Outdoors family activities
If outdoor activities blow your hair back, Sutherland has plenty to offer
Whether you are staying in town or on a guest farm, it is worth planning a day trip to Blesfontein Guest Farm. The farm offers outdoors activities for the whole family. Feed the farm animals, go on a game drive, enjoy mountain-bike rides, long walks and stargazing. On warm days Blesfontein also has a reservoir to cool down in. For the kids there are pony or horse rides (adults welcome too!). And of course evenings you can enjoy the Karoo air and some sun downers.
Please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Or call Nicol/Marina at Blesfontein - 023 5712 631
The Succulent Karoo is one of two Southern African regions designated as biodiversity hotspots by Conservation International, making the Karoo an essential destination for birders. The Succulent Karoo biome known as the Tanqua Karoo, named after the river cutting through that region, is considered by experts to be among the finest for bird watching, especially in spring when the vegetation comes to life, with nest-building, raising chicks and displaying.
4x4, Hiking and Bike Trails
A number of 4x4 routes have been established in the district, often on farms which also offer other outdoor activities. Blesfontein Guestfarm has challenging 4x4 routes, hikes and mountain bike trails and sports a variety of fauna and flora. Skurweberg Guestfarm also offers a 4x4 driving for all skill levels and enough to keep the whole family amused. Other activities on the farm include horse riding, hiking and mountain biking. For less experienced 4x4 fans there is the temptation of gentle scenic drives aimed at enjoying the magnificent mountain views and fauna and flora, with the possibility of encountering grey rhebuck, duiker and black eagle. Or, for the more adventurous there is the Baboon Trail obstacle course, with escape routes at the major challenges. The trickier sections include some very serious rocky ascents, with rocky terrain in most places other than along the river where there is water, sand and mud.
The farm has successfully hosted the Karoo 4x4 Challenge, but many will simply delight in the scenery and family fun, enjoying the magnificent views from the top of the escarpment. Another option is the Sneeukrans 4x4 Trail on an adjoining farm, which will keep you busy for three to five hours along a 52km route , both routes are circular routes. For more information on these farms, see featured accommodation.
Unlike some parts of the Karoo, Sutherland does not have extreme summer heat because of its altitude, while in winter there is often a covering of snow on the mountains, making it very pleasant for hikers and bikers. Most routes are on farms, each with unique scenery and a variety of plant and animal life.
The Silhouette Trail on the farm Ezeljaght is a two-day route twisting its way over hills and through valleys and weaving among spectacular rock formations with overnight camping available in two mountain huts along the route. The second leg of the route has outstanding lookout points, ladders, a bridge, a tunnel and the fascinating “mincemeat” rock formations. Advance booking is a good idea and hikers are advised to pack additional blankets if taking the trail on in winter.
Sutherland’s nine-hole golf course is an unusual mix of sand and oil greens. Although not ranked, the course has a rating of 70 and players can have an enjoyable round of golf or a session on the practice range. Non-members and visitors are welcome every day. Tennis is on offer at the local courts and joining a game of French boules can be easily arranged.
Contact Discover Sutherland for information booklet.