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Beaufort West, the capital city of the Karoo, is situated on the N1 route half way between Cape Town and Bloemfontein and is a real oasis where the traveller can relax a while.
The town was founded in 1818 and was named after the Duke of Beaufort. To avoid confusion with Port Beaufort and Fort Beaufort, the name was changed to Beaufort West. The municipality was the first to be proclaimed in South Africa during 1837.
This is the home town of the world famous heart surgeon, Prof. Christiaan Barnard. He grew up in the parsonage which has now been restored and furnished as it was in the times of the Barnards. The residents of the town is obviously very proud of this son of them as the Town Hall house a display of various awards, honorary degrees, diplomas and gifts from around the world that were given to Prof. Barnard after he became famous for doing the first heart transplant in the world.
The Beaufort west museum can also be visited and there is a walking trail through the town which will last less than one hour to complete. Just the thing to help you to relax after your long drive from Gauteng.
Just outside the town you will find the Karoo National Park. The Karoo is the largest eco-system in South Africa and where better to experience its splendour than in this beautiful nature reserve. All the plants and animals that occur here have adapted to the harsh conditions of the Karoo.
The annual rainfall in the Karoo is only 260 mm. The plains are very hot in summer while the mountain areas are relatively cool throughout the year. It is not impossible to find the peaks of the Nuweveld mountains covered with snow during the winter months.
The gates to the park is open from 05:00 until 22:00. No late arrivals after 22:00 are permitted. The reception office is open from 07:30 until 20:00.
There are two rest camps in the park. The main camp offers accommodation in six-bed Cape Dutch style guest houses, each with two bedrooms, en suits bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. Alternatively there are three bed Cape Dutch style bungalows, each with bathroom and kitchenette with basic equipment.
The Mountain View Rest Camp is a mountain retreat with huts which provide only the basic facilities and can accommodate a maximum of 25 persons. There is a communal ablution block.
Camping facilities are available, all equipped with 220v electricity and with a communal ablution block. A maximum of six persons are allowed per site.
Other facilities include a fully licensed a la carte restaurant, a shop where basic commodities and curios can be bought and two information centres. There are also picnic facilities for day visitors as well as public telephone facilities.
Recreational activities include the following:
The park also have conference facilities with full conference equipment and caterers.
Other accommodation facilities in Beaufort West include:
Christie'ns Guest House
This page was last updated on
07 June 2009