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Friday, May 25, 2018

Anysberg Activities

Anysberg has a variety of fun activities and things to do for the whole family.  This is a lovely destination for both summer and winter fun. 

There is a large cement dam converted into a lovely swimming pool with a wooden deck to enjoy some time out and soak up the sun.  The only thing is that it has no shallow end, so you must be able to swim if you want to go for a splash to cool down.

Stargazing:  This must be a highlight of the stay here.  Most of us come from a town or city and seeing the stars is just so incredibly beautiful.  This location is known as one of the darkest places in South Africa, and comes highly recommended if you wish to come and view the stars.

Kayaking in the Rooidamme : the water levels were too low when we visited, but once the dams are more filled, one can get kayaks from the main camp to enjoy some fun on the dam.  I would also recommend that you bring your SUP board if you have, the dams are big enough for a fun SUP around the dam.

Horseback riding:  Apart from enjoying the stars at your camp, you can also book a trip on horseback to a venue located deep in the mountains, called Tapfontein.  It is a two day trip, offering you a comfortable bed and cooking facilities.  The toilet comes with a view, and rather fresh to enjoy in the outdoors.

Mountain Biking: The Anysberg is fairly flat and easy to ride, but there are a few challenging routes for the less experienced mountain biker.  Every road here is accessible to enjoy a mountain bike. 

Landsekloof was rather challenging (thick sand and very rocky) and far, but once we reached the top of the road, an easy but super bumpy 15 min cycle back to camp was welcomed.

We also chose to visit the Tapfontein on our mountain bikes and loved every minute of it.  There are many river crossings as you ride up into the hills. It comes recommended to try and avoid the hot mid day sun.

4x4 Routes:  There is a 4x4 route up to the top of the Anysberg, but was recently closed due to water damage to the road.  Do contact the office prior to your visit, should you wish to follow this route.

Rock Art:  This archaeological and historic site is one not to miss.  The Khoisan paintings are estimated to be over 2000 years old.   You can find this specific one on route to Tapfontein.  There are many more documented sites, but requires a guide to explore them.

Prinspoort:  This is a lovely river route that can be hiked all the way to the Prinsrivierdam, but be warned it is a long way, about 10km one way.

The Jungle Gym was welcomed by our 4 year old son.

Apart from all the busy things one can do, do not forget to stop and enjoy the silence of the Karoo.

Other activities to enjoy:
  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking
  • Game viewing: Animals that we saw were Jackals, Oryx, Mountain Zeebra, Baboons, Vervet Monkeys, Steenbok and Kudu.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Natural Beauty of The Little Karoo in the Anysberg Nature Reserve

The rugged water eroded mountains to the south of the Anysberg range reaches 1600m above sea level, with its incised deep gorges makes this mountain range a special destination to visit.

These semi wild horses roam free on the reserve, but are used to transport visitors on horse back safaris, specifically for overnight stays at the Tapfontein Star Gazing camp, high up in the mountains.

The Ouberg Pass is on the Montagu and Robertson side of the Anysberg.  This pass a picturesque specifically when you leave the reserve as one heads down into the valleys below.

The Karoo landscape as you enter the reserve with the Anysberg Mountains in the distance.

Tapfontein requires a 4x2 high clearance vehicle, but also makes for a fun mountain bike route.  The above image shows the final stretch when exiting the Tapfontein route, with the majestic Anysberg in full view.

Towerkop in the distance, often hidden behind a bank of clouds stands out on clear sky days.
This is the view from our basecamp, Vrede, looking east in the direction of the sunrise (and Ladysmith).

The Anysberg nature reserve was established in 1988 to conserve the local veld-type and reintroduce game species.  The reserve now comprises of 64546 hectors of gently undulating terrain, Karoo plains and rugged mountains with steep gorges.

Visitors can enjoy breathtaking scenery such as this with the beautiful Anysberg as a back drop.

The Anys, Touws and Prins rivers tributaries of the Gouwritz river system, flows through the reserve.  Vegetation is a mixture of mountain fynbos and Klein Karoo veld.

Over 180 separate sites of archaeological interests have been discovered on the reserve.  Visitors are welcome to admire the incredible rock paintings completed by the bushmen thousands of years ago.

The Rooidamme comprises of 4 dams next each other, and in a more affluent water season, Vrede offers canoeing as one of the activities to enjoy when visiting them.  This image was captured inside the very empty dam as 2018 must go down as the driest period ever experienced in the Cape.

When the sun set in the Anysberg, these beautiful mountains light up like a volcanic fire is about to erupt and makes for the most enjoyable sights during sun set.

Location of the Anysberg:

  1. This reserve lies within the Klein Karoo between Ladismith, Lainsberg, Touwsrivier and Montagu.
  2. Even though the distance from Cape Town is only 257km, it is a good 4 hour drive due to the rugged road conditions within the reserve boundary.
  3. Directions to the Anysberg can be downloaded here
  4. Location of Anysberg on Map

Video of the Anysberg

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Anysberg Accommodation

Anysberg Directions:
DIRECTIONS TO ANYSBERG S33 27 48.7 E20 35 18.7 (Office)

Be prepared for a 2-3 hour drive from Cape Town.  We opted for the route via Montagu and stopped at the local coffee shop for a quick leg stretch before we headed onto the dirt road into the wilderness.  The road from Montagu to Anysberg is not very well maintained and a high clearance vehicle comes highly recommended for this route.

Our preferred cottage is the self catering SEPS cottage, which has original building structures of the very thick farm style walls to maintain temperatures and makes for comfortable living.  There is no power here, but there is gas for the stove, fridge and heated showers.

5 Rustic but fully equipped cottages are available, accommodating between 2-6 people with shared ablutions.

The bedding is of good quality and this cottage caters for a maximum of 3 people.

With 800km2 reserve managed by Cape Nature, one can rest assured to have enough space to relax and enjoy the Karoo.  This comes highly recommended as a family friendly destination.

Comfortable camping and caravaning facilities available for up to 5 families.

Should you wish to be more adventurous, you can contact the VREDE OFFICE directly and request a visit to Tapfontein to enjoy this special destination for unique star gazing opportunities.  Overnight huts are 12km from Vrede and are available on request - One can get there by horse back, mountain bike or 4x4.  The 4 wendy house style accommodation is very basic, and no shops are in the area.  Bring your own bedding, firewood, towels and flashlight.

Watching the sun and moon rise over the Towerkop mountain is always a highlight day and night.

Read More aboutThe Anysberg