Matjiesfontein Tourist Attractions

Matjiesfontein, situated in the Little Karoo half way between Cape Town and Beaufort West, is a charming little town, popular with South Africans for a weekend holiday trip, which is also a convenient stopover for visitors on their way from the interior of the country to Cape Town (the Trans Karoo Train which runs between Cape Town and Johannesburg stops in Matjiesfontein). The barren country round the town is suitable only for sheep-farming; some of the farms are the size of several British or American counties.

Sutherland, South Africa

120km/75mi north of Matjiesfontein on R 354 is the little town of Sutherland (alt. 1,456m/4,777ft; pop. 2,000). The road runs through a quiet and empty expanse of country with only scanty vegetation. Nevertheless the Great Karoo has a particular charm of its own, and the sunrises and sunsets in this semi-desertic region are a memorable experience.
Sutherland, which has preserved a number of buildings of the Victorian period, is one of the coldest places in South Africa. In winter the temperature frequently falls to 6°C/21°F, and snow is by no means rare. The high altitude and clear air offer ideal conditions for astronomical observations: hence the presence of the South African Astronomical Observatory 14km/8.5mi outside the town.

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