Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Little Karoo: Swartberg Mountains, Kruisrivier and Redstone Hills

Several days were spent at the Kruisrivier Guest Farm in the foothills of the southern side Swartberg Mountains, between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn, exploring the area, including the local landscape, the Swartberg Pass, Die Hel (Gamkaskloof), Oudtshoorn and the Cango caves.
The farm has been farmed by the same family since 1759, and is now in the 7th or 8th generation of Strydoms. Current owners Basie and Mandi make very friendly and down-to-earth hosts, and the accommodation is in restored original buildings. I stayed in the old stables. I think Basie was rather surprised (and pleased) to come across me during his morning farm rounds at 5:30 in the morning enjoying, and trying to photograph, the sun rising and casting a beautiful red glow on ‘his’ part of the Swartberg mountains. He stopped his bakkie, got out and came over and had a chat, had a look at what I was doing, and told me a lot about the farming activities, both past and present - I don’t think he encounters many of his guests at that time of the morning!
Little Karoo: Sunrise on the Swartberg Mountains (Kruisrivier Guest Farm)
Sunrise on Swartberg Mountains
Apart from the Swartberg mountains themselves, an exploration of the Redstone Hills has been been on my to-do list for many years. Being only a few km from Kruisrivier, on the road to Calitzdorp, provided the perfect opportunity to head out before dawn one morning to catch the early morning sun striking the already reddish rock formations. What a bizarre set of shapes on the hillside edges - almost like parasitic rocks - as well as the eroded ‘hole-in-the-wall’ formations. The warm light of sunrise certainly accentuated the already red, hematite rich, hillside colours.
Little Karoo: Sunrise on the Redstone Hills
Sunrise on Redstone hills
More photographs of the farm, including the accommodation, the ostriches and the surroundings can be found in this gallery of the Little Karoo. A short video of the farm can be seen below:
Video: Kruisrivier Guest Farm
Video of Kruisrivier Guest Farm

No comments:

Post a Comment