We left, sadly, the Karoo National Park and set off on what became an interesting drive to Graaff Reinet on the N1 and R63, 256 kms. But before leaving I watched the zebra party, first seen the previous evening, make its way along the mountain side for a morning drink at the restaurant waterhole – very appropriate! The leader seemed rather ‘lonely’, and there were two young ones tucked into the group of Burchell’s zebra.
And just outside the camp was this splendid red hartebeest.
Suddenly, after Nelspoort the countryside was green, and by the time we reached Three Sisters it was quite lush – an extraordinary sight in the Karoo. Obviously there had recently been a lot of rain.
I had read about Murraysburg which seemed an interesting town (and one in which Gieon Scheepers was active in the Anglo-Boer War, regularly raiding the town) and as it came into sight, surrounded by green countryside, it looked like a good coffee stop. It is named after the Dutch Reformed minister, Andrew Murray, whose memorial we had seen in Wellington, and who we would find again in Graaff Reinet. However, after a quick stroll we decided to press on to Graaff Reinet. I think you would have to stay in the area to appreciate its qualities.
We set off for Graaff Reinet in the burning hear although I noticed an odd bank of cloud on the horizon and before long we encountered heavy mist and then rain. We were at nearly 4,000 feet altitude here so perhaps this was not surprising.
The weather improved as we descended down to Graaff Reinet, only 2,400 feet altitude, and I grabbed a shot of these monkeys as we drove alongside the dam into the town, and our stop for the next few days. Even here it was green and flowery – I had never seen the area looking like this! And once unpacked and settled in it was time for refreshment – what a day – zebra, dry veld, green hills, fog, rain, and a change of 2,000 feet in altitude!
The history of Murraysburg