The Hantam and Upper Karoo region is bounded on three sides by provincial boundaries and the Orange River. The region is renowned for its unpolluted skies making it the perfect setting for South Africa's Astronomical Observatory. The region is characterised by wide-open plains interspersed with rugged mountains and koppies. The area is also rich with wild fauna and flora with a number of recognized 4x4 trails situated throughout the region.
Some 250 million years ago the Hantam and Upper Karoo region of the Northern Cape was an inland sea. Today the fossilised prints of dinosaurs are found in the area, and nature reserves with game birdlife and unique vegetation abound in the region. In this area you will find Calvinia, which is one of the largest wool producers in South Africa. Here you can visit the Calvinia Museum which focuses on agriculture, transport and the lifestyle of the early inhabitants.
Nieuwoudtville has unique vegetation and for the Nieuwoudtville Falls situated on the Doring River. The Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve situated only 10km south of Nieuwoudtville, offers hiking trails and bird watching opportunities.
The biggest town of the Upper Karoo region is De Aar. The town is an important rail junction for Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Namibia. Hanover is situated a few kilometers to the East of De Aar.
Victoria West was named after Queen Victoria and is located between two mountains and the Ongers River. The town is on the watershed between the East and West coasts of South Africa. To the South of the town is Victoria West Nature Reserve.
Information on towns in the Hantam and Upper Karoo Region