates the tree-lined back streets.
- Addo Elephant Park
Addo has three backpackers. It is the best place in South Africa to see elephants close up.
A malaria free wilderness area where the Big Five roam.
Seeped in Settler history, Grahamstown is a real student town and when Rhodes University shuts for the holiday the town closes and goes home. Joke. But close enough.
Truth is, when you put enough students together, something fun always happens - so keep an ear open for what's on when you're there.
Hogsback is one of those soft places that somehow speeds up the passing of time. Dominated by the impressive Amatola mountain range, she has a charm and mystique all of her own. She's whimsical, teasing, enchanting and downright wicked.
Located on the N6, this is a good overnight stop between Jo'burg and the Wild coast or the Garden Route.
Close to the Amatola Mountains and off the beaten track, this town offers yet another opportunity to discover South African via the back roads.
Situated on the N10 between Port Elizabeth and Cradock, this is a real country town stopover.
Eastern Cape Inland and the Karoo
The Hottentot word for this place "Karoo" (a thirstland) perfectly describes this arid area of low rainfall, meagre vegetation and haunting rock outcrops.
It's a remote, moody and lonely - but absolutely extraordinary – landscape and any time spent here will have you touching parts of your soul you don't often access.
Eastern Cape Inland
This far flung region encompasses the moody plains and mountains of the Karoo, the esoteric wonders of Nieu Bethesda, the lush Amatola Mountains, the spectacular mountains and passes of the Cape Drakensberg and a slew of game parks and hiking trails.
Reserves include the Addo Elephant Park, Shamwari (where the Big Five can be seen), the Karoo Mountain Zebra Park, the Karoo National Park, the Valley of Desolation, the Fish River Valley and the Amatola Reserve. It’s a region of huge and magnificent contrasts and contains some of South Africa’s most beautiful and least visited sites. So get off the beaten path and discover some of our favourite spots.
The Baviaanskloof Wilderness is a World Heritage Site containing 7 of South Africa's 8 biomes! It is the 3rd largest nature conservation area in South Africa with Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Mountain Zebra and Cape Leopard. 200 heritage sites have been located estimated only to represent only 10% of those in existence!
Places to Stay
- Avoca River Cabins
This backpackers in Addo is on a working citrus farm which is on the banks of the Sundays River.
- Away With The Fairies
Set on a huge property with lovely gardens and overlooking the mystical Hogsback Peaks, this is a wonderful backpacker.
Tucked away in the magnificent Baviaanskloof is the blissfully remote Kamerkloof
- The Owl House
Set in a quaint old Karoo house, The Owl House Backpackers is a must for anyone who has the time, or needs a spiritual boost.
- Whethu Backpackers
An African themed Backpackers close to all the action in Grahamstown and its environs
- Wild Woody Cape Backpackers
A backpackers in the Addo National Park with access to game reserves, rivers and one of the most stunning bits of coastline in the world
A backpackers in Somerset East and for those who yearn for lonely country roads…
What to do
- Dianne Lang Children's Home
A genuine opportunity to volunteer and help children in need. You don't pay anything except your own costs, there is no placement fee or any other kind of fee to be paid.
(randomly selected service providers from all regions)
A great backpackers in the centre of Windhoek with a travel shop that will answer all your Namibian questions.
Cape Town Tandem Paragliding offers Backpackers the unique experience of flying off Table Mountain
(Cape Town City Centre,Cape Town)
Simon’s Town Boutique Backpackers is close to Simon's Town station and the beach, the backpackers is well situated for access to the best of the peninsula.
(Simon's Town,Cape Town)
A perfectly peaceful position - with mountains all around.
(Kestell,Drakensberg Backpacker Hostels)
Friendly and very relaxed backpackers in Nelspruit.
Centrally located, this efficiently run backpacker has a fantastic view over the Swartberg Mountains and the sunset which casts a magical shadow over it every evening.
Tours in Durban and out in the bush and mountains.
Abseil in Cape Town - Drop off the edge of the mountain.
(Cape Town City Centre,Cape Town)
Volunteer to help with research on dolphins and whales.
(Plettenberg Bay,Garden Route)
Quality safaris and adventures in and around Vic Falls.
(Gordon's Bay and Strand,)