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5 Things You Probably Did Not Know About the Karoo

5 things you didn't know of the karoo


The Karoo region in South Africa is one of those inimitable destinations that evokes many different emotions in people who experience it for the first time. Arid, flat, and in parts quite desolate, it’s not an ‘easy’ landscape to venture into. It’s temperatures are extreme, and it can be dusty and uncompromising.

However, if you’ve ever seen the sun rising over the Karoo while you stood under the vastness of the sky with your hands wrapped around a steaming mug of boeretroos as the first light of day meets the horizon, you’ll know what a deep and lasting impression it leaves.

Here are 5 interesting things about this glorious region that lies close to so many peoples hearts:

  1. It covers 40% of South Africa’s surface

The official area of the Karoo stretches over more than 40% of South Africa, and encompasses no less than four provinces, namely the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Free State and Eastern Cape.

  1. It’s very, very old

Archaeologists love the Karoo. It has fossil beds that are 600 million+ years old, and there are trace lines that link it to Russia and South America. It also continues to reveal secrets of evolution the more it is studied.

  1. The flora is quite something

You’d imagine that a semi-desert would not have much in the way of flora, but the Karoo is actually teeming with plant life. It is home to no less than 7200+ succulent species, 40% of which are not found anywhere else on earth.

  1. It’s a great place to raise sheep

The Karoo is a great place to raise Merino sheep. The wide variety of indigenous plants and thorn trees, interspersed with occasional grasses, offer excellent browsing and the dry, cold winters cut down on diseases and parasites. However, it does take some very hands-on farming to ensure that the sheep are kept safe from chills, and are fed sufficiently to ensure their wellbeing throughout the year.

  1. There are great places to visit

Although the towns in the Karoo tend to be quite far apart, there are great places to visit, nonetheless. Add destinations like Prince Albert and Barrydale to your must-visit list and get ready to be astounded by the sheer variety of beautiful things to eat, drink and experience in these wonderfully unfettered towns.

There you have it – five interesting facts about the Karoo – the birthplace of Schapen and one of the most starkly beautiful regions on earth. Keep an eye on the blog for more interesting info on Merino wool and its many uses. In the meantime, remember to follow Schapen Collection on Facebook and Instagram for lifestyle inspiration, details on special offers and more.