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Klein Karoo

Klein Karoo

The name Karoo comes from an ancient San word meaning Land of Great Thirst, a reference to the arid landscape and harsh climate. The Karoo is split into roughly two sections: the expansive Great Karoo to the northeast and the smaller Klein Karoo (“Little” Karoo) in the southwest of South Africa.

The Klein Karoo in the Western Cape is a breathtaking 350-kilometre-long semi-arid valley stretching from Montagu in the west to Uniondale in the east and is almost completely surrounded by mountains. It is only between 40 and 60 kilometres wide, sandwiched between the imposing Swartberg Mountains (Black Mountains) in the north, and the continuous Langeberge (Long Mountains) and Outeniqua Mountains in the south.

As a destination, the region is the most varied of the seven regions in the Karoo and this can largely be ascribed to its topography and the relatively higher rainfall. It probably has the richest and most diverse succulent habitats in the World. In the wider Southern Africa region taxonomists have recorded more than 5000 species of succulents represented in about 60 families.

This represents nearly 50% of succulent species in the World and these unusual and unique plants are most easily accessible and widespread in the Klein Karoo. The Klein Karoo is also a transition zone between the Fynbos Plant Kingdom and the Succulent Karoo habitat prevalent in the area and it is common to encounter both fynbos and succulent plants growing naturally together.

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The name Karoo comes from an ancient San word meaning Land of Great Thirst, a reference to the arid landscape and harsh climate. The Karoo is split into roughly two sections: the e